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Joachim

Long distance flight with or without leg

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I am planning vacations in Europe.A long distance flight from southern Brazil to Germany including change of airline carrier takes me 34 hours without taking off my leg.As I am AKA it's difficult to take my leg off at the airport or in the plane and get it on when I need it.Would you suggest to keep the leg on all the time or use crutches for the flight?Does somebody have experience on that matter?

Joachim

LAK + LAE

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Hello Joachim,

With the exception of my trip to/from Australia (from Minnesota), I always leave my leg on because the swelling which happens in the airplane won't allow me to put the leg back on once I've taken it off. In addition, because I am a symes, it takes quite a bit of 'leg wrestling' to get it off in the first place. Oh wait, there was one other time just earlier this year, the swelling had become too unbearable during the flight that I had no choice but to take it off (one of my trips to California). That sucked because I always check my crutches when I fly so had to sit on the airplane until everyone else left so that they could wheel in a wheelchair for me. So there I was having someone else push me around in a wheelchair while my prosthesis sat in my lap. I had allowed enough damage occur to my leg (up until the time I had finally removed my prosthesis) that I was then on my crutches for the remainder of my trip. :glare: Not to mention all the nerve jolts/spasms that I then have to put up with after I do this type of damage. It always makes those around me jump when my leg (out of the blue) jolts out for no apparent reason. Plus my leg looks like one big ‘hicky’ from all the burst blood vessels (purple).

However, except for what I mentioned above, I do leave my leg on. Sometimes, depending on amount of swelling during the flight, I have to get up and walk around or just wiggle my leg back and forth. I always feel bad for the poor person sitting next to me for all the twitching I do during a flight.

An AKA buddy of mine always pulls his leg off for flights. He says it's just too uncomfortable to sit that long with it on. Maybe 'crutching it' would be more comfortable. (?) Thirty-four hours is an enormous amount of time in 'prosthesis time'!!

Amy

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If I had to wear my suction socket that long I am not sure how it would feel or if a problem would arise.

Why not wear a stump shrinker during the time the leg is not being worn to keep the swelling down?

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i WOULDN'T NORMALLY WEAR MINE FOR THAT LONG, BUT i HAVE WORN MY ak SUCTION SOCKET FOR overnight and into the next day before now... very occasioanlly when there's no alternative. (sorry about the caps lock :biggrin: )

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Hello Joachim,

With the exception of my trip to/from Australia (from Minnesota), I always leave my leg on because the swelling which happens in the airplane won't allow me to put the leg back on once I've taken it off. In addition, because I am a symes, it takes quite a bit of 'leg wrestling' to get it off in the first place. Oh wait, there was one other time just earlier this year, the swelling had become too unbearable during the flight that I had no choice but to take it off (one of my trips to California). That sucked because I always check my crutches when I fly so had to sit on the airplane until everyone else left so that they could wheel in a wheelchair for me. So there I was having someone else push me around in a wheelchair while my prosthesis sat in my lap. I had allowed enough damage occur to my leg (up until the time I had finally removed my prosthesis) that I was then on my crutches for the remainder of my trip. :glare: Not to mention all the nerve jolts/spasms that I then have to put up with after I do this type of damage. It always makes those around me jump when my leg (out of the blue) jolts out for no apparent reason. Plus my leg looks like one big ‘hicky’ from all the burst blood vessels (purple).

However, except for what I mentioned above, I do leave my leg on. Sometimes, depending on amount of swelling during the flight, I have to get up and walk around or just wiggle my leg back and forth. I always feel bad for the poor person sitting next to me for all the twitching I do during a flight.

An AKA buddy of mine always pulls his leg off for flights. He says it's just too uncomfortable to sit that long with it on. Maybe 'crutching it' would be more comfortable. (?) Thirty-four hours is an enormous amount of time in 'prosthesis time'!!

Amy

Just wondering, Amy, what happens with regards having enough room to sit comfortably. I have only recently just begun wearing a b/k leg with a liner which doesn't allow me to fully bend my leg. Am only asking because I had problems sitting in the cinema last night, luckily no one was sitting on that side of me, so I stretched my leg out to that side, however, it would have been quite uncomfortable had I not been able to do that, so am wondering the position when flying, given the lack of space between seats. (I am bilateral, so 'crutching it' is not really an option for me)

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One sugggestion that I might make is getting a seat at the bulk head so no one else is in front of you.. Those seats seem to have a little more room.. or so my ak friends tell me. ( I haven't done it yet but have been considering it..

Me, most of the time being an ak, I will leave it on. The liners that I am in, (Ossur Synergy) allow me plenty of leg movement and to bend quite easily.

I have removed mine and then put it back on once we have landed but again, as a bk, that is easy enough to do.

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I've always left my leg on during flights...but the longest flight I've taken has only been from L.A. to the east coast. On a few occasions, I've had the leg on for nearly 40 hours, but I have not been confined to an airline seat for that...mostly I've just been up-and-running all day, stretched out on the sofa to rest for a bit, leg on, and fallen asleep until morning, so I have to get "up and at it" again. By the time I finally take it off, I'm more than ready to be rid of it!

For anyone wondering about flying in the bulkhead seats, I've done it and it's lovely! I don't make a point of asking for it, but if some kind airline employee offers it to me, I grab it! Lots of legroom, and no-one ahead of you to recline into your lap.....

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Bulkhead seats are the best. And I have requested them! When in a regular seat, I have been known to slip mine off. No matter how well your knee bends, it's cramped. Once, I said to my fellow passenger..don't freak out, I have a prosthetic leg and I'm taking it off...she was fine. Just thought a little "heads up" was in order :smile:

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Thanks,my friends for your comments and suggestions.In resume I came to the conclusion,that for me the best way would be to use crutches,have a shrinker on my stump,get a bulkhead seat and have my leg in a bag with me in the cabin.As I am also a left above elbow amputee I'll use my prosthetic arm and axila crutches.The arm I can take off during flight without any problem.The only question is where may I let my crutches in the airplane?Below the seat or with the cabin crew and ask for them every time I have to go to the restroom?

Thanks very much for your kind and precious suggestions.

Joachim

LAK + LAE

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Just wondering, Amy, what happens with regards having enough room to sit comfortably. I have only recently just begun wearing a b/k leg with a liner which doesn't allow me to fully bend my leg. Am only asking because I had problems sitting in the cinema last night, luckily no one was sitting on that side of me, so I stretched my leg out to that side, however, it would have been quite uncomfortable had I not been able to do that, so am wondering the position when flying, given the lack of space between seats. (I am bilateral, so 'crutching it' is not really an option for me)

Hello Ann,

For movie theatres, I make a point in sitting on the left side of everyone else so that I can flop my left leg up on the seat next to me when and if necessary. For the Theatre (as in stage productions taking place in 100 year old buildings built when everyone had shorter legs) I do attempt to get a handicapped seat. Typically, when I run up to the Twin Cities to see a show (aka Phantom or an actual Opera) I will go to my favorite Sushi restaurant and the soy sauce wreaks havoc on my leg (regarding swelling/water retention) so that by the time we get to the theatre and seated, my leg is screaming for me to yank it off (which I won’t do there).

For flying, I (personally speaking only) have found that for shorter flights (< 3 hours) I can sit in any seat and just 'squirm' until landing. Completely doable. Although I will always ask if an exit seat is available. For longer flights, I look up the dimensions on www.seatguru.com. I once thought that 'bulkhead' automatically meant more leg room. Not always true. Typically, it is true but I've been surprised before. The A320's (depending on the version) I will call and ask for row 5 or 6 (whichever one is directly behind 1st class) because if it's the version I've taken to the Virgin Islands or Bonaire, it is quite lovely. You can't get it online. You have to buy a different seat and then call and give them the "physical limitations" tale. What they type in for me is "can't bend knee all the way".

OK, I just looked through SeatGuru and can't find the aircraft I would always take across the pond but up until 2001, the row I always asked for was 22. It was right behind a galley, I would take (out of the middle seats) the far right seat. I wanted my left leg on the inside but I also wanted an isle seat. The movie screen was right in front of me but there was enough leg room that I could lay my carry-on luggage on the floor to use as a foot-stool. It was perfect but I can't find it out of the present day selection. Bummer.

Joachim,

One of the times I brought my crutches on board (because I had to use them), I just tossed them in the overhead and then pulled them out whenever I needed to run (figuratively speaking) to the restroom. The other time, I stood in the first class galley and B.S.’ed the entire flight with the attendants. It was a blast! It was a mini-party in the galley. When a gorgeous man walked by to use the restroom, we pulled him in to join us (partly for me and partly of the gay-attendant who also eye-balled him) :cool: They then decided to give me a gift on my way (after landing) and so wrapped a bottle of wine up in a plastic bag to take with me. I thought that strange but was not about to argue. So here I was, fairly well ‘tanked’, crutching myself off the plane with a plastic-bag wrapped bottle of wine. What a sight I must have been. Thank goodness the buddy I was meeting still claimed me. :cool:

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Hiya all (or Y'all as we would say in Texas). I'm an AK newbie- been wearing my leg about 10 weeks now, so I was really interested in this topic-- I'm traveling from Houston to Geneva tommorow and was wondering whether to take the leg off or not, so then I read through the comments. I didnt think about packing the shrinker in by packsack and wasnt going to carry on the crutches, but after hearing the comments from Amy, I have changed my mind! I did take a couple of shorter flights last week, one to Portland and one to Tucson, and both went ok, but I did learn that the TSA can be a bear. I wore shorts even so that my prothetic showed me right of the bat before setting off the detectors, but they still insisted on doing full body pat downs... ick! So now I will allow 20 extra minutes for all of that.

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Hiya all (or Y'all as we would say in Texas). I'm an AK newbie- been wearing my leg about 10 weeks now, so I was really interested in this topic-- I'm traveling from Houston to Geneva tommorow and was wondering whether to take the leg off or not, so then I read through the comments. I didnt think about packing the shrinker in by packsack and wasnt going to carry on the crutches, but after hearing the comments from Amy, I have changed my mind! I did take a couple of shorter flights last week, one to Portland and one to Tucson, and both went ok, but I did learn that the TSA can be a bear. I wore shorts even so that my prothetic showed me right of the bat before setting off the detectors, but they still insisted on doing full body pat downs... ick! So now I will allow 20 extra minutes for all of that.

Dale,

I hope your flight panned out all right for you. I've never used a 'shrinker' thingy before but it sounds like a good idea. You'll have to give us a report upon your return. Yes, security is always a joy. Actually, for me it's always quite straightforward and professional. It gets irritating when I'm at an airport that doesn't have restaurants or sports bars behind security so if you have a lengthy layover, you have to pass through security an extra time.

Oh yeah, regarding my reference to being given a bottle of wine as a gift from the flight attendant, this was from 1st class so it was the full-sized bottle of wine (not the mini's we get in coach) that I was carrying in my hand while on crutches. I should be embarrassed about it but it was in Seattle-Tacoma and I only knew one person so I just laugh at some of the situations I can get myself into. :laugh:

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Amy,

I'll try it on my flight to enter with crutches the galley of the executive class and tell the flight attendants that you got a bottle of wine by your airline,because you are a poor amputee,and that I have also the right to have one or two (?) bottles of wine by my airline because I am an amputee too and that my flight is a long distance flight and need it to survive.Do they also provide a wheelchair after landing when you don't have conditions to walk with crutches after a party in the galley?

Joachim

LAK + LAE

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keep it on but walk up and down every few hours (just like every one else!)

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Hi All, I just returned from my trip- 8.5 hours on the Geneva/JFK leg, and 3.5 from JFK to Houston. Things went well, I was lucky and got upgraded to business class on the way over. I took the leg off and slept a few hours. My socket is getting a bit loose, so I didnt have trouble getting it back on. Maybe the shrinker helped some with that too. On the way back I didnt get the upgrade, and while it was pretty tight, I managed ok. I will definately work harder to get those bulkhead seats when possible!

Since I am still kind of a newbie, I was excited that I learned to do the escalators this trip. I had a lot of apprehension at first, but once I got the hang of it, then its ok. I did find that by putting my good foot out first at the end, then I didnt have to worry about my prosthetic knee buckeling out from under me because of the sudden change in motion.

Caveman has a good point about getting up and walking around a couple of times.

As for TSA, my list of gripes is getting longer. I even wore shorts on every flight just so they would know they have an amp/prosthetic coming thru. I had one tell me I should have taken my shoes off- which I found out later is not a requirement for an amp, their website even states this. Guess I need to write some congresspersons. Maybe we need a separate topic on that subject and get some other experiances together to send up to Washington.

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