Warning: May contain obscene language. Strike that, will contain obscene language.
I don't normally like to comment here about my health "issues" but this has really been getting to me.
As some of you who have been reading awhile might remember, I have cystic fibrosis. Now while most of the time I am well, and I choose to live my life as though c.f wasn't a part of me, events surrounding my trip have really brought it all to light. Not only is there the extra baggage I have to take for all my medications, it was also established that I need to have access to oxygen while on board the plane. I was told because of my c.f I had to have a high altitude simulation test (H.A.S.T) in order to be deemed "fit for travel" and in doing that test it became aware that I would require the use of oxygen. Now we're flying with Emirates, and according to my medical team, and a quick check of their website, it all seemed as though it should run smoothly, they would provide oxygen via nasal cannula and everything would be sweet. Obviously this is now where the rant comes in.
We lodged the forms downloaded from the Emirates website, ticking the box that said "needs pulse flow oxygen via nasal cannula". They rejected the first form because we lodged it one week too early. Resubmitted new form with the right dates, that one was rejected because it was the old form. In reading the new form we realised there was no box for oxygen via nasal cannula, only for a mask. According to my doctor, if I use the mask I will be worse off than not using oxygen, as I will just be re-breathing my CO2. Ok, scrap that idea. Another check of their website confirms that we can take a portable oxygen concentrator on board with me. Great, lets just do that. The machine comes with a battery lasting 3 hours, we'll just plug it in on the plane, and everything will be sweet. It turns out, we can't just "plug it in", there is nowhere to plug it in, I need to take all the batteries required to operate it for the duration of the flight. Do the math, 3 hour battery life, 22 hours total flight time, and also the batteries are the length and half the width of a brick. Not only that, I have been able to access a portable oxygen concentrator for free, the batteries, that's another story altogether. Trying to hire that many batteries will be the equivalent of half of my spending money allowance. Apparently my medical team have never experienced this much hassle before in trying to get someone access to onboard oxygen, and they have dealt with Emirates before with no problems either. Emirates informed me that they have done cabin upgrades and have had to change some of their policies. I also found out that they have an "inseat power source" but that is for recharging your laptops and mobile phones, and I'm not to plug my oxygen batteries into that. My first reaction to that was, what the fuck? My second reaction, WHAT THE FUCK? God forbid people can't send their friends and families emails of cats with fucked up text versions of words emblazoned all over it. How the fuck can anyone get by without chatting on their mobiles about the fabulous mani/pedi they got yesterday, or the inflight meal they just got served? Apparently all these measures have been put in place because some fucktard who didn't plug his oxygen in properly sued some airline, so now the rest of us have to suffer, literally. So basically the upshot is, I will be making a 22+ hour flight, with 3 hours of oxygen, saving it only for when I get back from the loo. I have been told this will not be detrimental to my health, but I am going to have one motherfucker of a headache. Let me also add, if I get in that seat and I have the right adapter to plug my battery in, I will be doing it. I'd like to see them try and stop me.