Holiday travel can be hectic even under the best circumstances, but for amputees it often offers additional obstacles. However, with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can help make your trip go off without a logistical hitch. Here are some of Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions’ top tips for traveling with a prosthesis during the holidays:
1) Make a List, Check it Twice.
The last thing you want is to have your prosthesis break during your trip. Be sure to check these potential signs of malfunction before you leave:
· Unfamiliar sounds.
· Loose parts.
· Liner tears.
2) Plan for the Worst.
Straps break, socks are misplaced and screws come loose. It’s important to pack additional items for your prosthesis, should something goes wrong. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry:
· Travel tool kit.
· Additional socket liner.
· Some strong tape.
· Additional pairs of prosthesis socks.
· Your prosthetist’s phone number.
3) Prepare for the TSA.
If you’re flying, you’ll need to be prepared for an inspection by TSA officials. They won’t necessarily need you to remove your prosthesis, but they will want to look at it. Wear loose clothing to help this process go quicker. You may want a note from your doctor explaining that you have a medical necessity for the prosthesis. More than likely, you will set off the metal detectors, but as long as you’re upfront with officials, you should be able to pass through security hassle-free.
4) Inquire about Special Accommodations.
If you are a lower-limb amputee, it may help to request additional support such as wheelchair assistance, especially if you have a long trek between flights. It can help you feel less worn-out by the end of your trip, and wheelchair users are seated either before or after the flight, allowing you the space to become situated. Some airplanes also offer bulkhead seating, which faces the wall instead of the aisle. These allow you more space to get in and out, and they’re usually reserved for those with disabilities.
As long as you stay prepared and keep calm, you can minimize the frustrations of traveling with a prosthesis. If it’s been a while since you last saw your prosthetist, now is a great time to set up an appointment. Happy holidays from your friends at Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions!