We are very excited this week as we have booked a holiday to France! Along with our friends and their children there will be 16 of us altogether and I have no doubt it’s going to be brilliant!
I have some amazing memories of family holidays in France when I was growing up and always hoped to do something similar with my little family, and this year it all just kind of happened. We decided on the Vendee region – and although some of our friends would have preferred to go further south we felt the Vendee was the perfect compromise as we didn’t want somewhere too hot for the kids, particularly Lucia. As you can imagine, coming from Northern Ireland we are not accustomed to much heat and according to the internet, daily temperatures in the Vendee average at about 23-25 degrees. Perfect!
We are all staying together in a type of ‘gite’ with a swimming pool and huge gardens with plenty of sunny and shady areas so we will be able to ensure that the kids stay cool.
As excited as I am, I am also a little nervous too. The two main things are the flight and the heat and if/how they may affect Lucia, however I am quietly confident that she will cope ok with both – nevertheless, I would be very grateful for any advice or tips from those with more experience.
Last year we flew to Denmark for a week’s holidays and she managed great on the flight. I would definitely say her legs and feet felt firmer when we arrived in Copenhagen, but after we did some lymphatic drainage massage on her it softened right up again and she was completely fine. She also wasn’t wearing compression tights last year, nor was she walking and wearing shoes so the combination of compression, shoes and walking up and down the plane a bit should ensure she manages even better this time. Any other tips?
Last year our little country (for the first time in years!) had a glorious heat wave for two-three weeks with temperatures hitting 30 degrees! And I was so happy that 99% of that time Lucia was perfectly fine. Her swelling didn’t appear to get any worse, she didn’t seem to have much discomfort and she loved being outside in the garden. We bought a paddling pool to ensure both Lucia and Max stayed cool, smothered them in sun cream and kept them in the shade of our UV tent.
The odd time it seemed like she had ‘restless legs’ and would kick them as if something was irritating her, but it didn’t seem to bother her too much. There was one incident however when Lucia was really quite distressed for about half an hour. From nowhere she just suddenly started crying and kicking her legs. Her poor right foot was so swollen it looked like it could burst and her soles were bright red and hot to touch. So we filled a sink of coolish water and sat her in it and she instantly calmed down. We then followed that with some lymphatic drainage massage which also seemed to bring her relief and she settled. Of course, my worrying went off the radar but she was back to normal and playing away in no time.
Again, we weren’t using compression at this time and she wasn’t walking so I hope that both of these factors might ensure an episode like this doesn’t happen again.
So far Lucia has managed her compression like a trooper! However, it has been winter and cold and totally normal to wear tights. I wonder how this will differ when it is warm. Obviously it is very important to keep them on in the heat to help her swelling, but will they feel unbearably uncomfortable for her? Are we going to struggle with them more? Do I keep them on all day? Our Lymphoedema Physio has suggested getting knee highs for the summer but I don’t know if they would be any better? I also don’t think tights under a floaty summer dress is the best ‘look’ for summer, but our little trendsetter will still rock it!
All in all, we can’t wait to get away, spend time as a family, relax with friends and enjoy ourselves – France, here we come! Well, in a few months!