The one where I discovered not to go on a rollercoaster when you have a heart condition.

I don't think I have mentioned this before, but Gareth is obsessed with theme parks. With my health being as it is and Matron being protective, I had never visited a theme park before, and Gareth thought it was time to remedy this gap in my education by introducing me to the wonderful world of themed attractions. I still wasn't convinced, but one of my best friends, Marie, agreed that they are very fun and she wanted an excuse to go as well.

We didn't get off to the best start because about three weeks before we were due to go to Alton Towers, I came down with scarlett fever. Oh the joys of having an autoimmune disease! Needless to say this was a barrel of laughs. It put a massive question mark over the whole trip!

I hadn't recovered fully, I was still very tired and weak, but being the stubborn turnip that I am, I decided that Gareth, Marie and I should still go to Alton Towers. We had decided to do it over two days with a hotel stay to break it up a little, so we were not too exhausted, and I could get the full experience...
In April 2017 we went on our little adventure to Alton Towers!

The adventure begins! 
We didn't get off to the most amazing start... Between leaving slightly later then intended, traffic and my bladder acting like a water balloon in a kids park in summer, we didn't arrive at the park until noon. Not too good when it closed at five!

The best part of the day was the monorail ride from the car park to the entrance. If I had known this was going to be the best bit, I could have saved the admission fee! I loved seeing the gardens and the views from up high. Marie enjoyed the views as well. We all spotted the building works that were going on, and we got our first glimpses of the coasters we were planning to ride. Even the rollercoaster virgin was really excited!

Marie I looking frozen on the monorail!
We got off the monorail, paid for our admission, and went to find our first ride. I really wanted to go straight to the big rides, but Marie and Gareth, ever the sensible(ish) pair, steered me away from The Smiler, and instead to the Runaway Mine Train. They wanted to see how I coped with rollercoasters before throwing me into something more intense. I have to say.... I LOVED THE RUNAWAY MINE TRAIN! IT WAS AMAZING! CHOO CHOO!
I was loving it, but not sure about the child behind me...
I can tell you Marie also enjoyed the Mine Train...
I was sad she had to sit on her own, but she was on the front row!
Gareth introduced me to the tradition of waving at the people on the rapids whilst we went past them on the Runaway Mine Train. I was too busy screaming and laughing at the ride. I am definitely a big kid!

I came off feeling okay, so Gareth and Marie decided I was allowed on the big guns. This was probably the point I should have said I was a bit tired...

I think this was an extremely brave thing to do, but they suggested that I choose what we could go on next. Remember I have never been to Alton Towers in my life, but I had heard a lot about Air, or as it's known now, Galactica, a flying B&M coaster. Marie and Gareth were not overly keen on the idea. Marie did say "Are you sure this is a good idea?" and Gareth was of the same mind set, "Babe, are you going to be okay?" Well, me being me said "Yeah, course, what is the worst that can happen?" (famous last words!) I breezed passed the sign that said "No heart conditions, No Back conditions etc etc" and boarded the ride.
I got strapped in, and that is when the butterflies and nerves started, I was about to say to Gareth "Can we get off, its a silly idea" when the rollercoaster left the station...
Too late now...
We didn't have headsets! Plus it flies!

The seats tipped donwards. The seats tipped up to the sky, and my heart felt like it was being pulled out my chest....WELL DONE RUTH YOU ABSOLUTE PLANK! I really am full of stupid ideas. We got off the ride, and both Gareth and Marie had worried looks on their faces. In all fairness the ride was fine, it was just the one negative G element that really messed with me. Ah well, we live and learn.

Marie had the sensible idea of guiding me towards a coffee shop for a cup of tea. I sat, for the first time in my life with no words... Gareth finally said "Are you okay?" I responded "Yes, just the most stupid idea I had. My heart felt like it left my chest!" Marie brought the cuppa over "Drink this Ruth, and just rest." So I sat there, and listened whilst Marie decided she wanted to go on one more ride, and Gareth stayed with me.

I have to say how brave Marie was, going on Nemsis by HERSELF! She came off looking very pale and exhilarated, and she said "I DIDN'T DIE!" This is always a good start! I had not recovered from Galactica, so we decided to go back to the hotel and try again the next day...

We back to the entrance on the cable cards, and we had beautiful views from the air. Gareth massively geeked out over seeing the construction of  The Wickerman.

We stayed at the Alton Towers hotel, in an Arctic Explorers Suite.
I love the water fountain.
We had the Accessible Room. The beds were so comfy! All I can remember is a massive Polar Bear on Marie's single bed. She had something to cuddle. Gareth and I had a big double bed. I don't remember much of the evening because I fell asleep, and the other two left me asleep to ensure I was rested for the following day. Marie did not have a restful night, apparently she left the hotel room because Gareth and I snored terribly. She went and sat in her car and tried to rest in there. I didn't notice she had gone, but apparently Gareth woke up confused, and started searching for her.

The next morning didn't go to plan. I vomited spectacularly and felt so tired and not well. Gareth and Marie decided we should go home, and try this adventure another time....
This was compounded by the fact I had an epileptic seizure, so they made the right decision...

I want to say something about Marie. She is one of my best friends. There are not many people like her that make adult decisions, then still be fine about losing out on an expensive trip. Marie is so understanding and kind. We are even planning to go back to Alton Towers for Scarefest. As a person Marie is the funniest and sweetest young lady. She is super clever, and a massive film buff. You could ask Marie anything, about a film and she would know the answer. I can talk to Marie about anything, and everything, and she has supported me all the way through everything, since college. I have to say she is amazing, even if she doesn't think that. I love you Marie, my amazing friend.

We look a lot warmer in this pic!

Moral of the story is always make sure you listen to sensible-ish people like Gareth and Marie. Also negative G's are bad for my heart! Of course I will never learn, as you will hear in a future post how I decided to go on a drop slide at a water park in Paris... but hey, I am only human, I may be disabled, but I see myself as someone that never lets that stop me from living.
I will leave you with a quote from Gareth's favourite book "Stupid never dies..." ~Michael G Manning~

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Marie said…
You are too sweet!! You are awesome! Even if I do get some odd looks while going to sleep in my car :) In that first picture you managed to get me in my natural photographic eyes are closed! Haha. Keep it going Ruth. You are amazing!
Awww thank you for being so kind Marie. ❤️❤️❤️You are amazing! Haha, you may get strange looks, but at least you get some sort of sleep. 😝Aww I think you are beautiful! ❤️😘 Thank you so much lovely. You are amazing too. 😘🌸❤️
Your story was so funny! I’m actually a huge fan of big rides & I always love to see people’s reactions to them! Thanks for sharing this!
Yay thank you for your kind comment. ❤️ It’s awesome you enjoy big rides, and enjoy reading about people’s reactions. Thank you so much for your comment. 😊🌸
Cat said…
It was nice reading this post. Even after what happened I still believe you had a good time and it's nice to have a friend like that. :)
Aww thank you for your sweet comment! ❤️ you are right we had a great time, and I am so lucky to have a great friend like Marie. 😊🌸
Unknown said…
I love amusement parks, but I guess it's not for everyone. I really enjoyed reading your experience though, it was fun :)
Yay, aww thank you for your kind comment. 😊🌸 I am glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you come back again. 😊
Kim said…
Oh no, sorry to hear you had a bad experiences with the big ride! I love rollercoaster myself, the bigger and more loops, the better. ;-) I hope you had fun woth your friends despite the bad experience?
Thank you for your comment Kim. I am glad you love big rides! πŸ˜€I love big rides too! I just never know how my heart is going to react, 😊 I had loads of fun with my friends. 😊 x
Charlotte Rick said…
Oh no!! We didn't manage to go on Air when we went as it kept breaking down, but I'm sorry to hear you felt like that! I love how stubborn you were though to go and walked straight past the signs too, determination! I loved the monorail too - my boyfriend found this hilarious as he was like we're not even at the park yet! Marie sounds wonderful. xxx

Aww thank you for your kind comment Charlotte. ❤️ If you get to go again, go on Air! 😊 Thank you. πŸ’•I am so stubborn haha! 😊 Yay, I am glad you loved the monorail, you can see everything! 😊 Yeah Marie is awesome! Thank you for your kind comment!! Please come again. Xxx

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