The Locked-In Traveler: Pool Pleasure


The Locked-In Traveler

(Kati’s Wheelchair Traveling Journals)

Pool Pleasure

(Click here for audio version)

Going to pool is my favorite therapy because usually, my body feels heavy but, in the water, I feel weightless.

The swimming pool at the therapy center does not have a ramp, but a chair with a small crane. By the pool, the therapist first puts the floating device around my waist. Then I am transferred from my wheelchair to the pool chair, and then I am lowered into the pool.

In the pool, the therapist holds me by the shoulders, and I kick myself forward on my back. I do this for about an hour. After swimming we still do some stretching exercises, and then the therapist puts me to stand so I can tiptoe a little. Once out of the pool, I go to the sauna for about twenty minutes and then after I take a shower.

Get Kati’s autobiography; “Living Underwater

I love pool days they are a real pleasure.

It was March and still cold in Finland when we went to Thailand to a 30+ degrees humid weather. I love the warmth, but the humidity made me cranky and powerless.

We were every day for some hours by the big hotel pool so I could get a massage. I had a fixed masseuse, and we became like friends. She even begged me to adopt her (she was 27 and had a child) and take her to Finland with me.

The swimming pool was like a beach- no steps but an even slope. It was easy to go in with the wheelchair and to lift me out to the floor so I can lie in the refreshing water. Usually, we would sit by the shallow side of the pool, and from time to time, I would go into the pool.

On one day for some reason or another, we stayed to the side of the swimming pool that was closer to our room (the deep side.) It was scorching, and I said to mom that I want to go immediately into the pool.

Mom tried to say that we should go to the other end as always, but I was stubborn and insisted. It did not even cross my mind how dangerous it could be.

Mom could only do as I said. She lowered me to sit to the ground with my feet hanging in the water. Then mom jumped into the pool while my assistant was holding me by the shoulders. We were not even careful when lowering me into the water, but no I just dropped with full force to moms’ arms.

Mom caught me, but I was too heavy, and it took all her strength and swimming skills to keep us afloat. She cried out for help, but nobody reacted. I guess they thought we were playing. I do not know why even my assistant did not come to help.

Thank god that mom is an excellent swimmer. She put her one arm around my neck and chest and dragged me swimming with the other arm to the shallow end. Mom was out of breath when she reached the shallows. We were lying on our backs on the slope.

The incident shook us. “Not one word to dad!” mom sighed.


Get Kati’s autobiography; “Living Underwater

(Kati & Henning van der Hoeven)

Comments (3)

  1. Päivi Kytömäki 02.01.2020 00:29

    Hui kauhia mitä meinasi käydä. Siinä oli enkelit suojaamassa sinua. Viilentävä vesi on kyllä ihana silloin kun on kuuma.

  2. Nikki Powles 05.01.2020 15:39

    You sound like a stubborn lady lol 😉 and your mum sounds like an incredible woman too xxx

  3. John Kemp 10.05.2020 13:53

    Hi Kati.

    We bought your ebook, Saturday, & have read over 50% of it by Sunday Noon.
    Our 32 year old daughter had a very bad BS Stroke, November 2019, & is in Rehab but has LIS, cannot speak & is fed via a PEG.
    Would your parents be prepared to communicate with us, to help us understand how they dealt with the massive life changing event of our daughter BS stroke & the associated anxiety & sleeplessness?
    Hope this is the correct place to ask as I cannot find an email facility?
    Kind regards,

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