Travelling With Spinal Cord Injury is a Nightmare!

travel barbara 2Travelling is one of the things I love the most… and it is one of the things I miss the most in my life. I love to travel but since my spinal cord injury I can do it only if there are some conditions. I made just one big journey after my injury… I went to Australia two years ago… that was my first real trip I made in my life and I could make it thanks to my parents, I can’t move anywhere without them and specially without my mother’s care (except of some circumstances). During my life with my injury I always had to give many trips up because I couldn’t have the assistance I need, and this is something that made me suffer in silence several times.

By in my experience I can say that travelling itself is not impossible for people with spinal cord injury, but it needs proper organization before leaving. About my journey to Australia, for example, I had a catheter with a bag to collect urine because I coudn’t use the toilet on the plane; this is one of the problems a spinal cord injuried has to deal with. Then I would have to avoid the risk of causing pressure sores because of many hours sitting, but the seat was too narrow to put my wheelchair cushion on, so I had to travel 12 hours without any protection. Luckily everything went fine, but you can’t count on fortune every time… this is something that people with spinal cord injury can’t afford. I’ve longed for a trip to Australia for many years and I am grateful to have had a dream come true… but that can’t be repeated even if I desire it much more than the first time.

Saint Augustine said: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”

I can add that many people have no possibility even only to open that book. 

We need a Cure for Chronic Spinal Cord Injury!

Cure Girl Barbara

 

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4 thoughts on “Travelling With Spinal Cord Injury is a Nightmare!

  1. “I like travelling around my country. Before my spinal cord injury I used to catch a train and go hiking over trails in the Alps or on the paths that ran along the coast. It was great to reach a place I liked and spend the night there. I felt really free. Sometime I also decided to visit a city and if I found it interesting I could decide to stop there one day more. However, this is no longer possible. If I have to stop for the night I have to check a lot of hotels before finding something suitable. In some small places, accessible hotels don’t even exist and when they do, they can be very expensive. Booking trains is also really difficult and wheelchair users must also book assistance to board. We are forced to plan our journeys in advance. You are forced to use your car (if you can) but for long distances it is tiring and it is also expensive.
    When travelling with paralysis, nothing is effortless and many wonderful places are no longer accessible.
    Last but by no means least, we have to deal with all our physical problems and health complications which at times prevent us from travelling causing us to cancel our plans.
    I want my life and my freedom back; I want a CURE!” Cure Girl Arcangela

  2. When you have a spinal cord injury you first have to relearn how to get in a car. When you have that sorted you then have the worry of going places. You can’t just go out with friends like you used too; what if your chair doesn’t fit in the car? Are you going to manage a journey knowing you have to use the bathroom multiple times? You can’t just jump in the car like you used too; nothing is spontaneous when you are living with an SCI.
    My first big journey alone was to Canada; a plane journey of 9 hours, dreading not being able to use the toilet. I didn’t have a drink in case I wasn’t able to get to the toilet in time. We can all have accidents. It’s humiliating and depressing. It’s like being a baby all over again.
    I’ve since travelled to America a number of times. British Airways and Virgin both had disabled toilets, but you do have to ask the air crew to help, and you must sit with arms crossed while you get dragged back to where the toilet is, using an aisle chair bumping people all the way.
    Trains are a total nightmare, even with one person with you it’s still hard. They have ramps around but no one is ever around to help, so it’s scary and there’s been times when we’ve had to ask total strangers to help. When on a train you have to sit in a wheelchair area which always is right next to the luggage racks, usually away from the other passengers.
    Parking when travelling is not always easy either; there are disabled spaces but sometimes you have people taking up spaces that have no badge, or have a badge but can walk, this is frustrating as you need more space to be able to get out.
    We don’t want to live like this. A cure would stop all this, stop the humiliation, depression, and the worry of travelling.
    Travelling with an SCI is horrible. We don’t want it, we want a Cure. And we need it now!” Cure Girl Rebecca

  3. “I had a dream: to travel across the world. Before I sustained my spinal cord injury I was too young to do so and now, my “movements” are limited. I’m paraplegic so lucky I can move my arms. I have my driving license travel alone in my car but there are still problems. I don’t use planes, trains or bus because I have difficulties managing my bowel and bladder. It can be humiliating and depressing so I prefer to travel using my car. This is ironic because although I work for a bus company and my father was a bus driver, I prefer to use my car because if I need to, I can get out faster at home and I’m able to maneuver without damaging someone else’s car.
    My car is a minivan because when I travel I always carry with me things that are needed for my survival; and I’m not talking about food, shoes or clothes. I’m talking about catheters, bags for urine collection, drugs and aids like my wheelchair.
    I’m able to load my wheelchair into the car alone, but this involves a lot of hard work, bruises on my skin, damage to the call and dirty clothes. There are aids that can do this for me but my arms are not paralysed. Also these aids would occupy more space in the car and they are very expensive.
    But my dream remains the same: to travel freely across the world. Only with a CURE be we free again and so we do all we can support research for a CURE FOR A REVERSAL FOR PARALYSIS.” Cure Girl Loredana

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