Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Long flights

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Argao, Cebu, Philippines
    Posts
    6,864

    Long flights

    Geeez, where do I begin? The LA->Manila flight is fifteen hours due to headwinds and a one-hour stopover in Hawaii. I've done this flight twice, now. The return has tailwinds plus no stopover and is only twelve hours. I've done this flight one time. I think someone in a chair could request to get off the plane on the stopover, if they wanted to. I managed to not need to.

    The biggest concern for me was my bowels because I don't do a program. I have sufficient function to not need to. However, I then cannot guarantee that I won't have an emergency mid-flight. I stopped taking my fiber supplement and eating fruits/veggies two days before my flight. I also had a bowel movement that morning. To further incur a nice case of constipation I took a few loperamide that morning, too. It worked.

    I always wear sweatpants when I travel to make it easier to use the bathroom and do related activities. I wear an external catheter so cathing was not an issue on the flights. And I strapped a legbag on each leg so I could switch during the flight if one filled up. I also dehydrated myself slightly [and relaxed] before leaving with a couple drinks just in case. Then I drank very sparingly until near the end of the flight. As it turned out I only filled one leg bag on my first flight, even though I began drinking water after getting within the two-hour ETA mark. On my other flights I drank more liberally, had less annoying thirst, and still didn't fill my second legbag.

    The biggest problem ended up being the Philippine Airlines bad habit of trying to send personal wheelchairs through to baggage claim. It happened to me once. I had to be pushed about two miles sitting on an aisle chair in order to go get my wheelchair. I almost got a pressure sore from that one experience. Of course, I began insisting that it be brought to the plane each time. In fact, I'd tell everyone I could find. Still, there was one time I had to refuse to get off the plane until they brought my personal wheelchair.

    The flight from Orlando to LA was five hours, LA to Manila fifteen, Manila to Cebu one, and layovers and customs were another ten hours. It was exhausting but I think it is for everyone, AB included. There was a day something like this would have been completely impossible for me. With God's help I've gotten to the point where it just takes a little extra planning.

    I was accompanied by my brother and his wife on one flight and by myself on the other two. I am a C6/7, nearly complete, post twenty-one years.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,516
    Good posting, Jeff. Very informative. Flying can be quite a challenge for people in chairs. Planning is the key, as you mentioned.

    If anyone has any questions about air travel for people with disabilities, I'd be happy to answer any questions. I work in the aviation safety field and I have a C5/6 SCI, so I have a lot of knowledge in that area.

    Thanks again for your posting, Jeff.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5,888
    Jeff, what do you mean you don't 'do a program'? Do you just wait till you feel like you've gotta go and then rush to a toilet? Confused.

    Good info on the flights, but wouldn't drinking alcohol before a flight cause you to urinate in flight? Or did you drink far enough in advance that you were pretty much dehydrated by the time you got on the plane?

    I don't use two leg bags because trying to switch would be a nightmare. I just limit my fluid intake and use a leg-bag almost twice as big as usual. I try to get a flight on the day when I do my bowel prpgram in the AM and take a couple loperamide (Immodium AD is the brand name) just to be safe. I don't change my eating habits though. My longest flight has been about 3 hours, and I used my Roho cushion on that one, but by the time I got in Denver from Florida, it was overinflated considerably due to the change in atmosphere.

    ~Rus

    "Because you're not promised tomorrow." ~ Stuck Mojo

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Argao, Cebu, Philippines
    Posts
    6,864
    Nice job, Clipper. You'll be a great resource on these forums.

    Scorpion - That's right. I take fibercon equivalents which keep me from either being constipated or having loose stools. I usually have up to an hour or more to find a bathroom once I detect I need to go. Once at the bathroom I have good "push" ability, but sometimes it requires dig stim. Not doing a program saves me hundreds of hours per year and is actually quite reliable. I had many more problems before KLD told me about fibercon.

    I forgot to mention that I use my Supracor cushion on all my flights. It's a super light, honeycomb-style cushion that supposedly is as good as a Roho, only it won't leak, underinflate or overinflate because it doesn't use air.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5,888
    An hour is pretty good lead time. If it works, that's great. Hell, as long as your regular, right? I've tried doing it without the Magic Bullet suppository but with unreliable results. I know when I've got to go, but without a suppository, I don't get evacuated enough leaving me prone to accidents later (which I despise more than just about anything SCI can throw at me). And Fibercon is good stuff (or generic equivilent). I've also noticed that eating Shredded Wheat (I like the Frosted or Honey Nut) is good as well as fruits & vegetables which I admit I don't eat enough of.

    BTW, how much does that cushion run?

    ~Rus

    "Because you're not promised tomorrow." ~ Stuck Mojo

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Argao, Cebu, Philippines
    Posts
    6,864

    Supracor

    It runs the standard rape-the-disabled price for cushions of $300+. I'm sure it could be found mail-order for a lot less. I use my Jay cushion most of the time and keep the Supracor in the car. When you drive a lot you need a good cushion that can be used on your car seat. Supracor and Roho are good for that while the Jay is not.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper View Post
    Good posting, Jeff. Very informative. Flying can be quite a challenge for people in chairs. Planning is the key, as you mentioned.

    If anyone has any questions about air travel for people with disabilities, I'd be happy to answer any questions. I work in the aviation safety field and I have a C5/6 SCI, so I have a lot of knowledge in that area.

    Thanks again for your posting, Jeff.
    Hi
    How do you do it on long flight not getting skin break-downs? I have done 12 hour flying non stop but its too long.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Tidewater, VA
    Posts
    5,408
    Quote Originally Posted by easyway View Post
    Hi
    How do you do it on long flight not getting skin break-downs? I have done 12 hour flying non stop but its too long.
    No reason not to put your cushion on the plane seat, unless it just won't fit. I have a 15x16 Roho I sit on for long flights and do very frequent lifts. I wear an Alphadry incontinence device to catch any leaks.
    __________________

    He who hears not me but the Logos will say: All is one.

  9. #9
    oh yeah... I always sit on roho, I wouldn't take a chance. Im C 6 quad.
    Thanks.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •