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Author Topic: Our Travel Experience With PD  (Read 4842 times)
drgirlfriend
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« on: January 12, 2012, 07:06:09 AM »

Technically this is only half of the story since we are still away from home. We shall see how getting back to NC goes. This is our first trip since starting dialysis. The basic get-down is the bf has a job interview in Houston today. This is very good news, but getting the invitation right before Christmas made planning a pain in the arse.

We left Fayetteville yesterday via Delta with 1 carry on, 1 checked suitcase and 1 large case with the Libery Cycler in it. (I had already UPSed some supplies to the hotel and a Houston clinic delivered bags, cassettes, and caps. We borrowed a brand new Samsonite case with foam inserts from our local clinic.) Many phone calls about traveling with the cycler preceded our trip. Fresenius told us that Delta should either let the case travel in the 1st class "closet" or put some sort of sticker on it that will keep handlers from throwing it on the carousel/conveyer. I do not doubt the veracity of what they told my boyfriend, but he really had to fuss to get a supervisor to give a satisfactory solution. I think the problem was with the fact that Fayetteville is a tiny airport and we were traveling on small planes. They really couldn't put it in 1st class because the plane was simply too small. No one at Delta was going to hand-carry the case to the plane because it was almost 50 pounds. So they put "Fragile" and "CAGPT" stickers all over it and let us gate check the monster. Don't know what CAGPT means but the supervisor said the staff would recognize it as special.

The plane from Fayetteville to ATL was 45 minutes late, so we missed our connecting flight and had to wait 3 hours for the next one that would get us to Houston Hobby. That was a big problem since we were scheduled to get there 5:30 in the first place, and with his interview breakfast starting at 7:30 the next morning, it was going to be a race to get the checked bag, rental car and misc supplies (bleach and something to hold sharps) and then get to the hotel and get him hooked up in time to get up early. (He does 3 exchanges a night.) We discussed doing just 1 or 2 exchanges instead of the 3, but weren't sure how the machine would respond. He's only been using it for 6 weeks. He decided to forgo dialysis completely in favor of sleep. I don't know how I feel about that, but I understand it and it was his decision. We skipped the trip to the store and went straight to the hotel. Thank goodness all our supplies had arrived in good shape! We loaded in, he took a shower and did site care and we got to bed around 11:30. He got up at 6 and is currently at the interview. He looked very handsome and was in good spirits. I hope he can maintain his energy level. I'm a little scared about it.   :(

I know that some people pack manual supplies in case of delays or other problems, but we just couldn't see how we could have managed it. He's not supposed to lift too much and my left knee is a mess, so getting what we had thru the airports was trial enough. Plus we were so anxious about getting the cycler through that we couldn't imagine packing and explaining anything else. Maybe we're sissies, but it was all we could bear.

I will update when we take the cycler out tonight and see if it still works...
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Boyfriend diagnosed with renal failure Feb. 2011. Cause unknown.
PD Catheter "installed" June 30, 2011.
Began CAPD August 11, 2011.
On transplant list 11/23/11.
Started Liberty Cycler 12/1/11.
Riki
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 06:56:10 PM »

That would have been the first thing I did, before going to bed.  I know that the "fragile" stickers that we put on the case with my Home Choice cycler didn't make a lick of difference to the Air Canada staff.  They still tipped it upside down and put something heavy on top of it.  That broke the door on the cycler, and broke the handle on the case.  As much as I don't like hemo, I am glad that I don't have to travel with the cycler anymore.
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Dialysis - Feb 1991-Oct 1992
transplant - Oct 1, 1992- Apr 2001
dialysis - April 2001-May 2001
transplant - May 22, 2001- May 2004
dialysis - May 2004-present
PD - May 2004-Dec 2008
HD - Dec 2008-present
drgirlfriend
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 07:31:51 AM »

The bf got through the day pretty well. I was afraid he'd pass out or something crazy in the middle of the interview. Apparently not. He's feeling fine and I'm relieved.

There was no obvious breakage or pieces hanging off the cycler when we took it out of the case. Score 1 for the case! When he went to hook up there was a problem with the scale on top of the machine. Somehow it got out of whack in transit and thought there was something on top of the machine when there wasn't. Alarm, alarm, alarm! We called the customer service number and they guided us through resetting the scale. Not a big deal. If that's the only problem we have with the machine on this trip, I'll take it! The biggest time consumer was getting all the supplies in place and going through the steps. It's a lot quicker when you're in your usual routine.
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Boyfriend diagnosed with renal failure Feb. 2011. Cause unknown.
PD Catheter "installed" June 30, 2011.
Began CAPD August 11, 2011.
On transplant list 11/23/11.
Started Liberty Cycler 12/1/11.
Joe
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 12:03:20 PM »

Glad to hear all is going well. Safe travels.
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drgirlfriend
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 03:50:29 PM »

Thanks, Joe!

We almost made it back without mishap. Getting from Houston to Atlanta was ok, and Atlanta to Fayetteville was fine, but once we went to pick up the cycler case, things got ugly. Granted, each stop required a somewhat lengthy conversation with someone at the gate, sometimes more than one. And the bf had to stick to his guns about how he wanted the cycler case to be handled. In a lot of ways this kind of thing appeals to the bf's ego in that he can very righteously demand things be done his way. Unfortunately in tiny Fayetteville airport on a Sunday, his instructions were not followed and lots of yelling ensued. Then after the yelling came the "employees passing the buck and the supervisor isn't here today" crap. Instead of the baggage handlers walking the case up the stairs in the walkway, like they did everywhere else, they put it in the elevator that they use for carry-ons that won't fit. They didn't put it on the same rack with the others, they put it in by itself. Considering no one in the baggage crew wanted to bring the thing up the stairs and they refused to call a manager to verify what the bf was telling them, the elevator was a good alternative in my opinion. I guess my focus was "averting actions that could break the machine" and that seemed ok, if not ideal. Completely unacceptable to the bf. I'm guessing that Delta customer service will be getting an earful very soon.

I found out what that sticker was they put on the case. According to a Delta employee in Houston, it means it's a gun case or gun locker! WTF?   :o  Only in Fayetteville would they think to put that on to get the baggage handlers to respect the case.
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Boyfriend diagnosed with renal failure Feb. 2011. Cause unknown.
PD Catheter "installed" June 30, 2011.
Began CAPD August 11, 2011.
On transplant list 11/23/11.
Started Liberty Cycler 12/1/11.
Joe
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 03:58:57 PM »



I found out what that sticker was they put on the case. According to a Delta employee in Houston, it means it's a gun case or gun locker! WTF?   :o  Only in Fayetteville would they think to put that on to get the baggage handlers to respect the case.

If that is the sticker that works at that airport, more power to them! The goal is getting it there in one piece.
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Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God...
drgirlfriend
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 06:20:40 AM »

I agree, Joe! I'm amused at how they chose to do it, but glad that the darn thing made it to Houston and back in one piece. The bf is still so pissed about how he was treated at Fayetteville airport, he is saying that he doesn't want to fly ever again. I tried to make him see that with all the things that could have gone wrong, there was only ONE rough spot, but for him that one bad experience negates the rest of the trip. Sigh.
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Boyfriend diagnosed with renal failure Feb. 2011. Cause unknown.
PD Catheter "installed" June 30, 2011.
Began CAPD August 11, 2011.
On transplant list 11/23/11.
Started Liberty Cycler 12/1/11.
lmunchkin
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"There Is No Place Like Home!"

« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 09:40:38 PM »

Well its good to have you back drgirlfriend!  I trust, without all the drama to and fro, you guys had a good time?

lmunchkin
 :kickstart;
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11/2004 Hubby diag. ESRD, Diabeties, Vascular Disease & High BP
12/2004 to 6/2009 Home PD
6/2009 Peritonitis , PD Cath removed
7/2009 Hemo Dialysis In-Center
2/2010 BKA rt leg & lt foot (all toes) amputated
6/2010 to present.  NxStage at home
drgirlfriend
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 06:37:19 AM »

Thanks lmunchkin! Travel travails aside, we did like Houston and the Clear Lake area. It was nice to get away for a few days. I guess I'm just a suburban chick at heart because I felt right at home in CL. It was the right balance of urban and nature for my tastes. The bf grew up in a more rural area so it was a little overwhelming but he did well driving around on the busy streets and freeways for the first time. He really liked the school and the people he interviewed with and felt he did well in the interview. We're hoping they offer him the job. They said they'd get back to us in 2 weeks.
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Boyfriend diagnosed with renal failure Feb. 2011. Cause unknown.
PD Catheter "installed" June 30, 2011.
Began CAPD August 11, 2011.
On transplant list 11/23/11.
Started Liberty Cycler 12/1/11.
billybags
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 10:58:39 AM »

Fingers crossed.
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lmunchkin
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"There Is No Place Like Home!"

« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 01:36:17 PM »

Fingers crossed.

I second that, with   :pray;  too!

lmunch
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11/2004 Hubby diag. ESRD, Diabeties, Vascular Disease & High BP
12/2004 to 6/2009 Home PD
6/2009 Peritonitis , PD Cath removed
7/2009 Hemo Dialysis In-Center
2/2010 BKA rt leg & lt foot (all toes) amputated
6/2010 to present.  NxStage at home
Riki
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 05:38:59 PM »

I found out what that sticker was they put on the case. According to a Delta employee in Houston, it means it's a gun case or gun locker! WTF?   :o  Only in Fayetteville would they think to put that on to get the baggage handlers to respect the case.

Worked better than the "fragile" stickers that were all over the case for my cycler.. cuz even with those, they still put something heavy on top of it and broke it, and the case
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Dialysis - Feb 1991-Oct 1992
transplant - Oct 1, 1992- Apr 2001
dialysis - April 2001-May 2001
transplant - May 22, 2001- May 2004
dialysis - May 2004-present
PD - May 2004-Dec 2008
HD - Dec 2008-present
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