Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I have not written this past week because quite frankly I'm tired, nothing special or change to report other than I've spent a few nights tossing and turning making day times difficult.
Every morning I get up at the same time my spouse does as I require her assistance to get ready, once I'm sitting in my chair that is where I remain for the day. On some days I'd love to be able to get back to bed for a few hours yet I am unable to lift my feet onto the bed so it's an impossibility, luckily my chair has a tilt function which allows me to tilt back far enough it resembles a La-Z-Boy.

The arrangements for our trip to Vegas in September are finalized, that alone will provide me with a break. You wouldn't believe the number of things required in order to make my trip enjoyable, certainly not as much preparation compared to Christopher Reeves yet there are quite a few things which I cannot leave to chance. We were extremely fortunate on one of our trips south to have a crew whom had just taken care of Mr. Reeves on a previous flight. They went above and beyond to make our flight enjoyable, my wife and I were treated like royalty the company I'm speaking of is "Sunquest" I made it a point writing to the company president I was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply.

On a trip like the one we will take in September everything depends on our preparation before departure, once the plane leaves it's too late to make changes. Our seats are 1A and 1B, this way I can take my manual chair aboard the aircraft grab a hold of someones arm to stand turn and sit. This means we travel business class and while sitting in the front makes my life and the crews much easier Air Canada does not offer any type of discount or incentives for disabled passengers. On one hand it's unfortunate compared to Via Canada who with a "disability travel card" automatically upgrade you to first class in addition your spouse or person accompanying you travels free of charge.
If you do not have your disability travel card and would like information on how to obtain one send me a note with your e-mail and I'll provide the details.

Getting back to our trip to Vegas. Once the airline and seats are booked I need to make sure the hotel has rooms for the handicapped it's quite enlightening to see what some establishments consider adapted. On one of our trips actually to Québec city we rented a room that was totally unappropriate yet according to them it had been retrofitted. For one thing the toilet was a regular toilet not a raised one as required and in terms of support or grab bars they had one mounted on the back wall which served no purpose whatsoever. There were a few grab bars in the bath tub yet you had to be able to get into it in order to use them.
I need a room with a wheelchair accessible shower, a raised toilet, an opening under the sink to make it accessible and those are only a few things I can think of offhand. The shows we see must have accessible seating which seems obvious yet if you do not ask you may be unpleasantly surprised.

Using my manual wheelchair for the travel portion of the trip I arrange to have an electric wheelchair at our destination usually waiting at the bell desk upon our arrival. It costs a bit yet you don't have the hassle of dealing with a potential breakdown i.e. flat tire, if something ever happened you simply pick up the phone it's their problem. Almost forgot about getting to and from the airport in addition to any other travel, accessible transportation is a must not a would be nice to have.

One last thing about the trip and it's probably one of the most important and that is if you can not walk you cannot use the facilities, now you have two choices you can either withhold fluid intake for several hours before and during the flight and that doesn't mean you will not necessarily have the urge to go. The second option and the one that I use is a catheter, not a folley catheter although they are part of our medical suitcase along with antibiotics should I develop a UTI during the trip.
What I use is a condom catheter with a leg bag, it's not the most comfortable thing yet it takes care of the necessity to use the facilities.

On that note have a great afternoon.

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