Monday, March 25, 2013

Travelling through customs with a cane

As I have said in earlier posts, I have a great deal of respect for those who have to live with chronic pain. I have been lucky in that I have only had to live with chronic pain for about a year and when I have my hip and knee operations, my hope is that I will no longer have the chronic pain that has forced me to change my lifestyle. 

I did take my cane with me when we travelled to Australia as I was not sure how sitting on a plane for 14 hours would affect my hip and my knee. On the flight I did spend a great deal of time, standing and walking, which helped keep the discomfort to a minimum. Once we were off the plane, I had to use my cane to help me walk and since I am new at walking with a cane, I did walk rather slowly. My wife and son were able to move a lot quicker than I could, but I was used to this and was not uncomfortable with them moving ahead. 

Once we got to the custom area in Sydney, the signs I found were confusing. I am not sure if that was because of lack of sleep from the flight or because of the medication. So I saw a flight attendant from our plane and I asked her about which line we should move into in the customs. I was walking with my cane and she was with a number of passengers who were in wheelchairs. She looked at me and asked if I was on her flight. I said yes and she said come with me. I signalled my wife, and son, and we followed her and within five minutes, we were through customs. All of the people who were in wheel chairs and their families were given the same treatment. I was quite happy and we saved ourselves about 45 minutes of waiting. 

I found that this was the only time that I gained an advantage by using a cane. I am now better at walking with my cane, and I am hopeful that within the next three months I will no longer need it.

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