A disabled woman has told her story about how going on holiday abroad for a week is not a simple thing to do for her and her family, with just seven days away once leaving her in agony for several months.
Punteha van Terheyden told Metro that she no longer wants to be trapped by her diagnosis of endometriosis and chronic hip pain, despite the sacrifices she has to make to take her little daughter Millie on holiday.
After being diagnosed with endometriosis in 2012, she also developed a chronically inflamed hip from her 2016 pregnancy and birth.
“Between my two conditions, walking, sitting, and standing are very painful for me. On most days, one or all three are simply not doable,” she told the publication.
The 35-year-old explained that packing for a family, checking-in, queuing for passport control, walking through duty free, finding the gate, sitting for hours on a plane, waiting for luggage to come out, and enduring a long transfer to a hotel takes a serious toll on her conditions.
“For me, there is no relaxation to be had because I am already done in by the time we’ve made it to the check-in desk,” Ms van Terheyden explains.
The last holiday she went on was to Lanzarote in 2018 with her husband and Millie. However, not only was she in agony during her week there, but the trip meant she had to face months of physical rehabilitation and treatments when she returned home.
“I decided that the physical penalty for travelling was just too high for me. Andy understood and was entirely supportive when I said I wouldn’t do it again,” she said, stating her last break was to be her final holiday abroad.
However, her now five-year-old child has been asking to go to the beach, leaving Punteha with the difficult decision whether to give her daughter the chance to make happy memories of a seaside holiday or reduce her own chances of suffering chronic pain.
“I don’t want to let my disability deprive my child, the way it has me,” she states, telling readers she has chosen a holiday resort that is easy to walk around, is in “spitting distance” to the beach, has comfortable seats, is only 15 minutes from the airport, and their bedroom is as close to the lobby as possible.
She has also requested special assistance in the airport and asked her parents to join them for support.
“I’m hoping by being braver, asking what for what I really want, taking the help and accessibility support available instead of cutting myself – and my child – off from the beauty of the world, our lives will open up again,” Ms van Terhey wrote.
Disabled people do not just struggle with going abroad, but many have problems travelling around their locale. This comes after a recent Disability Rights UK survey found 84 per cent of respondents believe there are accessibility issues in their area.
According to the report, this led to nearly two-thirds of disabled people feeling as though they are unable to ‘live independently’.
Common problems included street furniture, bins, hedges and cars blocking pavements, and the inadequate condition of pavements.
Head of policy at Disability Rights UK Fazilet Hadi stated: “Our research confirms that there are a growing number of challenges that disabled people have to overcome, just to get around our neighbourhoods safely and independently.”
To have full accessibility in your own home, consider suitable kitchen adjustments in Ascot, such as reduced height worktops, side-opening oven doors, drop-down baskets and pull-out worktops.