Monday, October 29, 2007

Travelling in a Brace

A weeek ago, I went to Austin, TX to attend the fantastic Maker Faire (more on that on the other blog.) Travelling in the brace is an interesting (and uncomfortable) experience. Just sitting down in general jams the chin support up onto my chin, even riding in a car is not too much fun.

So plane travel, with cramped seats and little legroom, wasn't looking too appealing. But what I was really worried about was getting through security without being stripsearched or tasered. I had read some pretty scary accounts of what has happened to people with a brace or prosthetic. Apparently regulations state that you can't be asked to remove an orthotic or prosthetic, but why would an underpaid, poorly trained security guard know or care?

It turned out that the staff in the Vancouver airport was baffled by the brace. I showed them a letter from my doctor, and the guard performed a pat down body search. Really wasn't too bad.

And the guard in Austin was lovely, very polite and respectful - she too gave me a complete pat down, but did tell me what she was doing as she went. So, my fears were unfounded.

The only snags were that I had requested an aisle seat and didn't get one except for the last leg of the return trip. The flight attendant suggested asking my fellow passengers if they would trade, but no one wanted to move. An older man who sat down next to me as I was squeezed into the middle seat said, "Gee that looks painful," but when I asked him if he wouldn't mind switching seats he said "Nah".

Oh well, I survived! And only a few weeks to go before the brace comes off - I am healing well!


jude said...

i really am amazed at how well you are taking all this.

Keiramc said...

Just came across this blog Heather- good lord what a chronicle of pain, courage and plain old insensitivity. People won't give up their damn seat on an airplane to a woman in a brace? EMT's telling you to shut up? christ.

I've had 2 weeny, minor accidents the last couple of years; breaking my foot when you were our close neighbour and spraining my ankle a few weeks ago when I fell into a storm drain.

Both times I got the "guess you needed to rest" line as if I somehow manufactured opportunities to fall. Well, as it turns out I did need to rest. Both times I resisted but then ultimately took the opportunity in the accident.

I think we all need to rest. Save the planet- just do less. It's the shit we all do that's so harmful. But to suggest that we manufacture the accidents of time and chance makes me want to wack someone with my cane. Life is unpredictable, often horrifying and amazing in unequal measures day to day.

Thanks for chronicling your journey.

Keiramc said...

Heather- a comment you can delete: there's a piece of mail here for you. I will leave it in the mailbox for you.