Airports and Braces/Canes etc

    • Anonymous
      December 8, 2006 at 4:11 pm

      Hi all. I was wondering what some of your experiences are dealing with air travel when you wear AFOs or use canes etc? I am hesitant to consider air travel since I will need to use AFO’s to get around and long lines are not something I can deal with- not to mention walking 1/2 a mile to a gate. The thought of trying to take off my shoes and AFOs in line standing is making me think twice ๐Ÿ™

    • Anonymous
      December 8, 2006 at 7:12 pm

      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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

      Email me if you’d like, ask questions and I can tell you even more details to traveling. [email][/email]

    • Anonymous
      December 8, 2006 at 8:53 pm

      I just wanted to second what Liz said. I still use a cane but the only time I use a wheel chair is for airports and long outings. My experience with airports has been great and I have found the people who help out to be considerate and pleasant. I must admit I still don’t like to travel a lot because I get very fatigued, but the wheel chair makes it a lot easier all around. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 8, 2006 at 10:44 pm

      I have one of those walkers with a seat. Its to big to take on the airplane, so they checked it just as I got on the plane and its right there when I get off. I did take a folding kane with me which was easy enough to put in my carry on. That folding cane works great if you are going out anywhere. I use it to go to the theatre and restaurants. Go for it, have fun and take care.

    • Anonymous
      December 8, 2006 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks alot Liz, Jeff and Bruno. That’s great to hear. Although I can walk without braces or a cane I feel clumsy and Im nervous about standing or walking alot since its easy for me to fall. The only thing besides that is I get weak if I do too much. Ive probably only left the house 10-20 times this entire year which is pretty bad and unnecessary. I’m trying to get out more and shake this depression so I want to take my wife somewhere on a nice trip.
      I might pass on the afo’s and just try a chair and a cane. Im real self-conscious about the afo’s. Its something about being perceived as weak or showing weakness. I need some counseling too ๐Ÿ˜€

      Its good to be back on here. I appreciate being able to talk to people who understand what Im going through.

    • Anonymous
      December 9, 2006 at 8:36 am

      Hi guys-
      I am too new with CIDP, and have been reading and reading through current and past forum issues, (having been confirmed with the final dx of CIDP in JAN06, and finding your forum only in the spring of 2006.
      So, I am still learning alot, though I have a body that is failing me. C’est la vie.

      But, I remember running into some topics about flying, or being in high altitude places, (i.e. Colorado), and it seems like the end result was that flying or high altitude can bring on flair ups.
      Having been through an especially bad flair this past August, I shudder at even putting my body near that type of possibilty or taking a chance.
      Before CIDP came along, I travelled the world, going to Europe especially quite often, sometimes going for long weekends, (my family is of Scottish decent, and have gone back to see the “old clan” often.
      But now I chalk it all up to life’s past experiences, and treasure special moments from different places of the world. Every time we would travel, instead of usual souvenirs, we would buy art pieces, or something that part of the world was known for. And when I see it on the wall, or run across something while looking for something else, it brings back fond memories.

      But now I shudder at even attempting it. I have thought about train travel, since I always enjoyed trains in Europe. That is a possibility I might do later next year. But, air travel is not like it used to be. The U.S. airlines treat it’s passengers like garbage now, and the security process is now something almost unbearable for handicapped people. I was waiting for a relative to come in once, and while at the airport, I saw security put a wheelchaired person through hell once, even making the person have her companion lift her out of the wheelchair into another chair, so security could go through the wheelchair. They spent at least 45 minutes on that person. It was very degrading.

      But, please let me know what the reality is about that high altitude/pressure with flying. I go by a consensus alot, through reading your forum issues, and helps me daily life’s activities.

    • Anonymous
      December 9, 2006 at 9:52 am


      I’m a CIDPer, wear AFOs and use a stick, and can’t stand for long periods. This year I opted for a wheelchair to get round the airports, and it worked a charm. Of course, I had to get out of the chair to go through the scanners, but the porters took me up to the scanners and picked me up on the other side. The only problem I had was that I couldn’t take my shoes off to put them through the scanner, so instead I had to sit and let the TSA agents run the explosives check over my shoes and AFOs. It took a couple more minutes, but it was no big deal–to be quite honest, I worry more about a person pretending to be disabled and hiding something in his splints or stick than I do about a swarthy Arabic speaker who’s only trying to get home for Ramadan.

      Of course, they do things a bit differently at different airports. But don’t let your disability put you off travelling.


      PS: I believe in tipping the porters–some of those concourses stretch on for miles (particularly if you’re travelling international), and pushing a wheelchair loaded with passenger and carry-on luggage isn’t for the faint-of-heart!

    • Anonymous
      December 9, 2006 at 10:01 am

      Hi Kedaso: I live in Littleton, Colorado and as far as I know the altitude here has never bothered me. I sometimes have a residual shortness of breath but that has more to do with the nerve damage than altitude. I also never had trouble flying bringing on any residuals unless I get too tired. I have GBS not CIDP but have never met anyone in Colorado who has told me the altitude bothered them. I know one guy with CIDP who is a pilot and still flys his private plane as well as others who live in the mountains.
      I also make a point of tipping the people who handle the wheelchair. I took a flight once from Denver to New York and tipped the peron in Denver $5.00 for which they were extremely grateful. When I did the same for the person in New York they acted like I was incredibly cheap! The difference between Colorado and New York I guess. The great thing about getting the chair is that, at most airports, they will take you right to your car. Also there is no way I could stand in a security line, so it is really worth it. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      December 10, 2006 at 6:28 pm

      Even with a toddler in my arms (14 months), the security people made me take off shoes and AFOs. Luckily, a couple women behind me threw fits at security guard and helped me get everything back together on the other side of the metal detector, but after about 6 different trips, everytime I have had to remove shoes and AFOs

    • Anonymous
      December 12, 2006 at 3:01 am

      homeland security what a joke smh – Im going the wheelchair route Swimm and with the AFO’s in the luggage.

    • Anonymous
      December 12, 2006 at 9:19 am

      Hey Grawplyr,
      IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR GOING, good for you. I would recommend the wheelchair route so you’re taken through a separate security point, that way you won’t have to put on AFO’s and you’ll have alot less impatient angry people waiting behind you.

    • Anonymous
      December 12, 2006 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks I havent flown since 99. I think I will need my passport too since I hear you cant even go to Canada or Mexico without them anymore

    • Anonymous
      December 12, 2006 at 3:50 pm

      I’ll let you all know how my trip to Bangkok went in four weeks. Carol and I have to change planes twice, in San Francisco and Taipei. The total trip is going to take 24 hours. I ordered a wheelchair and will check my rollator as luggage. My cane should be fine to move around in the aisle. We just bought a 1 liter Nalgene bottle at REI which we hopefully get filled with water on the plane. At Target we found a set of portable exercise rubber straps to keep circulation going in legs and arms.

      BTW, I also live in Colorado – Fort Collins is about a mile high. I have not noticed any significant difference when we returned here 1 1/2 years ago. Of course, it is not the same as being on an airplane. Last time we flew was 2 1/2 years ago coming back from Thailand. It wasn’t fun but it did not affect my symptoms except at that time they were not as advanced as they are now.

    • Anonymous
      December 12, 2006 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Norm-you are braver than I am. Have a great trip and return safely. Jeff