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Thread: C5 trying to Travel

  1. #1

    C5 trying to Travel

    I am eager to travel and see friends and family in another state. My caregiver is unable to go along with me. My caregiver assist me in my digital stimulation bowel routine.

    Is it possible for C5/6 quad to travel and get assistance in that department or am I fully dependent on a caregiver when it comes to traveling?


    If there is any knowledge or direction you could point me in, I would be grateful.

  2. #2
    My C-6 son has traveled a lot in comparison to most. I am his traveling caregiver. IMHO, it would be virtually impossible for him to travel alone. He has done it once, but returned the next day and did not perform his BP or shower during his trip. When we travel together, we take a portable BP/shower chair for which there is no charge on the airlines. Many of the hotels we have stayed in do not have roll-in showers. Frequently, a handicap bathroom only has a tub, and some even do not have a wand shower head. In some situations, the shower chair is fitted into the tub and he has to do a wheelchair to shower chair (in the tub) transfer using a sliding board and Phil-E-slide. It is very dangerous, especially when wet.

    Sometimes, the toilet is too tall and I have to lift him and his shower chair up over the commode. Another issue is the height of motel beds which are comfortable, but too tall for him to transfer directly. I have to assist to lift him into bed. If going to use a hotel/motel, call ahead and verify the type of handicap bathroom and its features. Also verify that the handicap room is available and booked in your name. We have been blindsided more than once when checking in.

  3. #3
    Realistically, it is pretty much either traveling with a caregiver, or having family/friends you are visiting helping you with this care.

    It is extremely difficult to find and hire a PCA for such a short time for just a day or two, privately (how would you interview, screen, and do a background check??) and an agency may require a physician's order from a provider licensed within the state. In addition, most agencies require that this be done by an RN or LVN ($$$$$) and require a minimum shift (such as 4 hours) each time they come out. In addition, you would have to train them, since it is rare to find agency nurses who already know how to do bowel care properly.

    (KLD)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    I would put an ad in the craigslist of your destination. After doing the screening online, have a family member at your destination interview your one or two prescreened prospects.

  5. #5

    Certainly possible

    I have traveled a lot with my wife, but pay a nurse to do the bowel program. I have traveled many places in the US, and have hired nurses through home health agencies to come to my hotel or family members homes. Many times, I have had my local home health agency help me facilitate the process of getting it scheduled.

  6. #6
    I don't know if there is a way to find forum members in the area you are traveling to, but if there is maybe you can ask if anyone of them can recommend a local caregiver. That might be better than dealing with an unknown commodity on craigslist. Somebody might want to pick up some work while you are traveling through.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Hi Leothelion,

    Do you drive or not yet? Traveling is definitely possible but you'll need to go with your caregiver if you can.

    I don't drive & likely won't be in the near future (my injury was at c4/5, my triceps don't & I have a lot of spasms) so traveling other than very locally via public transport requires assistance. If you fly watch out that the airline doesn't damage your chair. Give the crew detailed instructions before boarding. When I flew with Southwest to Vegas a few years ago for a wedding, despite giving the crew info on releasing the chair's brake so the baggage crew could push the chair...my chair got to me broken & not going. My family got the chair going but throughout Southwest was not much help...though the crew was good helping on & off the plane. Vegas is very accessible by the way.
    C4/5 incomplete, 17 years since injury

    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” - Carlos Castaneda

    "We live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom: our body." - Marcel Proust

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