Monday, February 25, 2008

Physically Challenged? We Can Travel With Fewer Propblems.

Having a chronic illness dose not mean that you stop enjoying your life. It means that you will joyfully live your life differently.

It is no secret that I suffer with chronic debilitating arthritis. However, my lesser known illness are, Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, Men Eire's Disease, Glaucoma, Esophagus Reflux, High Blood Pressure, and Carpal Tunnels.

So, it comes as no surprise that when I travel, I am accompanied with medication and a barrage of machines that serve to keep me healthier; A blood pressure testing monitor, test strips, lancets as well as a lancing device for my diabetes, A rather bulky "C" Pack with humidifier for my sleep apena and wrist braces to control my wrist movements for the carpal tunnels.

For safety reasons, all of this equipment must be kept with me when I board an air plane, a bus, a cruise ship, travel on a train or take an overnight road trip. And you are thinking, with todays travel restrictions, she is going to experience a travel nightmare. WRONG! It is all in the preparation.

Recently, I traveled from the east coast to Denver CO. by air plane. My sister, whom I have always referred to as "The World Traveler", informed me that I needed to contact the travel agent and give the agent the following information;
  • I would need a wheel chair with assistance,
  • I would be traveling with my medications in their original containers
  • To give her a list of the machines that I would be traveling with and
  • Inform her that I had knee replacements.

If your reservations are made over the Internet, simply contact the airline and hotel directly.

The travel agent then contacted the air line with my information. It was put in the computer and when I arrived at the air port. I informed the employee checking me in that I had requested a wheel chair with assistance. This service is provided by the air line as a courtesy. So there is no charge. You are expected to tip the assistant. The assistant is with you from the time you check in until he or she delivers you to your boarding area. They are also great with helping you get through security with a minimal of stress.

If you are as debilitated as I am, and only you know your limitations, I would suggest that you travel with a companion. But, if you don't have one, don't let that stop you from traveling. Make that phone call and find out what other assistance is available to you.

There may be additional expenses. But, ask questions. On a cruise to Mexico, I was required to pay a $30.00 deposit for an extension cord with the correct plug. When I returned the cord at the end of the cruise, it was refunded.

Finally, when you make your hotel reservations, request handicap accommodations. Most hotels have rooms set up with grip bars in their bathrooms as well as raised seats for our safety.

We are the Baby Boomers of America. 78 million strong*. As we age the world is changing to accommodate us. So, ask questions. Make your request. Help the world give us what we want and need. Not what they think we want.

*Pit Stop For Pain Relief by J. A. Dorizas, M.D.

Passion Get a Way Travel

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