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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Travelling with DBS.

I know for a fact that I have an large international following, and this blog is mainly for them.
Whilst my 'Travelling Period' of overseas trips are largely behind me, Melbourne's cold winter begged a vacation, so my husband and I decided to extend our time away after Brisbane, and tour "The Top End" of Australia, a trip we had been contemplaing for some years, but found too difficult to plan, due to the large distances needed to be covered.
Jumping crocodiles!
The map above may give you an idea of the distances; I live in Melbourne, (down the bottom), and travelled 2 hours by plane to Brisbane. It was another 2& 1/2 hours flight to Darwin from Brisbane.
I have already talked about going through the security at airports with the DBS Device; it is like a pacemaker, so one must be searched by a security guard instead of going through the electronic arch. That's OK, but once again I shall say how inconvenient it is to carry the whole Medtronics kit bag when travelling; even after disposing of the suitcase, I had a handbag and computer bag to carry, making it 3 bags to take on board; fortunately I was not stopped on any flights.
Darwin's steady 30C weather was welcome after Melbourne's 11C. We spent one day there relaxing, before hiring a car and setting off to Kakadu National Park.
I don't want to bore you with the details of our trip; just a few...
My husband, John & I immersed ourselves in 2 things; the Aboriginal Culture, of which we see nothing of in Melbourne, and Bird Watching (the feathered variety), which is John's passion. And there was plenty of beautiful scenery on the way.
Yellow River
There were lots of beautiful walks, but I kept to the easy ones; I'm not too confident on uneven ground. I found that 'hiking sticks' were very useful; I was much more confident using them. Using them is like having a banister to hold onto; especially good for going down uneven surfaces.
We went on about 4 different river cruises, each lasting about 2 hours. They were all different, allowing us to see birds and crocodiles in their natural environments.
Blue Winged Kingfisher
Even though it is winter here now (July), it is The Dry Season up north, and the time to be there. It is hard to imagine how anyone can tolerate life there in 'The Wet Season" (October to February), when it is humid and rains flood the area. We also saw many bushfires burning; these are necessary for the vegetation to regenerate.
My 'Emu"
A REAL Aborigine Artist
WE saw ancient Rock Art, drawn by Aborigines thousands of years ago. We even had a go at painting our own Aboriginal painting; We had to make our brush out of a reed, and strip the top til we had just one fibre; appreciating their art even more. I am very proud of my "Emu"!
The distances to drive were huge; it took us almost 4 hours EACH WAY to drive to Katherine Gorge; certainly worth all the driving.
I took advantage of the long drive to recharge my battery; sitting up in a car on a long drive is an excellent time to recharge. To be honest, I could maybe have JUST lasted the 2 weeks, and not taken it, but it's one of those things you don't want to be caught out without if you need it. So I made sure I used it!
Feeding the stingrays...
Next year my husband and I are talking of another Europe trip. I guess my message is; take things at your own pace; things have changed; listen to your body, and plan accordingly, but there is no need to give up travelling long distances, just because you have Parkinson's or DBS; there's a wonderful World out there, and now that there is no more dyskenesia or toe curling, go for it, and enjoy!

Mindil Beach Sunset, Darwin


  1. Had my bilateral dbs surgery on 7/12. Thanks for your blog. Read about your experiences before I went in for surgery. It was helpful information.

  2. Stunning photos! I am glad you got to thaw out a bit.

  3. karyn.....your a busy person...looks like the holiday did you well.....hope so....

  4. Hi I live in the U.K. Have just read your blog so inspirational ...and my brotherinlaw had the DBS op 3 years ago it changed his life, for the better however his son who moved to New York last year is getting married September 2019 and we were wondering if he would be able to go on a 8 hour flight to the USA and whether he could get medical insurance. Did you have any problems getting medical insurance? Jane Thomas UK