Recently we went on a short vacation to a amusement park a couple hours away. My family has been going to this amusement park since before I was even born. It has become somewhat of a family tradition to go at least once every couple of years. It is a fun exciting place to be especially for the kids.
This year was different though. As I walked into the park I did not realize that I would have to deal with thoughts of GSK. I wanted to relax and just forget everything just for one day, but I could not.
The first ride we came too is somewhat of a tame ride. This ride you sit in lifts you up and spins you around. The ride is for adults and children alike. Russell, Manie’s dad, asked Manie and his brother “Would you guys like to go on this ride with me?” Before the boys could say anything I noticed a sign which had pictures on it. A heart with a line through it and a blood pressure cuff with a line through it as well.
My heart fell into my stomach and I said “Russell Manie can not ride this ride.” I pointed out the sign. I was in shock that my son would never get to experience that ride because he has heart problems and high blood pressure. Then as I thought about all the other rides in the park I started to get mad. How many other rides were going to say the same thing?
My next thought was of my ultimate favorite rides. The rides that as children we would always run to first. The Raging River and the Log Ride. We walked up to the rides and there were the signs again. This is the first time I have not been able to ride my favorite rides and I was disappointed, but even more I wanted to cry for Manie and the experiences that he will miss out on because of his heart problems. At least for this trip Manie is young enough that he was happy riding the baby rides. We will try to get to Disney World before Manie gets too old so he can at least experience the kid rides. That still will not compare to the thrill of riding the bigger rides, but it is better than nothing at all.
All my years of going to this amusement park and all the times I have passed by those signs never giving them a second look. Now they pertained to us they restricted us and what we could do. GSK has stolen this experience from my son. Shame on you GSK. DAMN IT! Why did you have to do this to Manie. Why do you not care about him and the other babies and people you have hurt.
What does this mean for the future of our family minivacation tradition? It looks like Manie will be stuck riding the Infant Ocean for the rest of his life or sitting and watching as everyone else has fun on the rides. It might be that the family will just have to find a new family tradition. What happens when Manie becomes a teenager and wants to go with his friends? Will he ride the rides anyways and risk it all just to find out what it feels like to ride the Mixer or the Dragon?
This vacation has left me thinking what else is there that Manie can’t do because of his heart problems? I want to be able to tell Manie that he can do anything he wants and to never let his heart problems stop him, but in this case I can’t say that because there are just somethings he will not be aloud to do. I hate using the word can’t when it comes to any of my children. I always want my children to know they can do anything if they want it bad enough. I guess GSK has taken that away from Manie too.