Sunday, August 24, 2008

Traveling to LV

One blogger, big Al, asked about traveling about this land in a wheelchair. having just recently visiting LV, I have a few words.

First traveling today while using a wheelchair is quite different than 19 years ago. The industry is better trained and has the experience that they did not have in 1989, just as the ADA became law. Back then, who knows if my wheelchair would meet me at the door of the plane. So I learned not to get out of my seat until it arrived. Since the crew can't leave until everyone is off, that made for ensuring my chair met me at the door.

But now the airline industry knows what it is doing. On most planes I have to transfer onto a slim chair that will take me down the narrow plane aisle and then I transfer into my seat. But who knows if the aisle arm of the chair will raise, so sometimes I am lifted by personnel to my seat. But if the arm raises, I can do it alone, which I prefer.

I hate this aisle chair, because for protection they have to strap me in, (sometimes three belts) and I feel as if I have just been out of control so they are strapping me down to prevent further episodes!!! Every minute is an exercise it seems in keeping some dignity and grace.

Now, these past couple of trips, I have traveled on SouthWest airlines. And they are the best!!! No first class, so if I get there first, I can get the first seat, which means I do not have to transfer to the slim aisle chair, but can take my own chair on the plane and slip easily into my seat. The aisle arms raises up no problem, and I just jump in. It is so convenient. And the personnel is the nicest I have ever experienced.

One other thing about planes, and this is another challenge to keeping dignity!! Bathrooms. That slim aisle chair does not travel with us during domestic flights, so on the longer fights, which LV was, I cut back on liquids, and hope that kidneys and bladder can make it for 4-5 hours. Not always successful! but what is a bladder to do? So I spend a lot of time worrying while traveling on the plane. Praying all will hold!

On another post I will talk about hotels.


jbf said...

I don't know how I would handle all that you have to go through on a daily basis. I have enough trouble keeping my dignity as it is. In spite of all your challenges you are one of the most upbeat, vivacious people I know and I'm glad to know you. And now we all know just how hard you can laugh sometimes. :^) You're a great laugher. Don't stop.

Becky said...

Got to agree with Big John, here. Your laugh is contagious. As for the dignity thing, I've seen you overcome the obstacles. And its an inspiration to me, as well as a lesson.
Welcome home. I missed you.

Elaine Spallone said...

You guys are great! thank you. But there is nothing like a big belly laugh, huh?

I am glad to be back!

Big Al said...

Elaine, thanks for sharing! Wow! I never knew. YOU are an inspiration to me. I've started blogging for real. Families and growing older... I'm not in your league but you and Ron have inspired me a ton. I am amazed at how therapeutic it is for me. Thanks again for sharing!

Elaine Spallone said...

thanks big al! btw, my grandfather's name is alfred or al, although, of course, I never called him that!!