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Thread: Questions for crutch walkers....

  1. #111
    Hey I have a question for you travelers out there and fellow cruth walkers. I am planning a trip and have to get on and off a couple of flights. I have not traveled by airplane since my injury and need some logistical advice. I am a fulltime crutch walker. I am pretty proficient with a cane. I like the crutches because they really offer me way more freedom than the cane because I feel I am in much more control.
    My question is can you use the crutches on the plane? Should I go with a cane? Or should I say to hell with it and use my wheelchair? I haven't really used the wheelchair outside the house for over two months and have only used to get dressed for the last month or so. I don't really want to use it anymore if I can help it.
    I respect everyone's opinions and experiences on this thread and wanted to see if there were any suggestions out there. Thanks

  2. #112
    I use crutches in the plane. I throw them in the overhead compartment right away. I don't want the stewardess taking them somewhere else. You've probably noticed it is hard to crutch down an aisles since you have to pinch your shoulders together. I look...well... disabled ! ! Oh that's right... I am disabled. But I get them out to go to the bathroom on the plane and if I don't, I would use the backs of peoples seat which I am sure no one is fond of.

  3. #113
    I went on some lengthy international flights at a similar stage in my recovery.

    With regards to the airplane itself, bring both the crutches and a cane. You don't know what will be more practical to use in the tight environment of the plane and you don't know how your balance will react to the floor that is moving around a bit. If the cane is plenty for you, then you can stash the crutches in the coat compartment and use the cane. Otherwise, maybe you can use just one crutch or even two.

    That being said, I wasn't too good with the cane when I went on my flights and I found it easier to walk with the cane because I was never far from something to grab onto - the aisles are kinda like parallel bars. Still, bring both just to be on the safe side.

    I think the question of whether or not to bring the wheelchair is more a matter of what you think you will need to get you around at your destination. I brought mine because I couldn't handle the distances in the airport and I couldn't say for certain that I wouldn't need it for the three months I spent abroad. But getting onto the airplane is definitely easier to do with crutches if you're lucky enough to be able to pull it off (which I'd guess you are, judging by what I've read and seen).
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  4. #114
    I always advise assuming that you will need more energy and that you will be more tired during travel, and that therefore you should move up one in terms of mobility devices. If in your regular life you normally use crutches, bring a wheelchair and the crutches, or at least take advantage of wheelchair service at the airport.

    The aisles are kind of like parallel bars, as shveddy says, but people can get remarkably annoyed when you grab on to their seat near their head, and I personally have had my hair inadvertently pulled by someone using the seats as parallel bars. If you're tall enough, you can grab onto the edge of the overhead bins to help yourself down the aisle.

    You will not be allowed to keep the crutches at your seat, but you should not hesitate to ask the flight attendant to bring them to you in flight if you want them.

  5. #115
    Thanks folks. When we booked the flight we booked as a wheelhair user. I figured that way it would give me some flexibility. It is still about a month away but I figured I would see what folks on here thought since I am a newbie. Thanks again for your help. It is always appreciated.

  6. #116
    Update - Blue Cross Blue Shield paid for my father's SideStix crutches.

    Yipee!

  7. #117
    Yay!! That is great, hlh, so glad to hear it!

  8. #118
    Update - Medicare denied our appeal for paying for SideStix crutches. They are a lot slower to evaluate claims then BCBS.

    Surprisingly, they called my father to "explain" their denial. First, they said that they would not cover them because we didn't purchase them from a Medicare supplier. Second, they said that even if we had purchased them from a Medicare supplier, they would have only paid $100 or so towards them. Their standard crutches reimbursement rate...

    Of course, I expected this denial, as my appeals to Medicare in the past all require 2nd/3rd level appeals to get to a qualified person for evaluation.

    SideStix will need to find an American Medicare supplier, for future clients to at least have a chance for getting Medicare coverage. But they said they are working on this.

  9. #119
    HLH - glad you got some money to pay for the sidestix. 100 dollars for crutches from medicare. Why buy nice crutches when your dad can use a 4 caster cart that he can paddle with his hands and a tin cup to beg for change on a street city corner?
    Of course I am being facetious and that is frustrating that his medical insurance (medicare) won't pay more.

  10. #120
    I use WalkEasy 492 with the Tornado tips. Tornado tips ROCK!

    This forum thread gave me the idea to check out the SideStix handgrips everyone is talking about. I contacted SideStix to see if their Biokork Ergon handgrips would fit on my WalkEasy crutches. Someone emailed me back saying they didn't think it would work out.

    So I just wanted to know if anyone else here using WalkEasies has been able to use the Biokork Ergon handles with their crutches??

    If so, how do you get them on?

    I'm considering going to a bike shop to try and figure it out. I really want those handgrips!

    GutsyGirl

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