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Big Travel

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    Big Travel

    I've been wanting to do a blog about how to handle those long flights overseas because I get asked about them all the time and they're extra-challenging for disabled travelers. Well here it is! Hopefully you'll find some useful info in there and not let any fears keep you from going where you want to go.

    Useful stuff there Wheelz. I took an 18 flight to get home from Taiwan where I was injured. Great place to do rehab, incidentally. I was in their rehab hospital 6 months and got excellent care. At that time I was 8 months post injury. While my 5-7 injury is incomplete I was not very strong at that time. We had first class seats that fold down flat for sleeping. That was good. I could not yet get myself over on my side in that situation, so that was bad. I was extremely uncomfortable by the time we landed in Detroit, but suffered no lasting damage. In 2011 we returned for my husband's work for a year. I decided to go back to the Northeast for the Summer by myself. That went pretty well. As many frequent travelers know, airport personnel and the airline attendants are usually very helpful and solicitous. In fact, on one of those solo flights I lost track of one hearing aid. Once everyone else had deplaned 3 stewardesses searched for 15 minutes before one of them shouted in victory, having found the thing behind one of the toilets. No, I really don't know how that happened. That 3 months in the Northeast was my first experience being completely independent- I had a blast!

    I have enough walking ability to creep down the isle, clinging to the backs of people's seats, which is what I do when I need to cath on shorter flights. For this long a flight I put in a foley. Good decision, but I still had to creep around 5 or 6 times during the flight just to move my blood a bit. I hate sitting down, so being a quad has been less than "my thing".

    For short flights of 5 or 6 hours I just cath as needed, making my way to the bathroom, but I also wear diapers just in case, and they have ended up soaked each time, usually just before I find and airport bathroom. I cannot figure out how other women manage to cath in an airplane seat. Even as small person there is not enough pace for me to scoot down enough to get a catheter in. But that is me.

    Am I lucky to be able to get to the bathroom? Relative to a complete, sure, but none of us are lucky.

    I do not really like to travel any more, but I am pushing 70 and underweight. It is ok because I traveled a LOT earlier in my life. That is a source of great satisfaction. Mostly I traveled alone because that is the best way to meet new people and pick up language skills.