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Thread: Seating solution for long flights

  1. #1
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Seating solution for long flights

    I know this topic has been recently discussed on at least two threads but none of the posts provided me with a suitable solution, so I'm raising the issue again.

    I'm going on a long plane flight (9 hours) this summer and I need to find a seating solution. I have never used a cushion before on plane flights, but this time I must. My high-profile ROHO is TOO high for an airplane or car seat, as is my old standby Jay Active. I don't want to shell out $300 for a cushion I'll probably use just a few times a year. I haven't had problems with pressure sores, but I do start sweating at about the 3-hour mark of every flight. I'd like to find something that meets the following requirements:

    1. Provides pressure relief.
    2. Does not make me sit too "tall" in the seat.
    3. Is less than $175.

    I checked out the ROHO Pack-It but I fear it will have the same problem as my other Roho: over-inflating during flight. Does anyone have experience with this cushion on an airplane?

    I am also considering creating my own cushion out of 3-inch eggcrate, with a sheep-skin top. Since it will be used only on flights such as these, I figure it could give me the relief I need without the added height. Do the nurses have any thoughts on this? (I'm C 5/6 complete, 13 years post, by the way.) Thanks in advance for your responses.

  2. #2
    I think your creation should work well. When I play rugby I use a foam cushion and havent had problems, even after sitting in my rugby chair for 4 hours. And it's hard to weightshift in the rugby chair because I'm strapped down.

    I sit on my regular cushion on planes though, and its gt to be at least 3 inches tall.

    "It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible
    to find it elsewhere."
    --Agnes Repplier, writer and historian


  3. #3

    cushion for long flight

    Clipper - There are a couple of sites to learn about cushions: 1) www.abledata.com is a national database for rehab equipment and assistive technologies 2) www.spinlife.com is a commercial site that has some very practical information about wheelchairs and cushions. This site includes pictures of the cushions.

    For a practical source, since you are from the No. VA area, I would also suggest that you contact the Endependence Center of No VA and ask to talk to either Dave Byrds or Russ Holt, both use chairs and travel. ECNV is 703-525-3462. You could also contact the Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metro Washington and speak with Steve Towle, a quad who also travels: 301-424-8335. CRF

  4. #4
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    CRF,

    Thanks for your response. I'm fairly knowledgeable about seating technologies, after 13 years of SCI. I know what is available, and where to find it. I've talked to literally dozens of people at stores, centers, hospitals and so forth in my quest for the perfect device for my summer adventure. Unfortunately, the answer I get is almost always the same: use your wheelchair cushion. This, for me, does not work. I've tried it. When I've asked these same people about my eggcrate idea, I get the same answer, "I don't know." Everyone is different, I suppose. That is why I was seeking the opinion of a nurse as to the use of an eggcrate with a sheep-skin top. I also wanted to seek out opinions and ideas, hoping that maybe someone has an idea that I haven't yet heard. Don't get me wrong -- I appreciate your response. But it just doesn't help me all that much. Been there, done that.

    Emi,

    Thanks for your comments. Maybe the eggcrate is worth a shot.

  5. #5
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    Penny Wise Pound Foolish

    Clipper,

    I do a lot of long flights, sometimes up to 20 hours in route. My advise is don't be penny wise pound foolish. Extra special cushions and stuff like that will also come in handy even when not traveling. I'm using all my special cushions and things for things I do just going out. Don't get too focused on saving a buck for comfort. You can always use the stuff around your home area.

    God Bless, Mace

  6. #6
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Mace, thanks for the advice. It's more a matter of cushion height than price, but cost will prevent me from purchasing something that I know -- for a fact -- will not be used more than once or twice a year. I don't see it as an investment. I know how I use things. It will be put on a shelf and will remain there for six months or more. Plus, if I wanted ANOTHER high-end cushion, I'd buy one for daily use. I've put a lot of thought into this, as I do with everything concerning my body and health.

  7. #7

    The Roho Pack is nice

    I use one for my riding on my handcycle and when flying. They only cost 130 dollars and are well worth it. They are nice and compact at 9 inches x 16 inches. I highly reccomend it. Good luck.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I guess Mom of Clipper forgot. I have a thin gel cushion that's free if you all come up for dinner when your folks are out this way next. It's about an inch-inch thick and no hard lower foam area. I got it for the van seat but it was too gushy for me but would probably work well for anyone not able to sit on a regular airline seat for long. We have a new French country place right across the street and it has great desserts--food too. Anyway, if you think it will work, it's yours gratis.

  9. #9
    I talked to a friend and he puts a thin cel cushion on top of a foam one. I know theres one thats like a very thin Stimulite. It was in NM. I see that Sue has something like that too...

    "It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible
    to find it elsewhere."
    --Agnes Repplier, writer and historian


  10. #10
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sue Pendleton:

    I guess Mom of Clipper forgot. I have a thin gel cushion that's free if you all come up for dinner when your folks are out this way next.
    <Laughing>

    I was just talking with Mom again about this very subject, and she mentioned your cushion. (Literally 10 minutes ago.) Thank you! I just might take you up on your offer. Did she tell you that I convinced them to come on the cruise with us? Should be ... interesting.

    Curtis -- have you had any problems with the Roho Pack-it swelling during flight?

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