After walking around Jamestown Settlement this past week, I’m really wondering how much longer I, as a schoolteacher, can go on these big field trips. I am not one of those people who uses my disability as an excuse, but this trip took a toll on me.
I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A, so I wear ankle-foot orthoses and use a cane on long walks. Yes, I took my cane with me for this trip. The ground is uneven and difficult to navigate, so I was prepared. The day was hot and humid, which did not help the situation. There are few places to sit in the settlement, so I asked our tour guide why there are so few benches. Her response was that they don’t want the students to sit down during their experience.
While I understand that, I wondered about the other visitors who may need to sit. Being unable to sit and catch my breath may have added to my exhaustion that day. If I’m able to sit for a few minutes, I feel better and can continue walking, but I didn’t have that option on this trip.
This field trip was rough on me, so I was glad it was on a Friday and I had a full weekend to recover. I find that I need time to rest and recover from a long day like that. A friend asked what I did on Saturday. My answer was simple: not much. Honestly, I did a few errands, then took a nap. Most of the day was spent relaxing on the couch.
I was secretly happy that my son was with his dad for the weekend. It really does take the whole weekend for me to recuperate. It drives me crazy, but I know this is what my body needs, and how important it is for me to do this.
This trip caused me to start thinking about how much longer I can participate in big school field trips. I began to think about ways I can make these excursions easier. I’m not sure what I could have done differently in this case, and will discuss this matter with my school administrator. I just need to have some options to present.
Those who know me know that I am more than willing to go on field trips, but I just need to do it differently. I’m just not sure what that would look like.
What are some of your ideas to make field trips easier on the body?
Note: Charcot-Marie-Tooth News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Charcot-Marie-Tooth News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
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