Like a good bottle of wine, I don’t travel well, and am taking things easy for the next few days. Where have I been? My husband and I have just returned from speaking at a Gaucher Conference in Poland. This time my husband also gave a talk, from the caregivers perspective. We are very much a team; both have positive attitudes and are proactive.
Now in my 8th year of living with Parkinson’s, fellow sufferers can no doubt relate to how difficult it is travelling abroad. For those who do not suffer this rotten disease, to fully understand how it effects a person, is probably near to impossible. An airport is most definitely a non-friendly environment for someone with Parkinson’s. The chaos, loud noise everywhere, thousands of people milling around, it’s all too much when you suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
We always take my wheelchair with, for just getting from the entrance of the airport to the check in desk is a mammoth walk for anyone in poor condition, and then waiting in line, going through security, all of which involves considerable walking and standing before even getting on the plane. I take my wheelchair right up to the door of the plane, and manage the short walk to our seats. We remove the foot rests and cushion from the wheelchair and take these with us onto the plane. My wheelchair is then taken away and put in the hold.
Once seated on the plane, trying to sit still for an entire flight, with the occasional bathroom visit is far from easy. This is when Gaucher disease decides to join in the party that’s going on inside my body. The barometric cabin pressure always effects my joints and long bones, which become extremely painful during a flight. Not all Gaucher patients are subjected to this symptom, but those who suffer bone involvement, probably experience something similar.