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    Decisions/cross roads

    I don't post many times on here, but I'm at a crossroad in my life that no one really understands. I'm hoping someone that has to deal with life in a wheelchair here can help me in my decision. I'm a para that has been in a chair for a little over 10years now. I have been working for about 9 years. I live alone and family is about 1 and half hours away. I do deal with pain in my back, some days are worse then others. I take Oxy for the pain when it starts to bother me. The job I have now is in a cube where I handle parts request from dealers nation wide. My hours are 10am to 7pm.
    The crossroad I'm at right now is that I have another Job offer from another Automotive company. This job will require me to travel 70% of the time. I will have to stay in hotels 3-4 days at a time. Might have to take flights across the country. The problem I have is my bowel program. I have to be able to reach around and dig the sh** out some times. That is the hard part that no one really understands. I have a commode that I use to do the reach around, but hotels don't have them. I'm thinking of buying one to take with me if I do take this job. I'm just nervous about this part. I'm not to excited about flying either because of being in a wheelchair. The new job will be better pay and ALOT better benfits. I just don't know if I should quit this easy job and jump into a new job that might cause more stress. Who has travel here and what do you do about your bowel program? Any advise would help and how to handle the traveling thing would be great also.

    Thanks for you time. Dan

    #2
    one word... : colostomy

    Comment


      #3
      I know hotels can be a pain when traveling. I think I'd do it though. I'd love to travel and if work was paying me then I'd do it. Wonder if they'd help get you some type of travel bench you could take with you?
      If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


      Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

      Comment


        #4
        Sorry if this is a dumb question - have you tried transferring to the toilet and reaching through the front? I did that for many years ...

        As far as the travel goes, there could be good/bad. If you get hit with a pressure sore - it could go south quickly. On the other hand, constantly moving might be a good thing!

        Maybe you could discuss with your present employer about a trial period, if you're on good terms?
        Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

        T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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          #5
          Go for it!!!! Don't let your sci limit you in your endeavors. I have traveled, with hotel rooms, and have not found a problem with the bathroom faciilities. Once, visiting friends, at their apt. with unaccessible bathroom, I was able ato use the local Wal-mart, accessible bathroom!!! You will find solutions to all problems here on this sight. Good luck!!!

          Comment


            #6
            go for it
            you can always go back
            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.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks

              Thank you all for helping in this decision. Liz, if I quit this job, there is no going back. What about the flying. What do you do when you get to where you are flying too. Is flying as bad as I have heard about? Do the rent a car companies have problems when the disable renting cars? I would have to take my porable hand controls with me of couse. I have been looking online today and I found some fold away commodes, I think that will be what I will have to do. I do like the ideas you guys and gals said also. I will try reaching between my legs at home and see how easy that is.
              The other thing is that I will have to move closer to my new job, I think the company pays for the relocation, so that will help. Finding handicap accessible apartments are hard to find the in NJ area. They are out there, but not that many. The cost of the apartments are between $1100-1600 each. Maybe I should get into renting apartments in Jersey.

              Thanks again for all of your advise. If anyone else has ideas or experience in traveling, I would love to hear about it.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by danielgr
                Is flying as bad as I have heard about?
                No! It's really not that big a deal if you can wheel yourself around and transfer alone. I travel by myself all the time and I almost always have to change planes at least once. I limit my fluid intake, make sure I carry on anything I can't buy if it gets lost in the city I'm going to and prepare myself to deal with a dozen or so overly helpful people.

                Do the rent a car companies have problems when the disable renting cars? I would have to take my porable hand controls with me of couse.
                You don't need to carry portable hand controls! Although you could pack them in your luggage just in case the rental company makes a mistake. I've only had that happen once where I flew into the city very late and the rental company flat out did not have a vehicle available with hand controls. They paid for a cab to take me to my hotel and they had a car brought to me the next day. There have also been a couple of times where I had to wait an hour or so for my car to be ready, but considering how many times I've rented cars, overall, I've had very few problems.

                I have been looking online today and I found some fold away commodes, I think that will be what I will have to do. I do like the ideas you guys and gals said also. I will try reaching between my legs at home and see how easy that is.
                Can't you just lean to one side and reach behind yourself? I've had really bad spasms in my legs over the years and can still manage to use a regular toilet seat. Having a grab bar available makes it much easier, but even visiting friends and relatives houses, I can manage with their bathrooms. I would really recommend avoiding traveling with a commode if it's at all possible. It's a big, extra piece of luggage that you'll have to find someone to carry around for you and it's one more thing that you're dependent on and will suffer for if it's lost.

                However this works out for you, I wish you the best. I like traveling, even though it's a bit inconvenient at times. A new job is exciting too. Good luck!

                C.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Dan, first of all, do an extensive search in the sports, travel and recreation forum about flying. Absorb all the information available there. Second, find out from your new employer if the network of cities you will have to travel too are consistent destinations or if they vary randomly. This is important to know so you can plan ahead of time such as picking the best hotels for your needs, finding out if healthcare services are available, wheelchair repair...anything that Murphy´s law can throw your way. Don´t forget decubitus protection...take it seriously, especially when your flying.
                  "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Sorry I meant you could go back to a job that didn't have traveling not the particular job you have now. Traveling is an excellent experience, new people, different things to do and looks good on the old resume!

                    Many SCI/D travel for work. Contact www.unitedspinal.org those guys are always on the move!
                    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.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have a job that requires travel on occassion. The travel is not really the difficult part although it does tire me a bit. What is fatiguing is what I do when I get to my destination. My days may be 7-10 pm with breakfast meetings and dinners added in.

                      I have found that these things help when I have to travel
                      • stay at a hotel chain that is consistant with accessibility,etc
                      • get a fridge so I can have food, etc in my room
                      • report late the day after I arrive home
                      • always leave at the beginning of a day and not after working 8 hrs (travel on work time)
                      • make sure I have no big plans on the weekend after traveling
                      • keep travel "staples" always packed
                      • use a carry on bag with "must have items"
                      • I don't take my shoes off for the airlines,Imake them swab and scan the shoes


                      I have learned these things,many the hard way. My employeer has worked with me. Our travel is often weekend based for trade shows,so they work with me re: time off when I return. I turn 50 in a few weeks and I just don't travel as easily as I did before. I also have young kids at home so I spend the days before traveling organizing their lives and doing LOTS of laundry. Try not to start a trip tired. I am a walking quad but that doesn't make the travel any easier.

                      Hope this helps some. If you have any questions, PM me.
                      Every day I wake up is a good one

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This is an issue I'll have to face at some point myself, and I share similar concerns. When the time comes, I'm going to ask my employer if they'll spring for a nurse to stop by for an hour in the morning and one in the evening, if that's possible. I'm pretty independent already but with a nurse nearby as I'm showering and getting dressed, I'd be able to get out the door much faster. Maybe they would even be able to rent me some temporary equipmenet, so i don't need to lug around the commode and shower chair.

                        Do you think your potential new employer would be up for this? It doesn't seem like it should be terribly expensive, relative to the cost of travel and car rental.

                        Good luck with whatever you decide,
                        Zero

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have been doing a fair amount of travelling/ flying. A friend who travels a lot recommended this padded toilet seat that clips onto the toilet. It is small (no arms and legs) it packs easily in a bag and works really well. You can easily reach under to do your stuff. I use that and I like it a lot. So even when I get stuck in those rooms that are not very accessible it works. I am not sure of the brand name but should be easy to find on web sites. I got mine through experia. I am a T2 complete and it works fine even though I have no balance. Making my bowel care every other day works well too.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thank you all

                            You all have helped with my decision. You all have great advise and thank you again.

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