Even Superheroes Fly Coach

A month from today, thanks to the generosity of my parents, a brother, and a sister, I will be travelling to my home country of the U.S. for an extended visit. By now, most readers probably know that I’ve been residing in South America for almost the past decade. It used to be that I would go to the U.S. at least twice a year…but with all of my recent financial and health issues, I haven’t been able to visit for the past three years.

The trip from my house to my parents’ house takes almost 20 hours door-to-door, and require three layovers. Part of me, as excited as I am about the upcoming visit, is slightly nervous about pulling off such a trip while travelling alone. Deep down, however, I know that I am going to be okay, and that my decision to ask for wheelchair services is going to help a lot. The international arrivals/immigration/customs terminal at Miami airport is daunting enough for people who don’t have any problems walking…and DFW can be quite a challenge, depending upon the gate connections.

Here’s hoping that I don’t run into the same immigration officer who, during my last trip, asked me if I had hurt myself mountain climbing. Or the airport security official who tagged me for an extra security check because I was limping. Or the airline representative who barked at me to not stand in the pre-boarding area, because it was just for platinum or gold members. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, though…{sarcasm alert} after all, once I pointed out that I was using crutches–something that was clearly visible to anyone who could see–she “allowed” me to stay in line with the pre-boarding group.

Another thing I’m really excited about this ten-week visit, during which I’ll be in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and New York City, is the fact that I’ll be able to avoid winder down here in the Southern Hemisphere. Most people normally don’t associate strong winters with south of the equator…but they can indeed be quite severe, especially at 12,000 feet above sea level! I know it’s going to be hot–very hot–in some of the places that I’ll be visiting, but I am already looking forward to being able to wear shorts and sandals, instead of being bundled up in multiple layers here at home.

I’ve got quite a bit that needs to get done in the remaining weeks; in addition to the usual packing and gifts that needs to be purchased, I also got to stock up on all the medications that I will be taking with me. During my extended visit, that starts in May and ends in August, I’ll be blogging on a regular basis, just probably not as frequently. I want to enjoy every minute during which I’ll be able to spend time with family and friends who I haven’t seen in quite a while.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

8 Comments
8 comments
  1. Julie says:

    Praying for a safe and smooth trip for you… It does sound daunting… but I hope with the right meds, like pain meds and prednisone, if needed, and along with reserving any kind of energy and strength, by using the wheelchairs, etc, that it wont be too miserable for you. And our senses of humor are also a good way to make travel and life, in general, more tolerable. Looking forward to reading : “RA Guy’s Travel Tales From Beyond the Southern Hemisphere”!

  2. Jill says:

    I don’t know about you, but flying always kicks off a good flare for me. My doctor said it could be the changing barametric pressure. Anyway, if that happens to you, make sure you plan for it and be easy on yourself. Don’t be a hero – take something it and rest. It doesn’t usually affect me for very long – I hope it’s the same for you! Good luck!!!

  3. Tanya says:

    So glad you are able to return to see your family. Hopefully the warm weather will agree with your RA and you can get some extra TLC that families are so great for. Hope you have a safe and smooth journey.

  4. Belinda says:

    I hope you have a great trip and enjoy your time with your family. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to get up and walk periodically on the plane. I’m taking a trip to South America in a couple of days. It’s the longest trip I’ve been on since being diagnosed with RA. I’m armed with all the necessary pharmaceuticals and I”m going to try to be as mindful so I don’t overdo it.

    Julie, you are so right — humour and a positive attitude makes everything so much better! :)

  5. Kate@CookingwithArthur says:

    Have an amazing and well-earned trip. I can’t say my last experience of flying was much better than yours. Took me three weeks to get hold of BA to get appropriate seats and then I got knocked over on the flight by one crew member and another kept trying to put things in my clearly splinted and bandaged hands…However, when I have used the wheelchair service I have found them much better. Something about the chair helps them ‘get it’. Good luck and report back!

  6. Carla says:

    Hope you have a great trip. Traveling (especially coach) is not easy, but I know you’ll have a great time seeing your family and enjoying the warm weather. (And happy birthday and blogaversary!)

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