Guest post from Mick Schofield
This was originally posted into our Facebook group (October 2017) and received such a warm reception we thought it worth publishing to a wider audience.
Firstly, please don’t view into this post as me boasting and sorry about the length of it. I hope it may help others in the group.
My wife and I have just returned from a holiday, the first since my SCA 1 year 11 months ago. We booked a 3 week fly drive in North America, passing through numerous National Parks to celebrate us both reaching a ‘significant 0’ age.
Before going, I can’t deny that I had numerous concerns. Would I still be here, would I be legally allowed to drive, would I get travel insurance, would the holiday be ‘too much’ for my body, would the airport security checks be a problem, would the long flight be OK and finally would being at altitude during the time in the USA cause me problems?
A lot of my concerns were answered just before we went, the ICD technicians and my GP, both said for me to get out and enjoy it. My GP gave me extra medication because the prescription was due to run out during the holiday.
My insurance company was a bit more of a problem, two weeks before departure and after the ICD had undergone its 6 monthly check, they then sprung it on me by e mail, that they were happy to provide cover as long as the person responsible for my treatment said they were happy. (I chose to check with them that I did have cover for the USA with my declared condition because I simply do not trust insurance companies and I wanted something from them in writing in addition to their terms etc).
As I have not seen the consultant since my discharge from hospital, then who was responsible? To cover all angles I managed to get an OK from the consultant who treated me in hospital in time, (only because a friend of mine works alongside him). I told him exactly where we were going and what I wanted to do and the altitude.
The airport was no problem, the 10 hour flight was no issue at all. My experience of being at a mainly 6000′ above sea level in the USA for just short of 3 weeks turned out to be no more a problem for me than being at sea level. I actually went up as high as 10,500 feet. I checked trails and their severity before we left the UK and made a route before we left.
All of this took time and planning, but it turned out to be worth it. I accept that there were some places I did not consider trying to get to see, I knew the trail would be too severe. While going to those places I did go to, I just took my time and listened to my body whilst carrying 10kg of my camera equipment.
So what is the point of this post?
Don’t let the SCA stop you doing things, it’s a beautiful world we live in and you can still get out and see it if you choose to.