Life with MS & EDS

July 29, 2009

Making Promises

My girls were schedule to have their first swim lesson yesterday afternoon.  Neither knows how to swim and both are terrified about the idea.  Little Sister had some exposure to pools when she received water therapy.  Her occupational therapist was awesome and actually got her to go under water a few times.  But, the relationship between the hospital and the pool wasn’t going well.  We’d show up and the facility wouldn’t have the appropriate chemical levels in the pool or something else would go wrong and we’d have to leave.  Do you know how hard that is on a little kid who got psyched up to do something and thought she’d have fun, only to see the pool and be told you can’t go in?  Or how hard this is for the mother who got her daughter all ready to go, including picking her up early from school and driving 30 min. to get there?  After this happened a few times, we ended up on land for the rest of those O/T sessions.  Taking a gamble on the pool just wasn’t worth the potential disappointment.

It’s been about 18 months since Little Sister had a chance to do much in a pool.  We’ve been to a couple of pool parties, but it’s hard to find a pool warm enough for her to go into.  She turns blue very quickly.  A few months ago her school had a pool party at a warm water pool that is on the location of her day care site.  My husband and I got to chatting with the lifeguard who mentioned they did swim lessons.  It’s a senior citizens’ therapy pool, so they keep it warm enough for her.   Heck, I’d love to use it!  The water is kept around 90 and the air temperature was in the high 80’s.  I know warmth and MS are not a good mix, but also having EDS throws a wrench in what makes a perfect temperature.  The pool I used to exercise in was kept too cold for my comfort.  I’d also be blue after a while and my toes would cramp up so badly I’d have to call it quits.  But, back to the point…

I called the pool just after the party, but the two instructors were not available and I was told to try back in a couple of months.  So, I called again a couple of months ago and didn’t hear back.  I’m sure the voice mail wasn’t received.  I called back just recently and got the names of the two instructors.  I called the first and she was able to do four semi-private lessons with us. She could even do one before we left for Disney (where we’d have a pool at the rental house for a week for them to practice and get more comfortable.)  AWESOME!

Yesterday Big Sister comes home from camp and we rush to get her ready for her lesson and head out to get Little Sister.  Big Sister was so incredibly excited.  She even made a picture for the teacher instead of doing free swim at camp that afternoon.  She also admitted to ducking swim lessons at camp in favor of a different sport instead.  But, she was excited to learn how to swim and even promised to try to go under water (the theme of her picture).  We hurry over to daycare and rush Little Sister out the door.

We drive around to the other side of the building, not wanting to have to walk through it all wet on the return.  We go in and pay for the lessons and head off to the locker room to change Little Sister.  I think I got a funny look or two from the older ladies who realized I was still changing diapers on someone her age, but I just smiled and kept moving along.

Then we had out to the pool.  A couple of women were doing laps, but no sign of the teacher.  A gentleman was cleaning the deck, so I asked him if he know anything.  He was very nice and made a call, but didn’t have any indication that the woman was coming.  I had already left her a voicemail message from my cell, but she didn’t call back.

So, after waiting for 15 minutes, we gathered our things and the girls began to cry their little eyes out.  I felt so bad, but I was also really, really angry.  People really shouldn’t make promises to kids and then not follow through.  The girls cried the whole way home.  I had them keep their suits on, so they hopped into our oversized tub when they got home, but that wasn’t the same.  We felt so bad that we even got them McDonald’s for dinner.

I sure hope the girls are willing to give this another try soon.  I’m not giving up until they are comfortable around water.  I love to swim, although I rarely get to do so.  I can’t wait to have access to a pool for a week.  I hope to be able to teach them a little bit this week and hope that their cousins, who love to swim, will rub off on them and teach them a trick or two.



  1. This breaks my heart! How can people be so unreliable?

    Comment by Sherita — August 20, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  2. Thankfully the second woman I called came through. The girls had their first lesson yesterday afternoon and were so excited!

    Comment by mseds — August 20, 2009 @ 10:25 am

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