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!