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Best decision I made while traveling.. ask for a wheel chair!

coyotewildwomanccoyotewildwoman Posts: 130
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:59 AM in Chronic Pain
I am one of these people who likes to show a brave face and I travel quite a bit. Air travel has become more and more challenging. It was also causing more damage to my back. About 3 months ago I almost missed a flight because I was 3 minutes late in checking in my bag. I literally had to pull my shirt and prove via my frankenstein pattern of scars that I was disabled and had just had surgery.

Now I order a wheelchair when fly and I am whisked thru checking, they are more flexible if I am slightly overweight on my bags ( all my back equipment)' whiz thru, security, get help with my bags, and don't have to drag my laptop bag for miles.

While my pride took a hit, and I finally had to accept that I did actually have a disability, it has been by far the best decision I have ever made.

I highly suggest it!!



  • We who need a wheelchair at the airport receive very special treatment. The "driver" of the wheelchair pushes me through security without having to wait in lines, takes me all the way to my gate, asks if I need to use the restroom before going there, even gets me a priority boarding pass. Then upon arrival at my destination, there is another wheelchair waiting for me, taking me all the way to baggage, and would even take me out to my car but my hubby takes over at that point. It is amazing how well they take care of people in wheelchairs. The $5-10 tip I give is well worth it. Traveling would be impossible for me without this service. If you need it, use it. I would suggest tipping the driver--they get paid minimum wage and rely on those tips. :)
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I started using the wheelchair service at airports about a year ago and it was hard for me the first time, but without it I don't think I would have made my flight. Our local airport here in Portland OR is small enough that I don't need it, unless I am having a bad flare up, but we usually fly into Las Vegas and even on a good day I don't think I could make it through that airport.

    I agree with cyotewildwoman, making use of the wheelchair service is the only way to fly. It takes a lot of the stress and pain out of flying.

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  • It was really hard for me the first time too. I felt like everyone was looking at me and wondering why I was in a wheelchair. But now I don't care. I too would not have made it to my flights without it, and I look at using a wheelchair as another tool to help me get through the day. I love my wheelchair at home, and that is the only way I can get out and go shopping or do anything that involves walking/standing. It helps me live my life, and that is what it is all about for me. Who cares if people stare! (well I really do, just trying not to let it bother me)
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thats what it's all about is getting out, any way you need to. Otherwise you will just sit in your house and too much of that is not good for you. I really don't think anyone was staring at me at the airport, everyone is busy just trying to catch their flight, I think its just more of a self conscious thing, something you just need to get over I guess.

    Anyone else out there that need to fly or do something that will stretch them to the limit, just call for a wheelchair and go on trying to have as much fun and normalcy as someone in chronic pain can have....Mitch
  • since my surgery 2 yrs ago, and haven't had the need to fly. However, this is fantastic information in case of needing these tips on the "fly".

    To me, traveling in general has been a bit of an overwhelming thought. Flying using a wheelchair would definitely take some of those uncertainties out of the mix.

    Thanks so much for discussing your personal experiences with traveling...I will certainly make a note to self before flying to make sure I use your model for flying.

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  • I agree, I put my parents on there european trip many times with wheel chair service,
    Pride got in the way when i went in 2006 few months after my fusion, I mean i can still walk i figured so i refuse to be disabled,

    It was not easy especialy the wait and standing to get through customs,
    I dont think i could do it now and is been a worry for me to make that kind of trip again,

    You cant put your pride in the way i guess because who wants to be in so much pain by the time you get on the plane you are ready to scream to the pilot land this plane at the next hospital,

    Then next thing you know you geting tazzed by the guy who is reading a newspaper that you thought was just another passenger and is realy the air police, lol

    Now your in handcufs and plane is forced to land because now you are a flight risk and face terrorist charges, Welcome to American airlines!

    You reach for your botle of pain meds and see everyone hit the ground yelling HE HAS A BOMB!,,,!

    Now you are siting in a foreign prison demanding to be releised because you are an American while they have your meds in a lab testing it for posible chemical warfare threat,

    You are lucky if in 6 months someone who speaks english helps you contact the American embassy who then works on your releise for the next 7 years for your return to the United States,

    Happy traveling. Lol

    Ask for wheel chair assistance and be safe,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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