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.
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”!