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    Long flights

    I posted this within my "Tokyo" thread, but I think I may get more feedback here, plus it may be helpful to others. The only thing holding me back from finalizing my trip to Tokyo is the 14-hour flight, and concerns over being able to adequately do weight shifts to avoid pressure sores. How have other quads, more-so high-level quads, managed? I've taken several cross-country flights, once in business class seats that lay flat (thanks to reward points), and fortunately didn't have issues, but the idea of 14 hrs frightens me a bit. An upgrade to premium economy, where the seats offer more recline, are an additional $2k/seat. I cannot sit on my regular roho cushion, because at 6'4, I already sit too high in the plane seat. Looking to see how others have managed on long flights.

    #2
    a thin gel layer might help. Something only 1 inch thick or less. Sry to get off topic but Id wonder about urination myself. Do you cath? would you use a large nightbag? That would be my issue next to worry about skin.

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      #3
      I wear an external cath attached to a leg bag.

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        #4
        Yeah, I've wondered about that too. The thought of 14+ hours without access to a bathroom has made me not even consider such places like Tokyo or Australia.

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          #5
          International flights have wider doors on their bathrooms for accessibility. The flight attendants will assist you getting there with an isle-chair.

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            #6
            I did Detroit-to-Tokyo or Newark-Beijing many times pre-injury. There's no way I'd want to attempt the bathrooms unless absolutely necessary. They do have larger accommodations, but the floors are typically disgusting after the first few hours.

            I figured if I were to do this today I'd shift the timing of bowel program to be as close to departure as possible and use a Foley for cath.
            T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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              #7
              Originally posted by August West View Post
              International flights have wider doors on their bathrooms for accessibility. The flight attendants will assist you getting there with an isle-chair.
              They will not lift you into the aisle chair. You would have to have someone do that who is traveling with you if you can't transfer yourself. Best to plan on not needing to use the restroom.

              If you have help, you can do side-to-side weight shifts in your wheelchair seat at least every half hour. If you are in the aisle seat, and your companion in the one next to you, remove the arm rest between you and lean all the way onto their lap. Make sure your other ischium lift up off the seat. Hold for 30 seconds. Have them step over you into the aisle and help you lean over that way as far as possible as well. Not sure why sitting on a Roho would not be possible for you even if you height is 6'4". You need to sit on a pressure reducing cushion. The airplane seat padding is horrible.

              Do bowel care before you go, and if you are worried about bowel accidents, wear an adult diaper. Some people actually eat a low residue diet for several days before flying long distances.

              (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                #8
                Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                Not sure why sitting on a Roho would not be possible for you even if you height is 6'4". You need to sit on a pressure reducing cushion. The airplane seat padding is horrible.(KLD)
                I'm 6'3"and sit on my Roho during a flight most of the time. That said, I understand why it is difficult to sit on the Roho cushion in an airline seat. The cushion sits me up so high in the seat that the roll of the the upper back of the airline seat hits me in an awkward place and forces my shoulders to haunch over and forward. That is an uncomfortable position. Even tilting the seat back doesn't help much. Sitting in that unnatural posture during long flight leaves me worn out and sore in my shoulders. The pain in my shoulders can last a couple days after landing.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                  I'm 6'3"and sit on my Roho during a flight most of the time. That said, I understand why it is difficult to sit on the Roho cushion in an airline seat. The cushion sits me up so high in the seat that the roll of the the upper back of the airline seat hits me in an awkward place and forces my shoulders to haunch over and forward. That is an uncomfortable position. Even tilting the seat back doesn't help much. Sitting in that unnatural posture during long flight leaves me worn out and sore in my shoulders. The pain in my shoulders can last a couple days after landing.
                  Yes, this pretty much explains it, thanks!

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                    #10
                    Roho makes a thin travel cushion.
                    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mize View Post
                      Roho makes a thin travel cushion.
                      Thanks, I'm looking into one.

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                        #12
                        Although i have never been on a flight for that long, being from Oz i have researched it a bit in case i ever decided to go traveling. Things i thought i would do in theory is:

                        1) Pick a suitable flight time - I have a morning BP routine and i haven't crapped myself for years but know if i did it then it would happen not long after my routine so i would pick a midday or afternoon flight to reduce my nervous thoughts

                        2) Do a stop over if possible - Pick a place in the middle to stop over and stay the night or two to break up the long flight time

                        3) Eat a good diet beforehand - Make sure the week leading up i'm eating right, drinking enough and exercising correctly (not over the top, but just making sure i stick to my normal routine)

                        4) Wear compression stocking - A must for 7hr+ flights, but i don't wear them often and sometime some brands can cut in to my skin a bit. So i would check my skin during the flight or do a pre-test by wearing them for 14hrs a couple weeks before and make sure i have no issues (would gradually build up to the 14hrs by starting at 4hrs and increasing hrs)

                        5) Bring a draining bag - The last thing i would want is an uti while travelling so i wouldn't want to cut my fluids down from what i normally drink. In 13hrs i would bypass 2-3L so i would put a 4L drainage bag in a backpack near my feet on the plane and connect it up to my leg bag just after take off and disconnect it before you land. I would also have blanket on my lap for the flight so i can do it discretely so passengers near by will just think i'm just a weirdo playing with myself under the blanket

                        6) Sit on a pressure cushion - Can't be too thin where i get pressure marks but not too thick where i'm up too high and find it too hard to balance and makes the armrests too low to stabilize me.

                        7) Change my sitting position often - I would change between sitting up straight, to putting a pillow against the back of the chair in front on me and leaning forward so my forehead is against it, to putting the armrest up slightly so i can lean sideways a bit (towards the window and not towards the aisle in case i over balance).

                        Also leg positions is important, having my feet flat on the ground, outstretched or tucked back will put different pressure on my ass, so when i fly short distances i have my feet flat on the ground but get nerve pain in my tailbone after awhile so stretch them out so it pulls pressure away from that area and I just keep alternating.

                        Final notes, if i was upgraded or choose to upgrade for more seating room i would make sure the aisle armrest comes up (some chair classes have solid sides), as i need to move it away for transferring as i can only slide across and can't lift. Two, i would think about what i would do with landing as i normally push against the seat in front of me to hold me back so i don't don't headbutt it when we hit the ground which is why i never sit at the front row.

                        But i think that is about it, hope some of that helps

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                          #13
                          Most aisle armrests have a release button near the back. Very hard to get to Asia from the US without one flight over ten hours.
                          T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                            #14
                            Hi, guys I am from Omaha Ne . I flew to Jakarta Indonesia , about 22 hours one way with one good rest in Tokyo 6 hours . What I did took my 4 inch roho . Removed seat cushion from airplane seat , it just tilts up , velco on . Take it off , use your roho . Works great . Also rest of chair fits your back normal . I did this on what seven different flights , nobody had a issue with it .

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                              #15
                              Since my injury I haven't flown super long flights, from east coast of US to Hawaii and to Europe, a few times. I just used my chair cushion on the airline seat. Proper immersion with a Roho is the same regardless of it's profile, so I recommend using the height you need, clinically speaking, rather than getting something different (or thin) just for plane use. I used a condom cath and leg bag to avoid the hassle of in flight pee breaks. Did regular lifts and leans for pressure relief, just like sitting in my wheelchair. Sitting is basically sitting, IMO, on a plane, or in a wheelchair.
                              "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                              "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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