Since leaving inpatient therapy, a big project for me has been trying to reclaim not only my health, but also my lifestyle.  I’ve minimized my pill intake (no more blood thinners, woo hoo!), I got my bowel and bladder programs under control (with the help of a stellar urologist), and even spoke to a post-SCI fertility and sex expert (not only can I have babies, they will also be super motor-skilled).

The next hurtle: air travel.

Fortunately, with some help from the team at United Airlines and their customer service partner Air Serv, I am ready to fly.

Last week, I visited O’Hare Airport, where Justin, of Airport Operations Performance and Strategy at United, set up a personal tour for me through security and onto a plane. It was awesome. As long as I let the airline know in advance, my wheelchair and paralysis should not impede my ability to get onto a flight. I’ll have assistance through security, two people to help transfer me into an aisle chair and then my seat, on-board help from flight attendants, and a guarantee of similar treatment at my destination. And if I run into trouble, there’s a designated “complaint resolution official” ready to work out accessibility issues.

Thanks to the requirements of the Air Carrier Access Act, all US-based airlines must not only make traveling for people with disabilities possible, but actually worthwhile. Sure, getting onto a flight after a spinal cord injury is a little bit more of a hassle; but then again, so is peeing.

THANK YOU to the amazing and dedicated team from United who took the time to prepare me for my return to flying! I just bought my one-way ticket to New York!

And, of course, thank you to everyone who has been helping me get back to “normal”!

(you’ll find my photos of the airport visit here, and more information about disability travel here)