I’m just wondering if you’ll be traveling alone to your son’s wedding? I did a flight from New York to Vancouver, Canada one time, but I had a companion with me and I took my manual wheelchair. I managed a long flight like that, but could never do it alone. If I had to do a long flight I would book one with stops and time in-between so I could freshen up, stretch legs and relax. If you do travel alone or if you just want a professional person with you, you could try FLYING COMPANIONS. I hope I got that name right, let me know if I didn’t, I search good and can find it.
I don’t know if I can help you enough, but I’ll tell you how it is for me. I am dependent on wheelchair, cannot use cane or crutches and can only do minimal amount of walking with walker. I use a manual wheelchair and a power wheelchair. Where I go, wheels must go. I have traveled alone on short flights (less then six hours) and feel that I handle it well. For long flights, I need a companion. I have not as yet felt confident that all would work out if I travel with my power wheelchair (invacare pronto) so I travel with manual. I get a pusher at the airport to take me through security and to gate. I stay in my own wheelchair and most times I can be pushed right up to seat then it is put in baggage compartment. I keep my walker with me onboard plane because I have to have it if I need to use bathroom and I am able to manage bathroom.
Thanks, Dawn. Actually, I cancelled my travel plans. I was planning to go to my uncle’s funeral in Wisconsin, but decided it wasn’t a good idea. I’ve actually been having second thoughts all week, since I’ve not been doing very well physically, and knew the stress of the weekend would make it worse. Between the emotional aspects, the reduced sleep aspects, and already feeling like I’m in a “flare”…I finally gave in to my “little voice”. You know the one…the voice you hear in your head right before you do something stupid…or at least, I do. The one that typically is saying, (in a long drawn out voice)…”I don’t know about this….”. You know, THAT one. Kinda sounds like my wife’s voice, now that I think about it… 😀
So, I made a few calls, expressed my regrets and condolensces, and am going to stay home and try and take it easy this weekend. Hope it helps!
I always take my manual chair when I travel on airplanes, as it folds up so nicely. But then I do have my husband to push me around. I know airlines do allow power chairs, but I think the batteries may have to be taken apart. Read up on the sight of the airline you are using; just click on passengers with disabilities.
You guys get to travel? I have not seen my family in two years because my doctor won’t let me travel to see them. What if someone is sick on the plane, you’ll get sick? That 12 hour drive won’t be comfortable for you and could make your pain worse. What if I got sick down there and no one was able to take care of me? I feel so left out. Although as I am reading, I am darn lucky that I haven’t experienced any of the paralyzations, ventilators and worse symptoms than what I have experienced.
As long as you are well enough to do so, I don’t think you should be afraid to travel. I am in a wheelchair and I recently traveled alone and YES, you can do it. I traveled with my own wheelchair. If you feel that walking with a cane is something you may not be able to handle, let the airline know that you are disabled and they can arrange to have a wheelchair waiting for you at curbside check-in. An airport employee will stay with you if you are traveling alone. They are called “pushers”. The pusher takes you through security, and you’ll have to take off AFO’s (if you have them on) and shoes and the pusher takes you right to the gate, first in line 🙂 You can take a cane onboard with you (I took my walker onboard) and I’m sure AFO’s would be allowed if you need them with you. If your cane and AFO’s are put in overhead, flight attendent will get them for you so you can get to bathroom safely. I cannot walk unaided, I must hold onto walker, and I made it to and from bathroom. When you arrive at your destination, the airport will have someone at the gate to meet you with a wheelchair to use. They’ll take you to baggage claim and the pusher with you will get your luggage for you and if you’re taking a taxi or a shuttle, they’ll take you there.
When you make flight reservations, you must let the airline know that you are disabled and need help. I am not a brave person or a risk taker and I do get a super huge case of nerves, but I TRAVELED ALONE, I DID IT 🙂
Email me if you’d like, ask questions and I can tell you even more details to traveling. [email]email@example.com[/email]