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Hello from Hong Kong

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    Hello from Hong Kong

    I am here to observe the walking program at the Hospital in Kunming.

    Arrived at Newark Liberty airport at 12 noon for a 3:15 flight to Honk Kong.
    When checking in I alerted the ticket agent I would need a isle transfer chair.

    3:05, 20 minutes until boarding I decide to fill my stomach with some American food before I leave, slice with everything from Sbarro, not bad.
    3:25 boarding time, no chair. No biggie, just had to wait at the mouth of the plane a few minutes. It did hold up others from boarding though.
    Departed Newark about 3:45pm scheduled to land in 15 hrs 5 minutes.
    Big plane seats 9 across- 3, 3 & 3. I was told the seats were roomier, don’t think so. Even worse, my seat barely reclines because I’m at the end of the 2nd section. I do have the row to myself, and the arm rests fold up, so I may try to crash later if need be.

    4:15, dinner is served- salmon with rice, salad, brownie, fortune cookie, Chardonnay, & Ambien. Salmon was good. wine also great brownie.
    Confucious say- Do what is right, not what you should. I guess I’ll figure that out when time comes.
    About the Ambien- have never taken until a few weeks ago. I made a special trip to my dr because I’m not a happy flier, too big for the seats, especially sitting on a 4” cushion. My Dr prescribed 12.5 milligrams. I wanted to experiment so I took one a few weeks ago and it didn’t do much. On two other occasions I too 2 before going to bed and almost slept the whole night. I figured 3 would be the optimal dose on the plane..
    5:50-Really, 13 more hours. Gonna check out on demand.
    Watched Valkyrie-pretty good.
    Went to bathroom, condom cath didn’t leak.
    Cool, just found flight map in vid monitor-
    13hrs to go, presently over Hudson Bay Canada, Altitude 32,011k ft, 502 mph

    9:13 10 hrs to go 2 ambian and a glass of wine , should knock me out
    Gonna try to lie across the seats.

    5am-7501 mi traveled, 897 to go 5:21pm arrival 574mph 40,098 feet.
    Urinated again, no leaks.
    Slept on and off pretty well. Lying across the 3 seats wasn’t bad def better than sitting up.
    5:20 Breakfast being served- eggs fruit and something I couldn’t identify but ate half of.

    Landed safely although it kinda windy teetered back and forth.
    Raining, very humid, about 75 I guess.

    Took a cab to hotel, waiting in line to check in and my traveling buddy from Keck Center realized we were at wrong hotel. Back in a cab.
    At correct hotel, got plug converter to charge mac, falling asleep.

    Tomorrow morning flight to Kunming, then to rehab hospital.

    Wow! What a great trip. I have always wanted to go to HK! And yes, I am a big believer in meds for flights. My last international flight I loaded up on ativan and was less aware of how miserably small the seats are, and how my body was rebelling from being jammed into that seat with the wall of the plane jamming me on the other side. Enjoy your trip and report back when you can. On a side note, I have a friend who went to HK sevearal years ago and she is still talking about how wonderful the food was.


      Thank you, Jim, sharing your flight with us. I look forward to hearing about the walking program. Can I assume that this will be the rehab. arm of Dr. Young's trial?


        I enjoyed your "real time" reporting.Hope you are taking pictures to post here. Looking forward to continueing reports.



          Hello from Kunming

          Here's a summary beginning with yesterday evening.
          Made it to the correct hotel-
          Very nice hotel, tiny bed. I had to be careful not to fall off when I was turning from one side to other. Bathroom was good size, roll in shower with a very sturdy bench attached to wall and a handheld shower head.
          Think I went to bed at 11, exhausted.
          Got up at 5:30, repacked, brunch at 7. Had scrambled eggs, pancakes, hash browns and coffee. Food was good. I think my strategy will be eating a big breakfast.

          Took taxi back to Honk Kong International Airport.
          Checked in at Hong Kong Express Airlines and was told I would have to switch to one of those crappy airport wheelchairs about an hour before boarding. (FYI, Hong Kong Express uses Worldwide Co. for all of their services. Contact them after booking flight to work out details). We explained it was a bad idea for me to switch wheelchairs, and they allowed me stay in mine. (The gentleman I am traveling with is from China so communication isn't a problem. If I was on my own it would be much more challenging). We got to the gate and boarded a lift vehicle which then drove to the plane (737) on the tarmac. I then transferred to an aisle chair, the lift rose to the mouth of the plane, and they boarded me.

          A little over 2 hrs later we landed in Kunming.
          Kunming airport doesn't have lifts so they carried me off the plane and down the stairs to my wheelchair.
          We were picked up by very nice staff members from Kunming General Hospital, and brought to the hotel- They took us to lunch then back to the hotel.
          Tomorrow morning we will go to Kunming General Hospital and observe the intensive walking program. I believe the U.S. surgeons will observe procedures, possibly, lamenectomies.

          -There are thousands of bikes and scooters on the streets of Kunming. Most people don't wear helmets. I saw several very young children riding on scooters with their caregivers. People are everywhere walking amongst traffic.
          -My 2 beds have been very firm.
          -So far, sidewalks are worse than NYC.
          -People feel the need to push your wheelchair, UGH!
          -I must be dehydrated because I just drank 3 bottles of water and don't have to go yet.

          More tomorrow, and pictures!


            Thanks Jim - looking forward to more!
            "It's not the despair, I can handle the despair! It's the hope!" - John Cleese

            Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials. (Ox)
            Please join me and donate a dollar a day at and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.


              Tue evening


              Sorry I have fallen behind in posting what is going on, it's been a busy couple of days. All this traveling/activity has enlightened me to how lazy and out of shape I am.

              Meetings finished up this afternoon and tonight we wrapped up with an incredible dinner. Our friends here are wonderful hosts and sure know how to celebrate! I am flying back to Hong Kong tomorrow where I will be spending a few days solo. I'll be shopping for gifts to bring home an sightseeing. Any advice/tips will be much appreciated. Have hundreds of pictures, and much to tell, after I get some sleep.


                Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

                I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.


                  Thanks for the update, Jim! How is it getting around language wise? I'm also antsy to hear about your experience with the walking program. How was the therapy technique in comparison to what you've experienced in the states? Oh! and the food! I want to hear about real Chinese food!


                    Dr. Young said - "By the way, it was really interesting seeing Jim Bennett try out the walking program in Kunming."

                    Please tell us about this. Thanks, Scott.



                      Sorry I haven't posted on what has been has been happening. I flew from Kunming to Hong Kong yesterday. There was a delay so I was at the airport for 4 hrs then a 2 hr flight. Didn't get to bed til 3am. All this traveling is kicking my ass! It is 6:30pm and I just had my first meal of the day.

                      Will be here for 3 days and finally have time to "sit" down and write about the wonderful people and great things going on.

                      This is a patient walking with full assistance soon after injury. I don't recall his specific injury level (def a quad) or how long post-injury. He has no movement in his legs and therefore they are manipulated by the gentleman in blue. He is either a family member or is hired by the family. Kunming Hospital had about 105 SCI patients.
                      Last edited by Jim; 30 Apr 2009, 7:31 AM.


                        Living the dream, dude. HK is on my Top 10 list...not sure I have the ovaries to do it in a chair though.
                        Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


                          Betheny, from what I've read here over the years you have more than enough ovaries for the trip to HK

                          I am back home and will finish my summary as soon as i can.

                          Exhausted and need to sleep.


                            Thanks so much Jim
                            c5 complete


                              Originally posted by Jim View Post
                              Betheny, from what I've read here over the years you have more than enough ovaries for the trip to HK

                              I am back home and will finish my summary as soon as i can.

                              Exhausted and need to sleep.
                              Jim, so glad you are back! Wise.