Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A small rant....

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.

48 comments:

CurlyPops said...

OMG Selina you have me in tears of anger! I haven't flown anywhere since a really bad oxygen experience about four years ago (and that was just to the Gold Coast). Its always just seemed far too hard to even contemplate organising since then.
I wish there was something I could do to help!

Christina said...

Oh Selina that's terrible! You would really expect them to be going out of their way to make sure you are safe and comfortable! Surely it is their duty of care to you??

I hope everything gets sorted out. Or that your adapter fits! Take care.

xx

Nelly said...

Thats terrible I hope it all works out for you.

Jodie said...

INSANE !! Is there no commonsense ??

Miss Snow said...

I can't believe how much they SUCK! Seriously, I'm so angry for you! It's bad enough that you have to deal with it in the first place, and then suddenly the policies have changed?! And they provide NOTHING to help you? Are they trying to make sure that you have the worst trip ever - and many other people too, I imagine? It's absolute madness, nobody should have to deal with that

teddybearswednesday said...

I cannot cannot believe this, this is utterly ridiculous! your language is restrained considering what you've been through xo

NessaKnits said...

This is all utterly ridiculous. I hope it is more sorted when it is time to fly.

Ruby Star said...

Oh Selina, how very frustrating and not fair at all. I'd be writing a letter to whoever cared to listen and then carbon copying it to george negus or aca etc. Common sense must prevail.

Kate said...

What the fuck!!!!!??????

Catherine said...

SO frustrating (well, frustrating doesn't really cover it, does it?) - I really hope that adapter fits... I've worked with clients with mobility difficulties, and it's so variable how they have been treated... and often pretty hard to get clear information too. I know you probably don't have the energy to fight / write about it to the powers that be now, but I will definitely support you if you do...

teresa said...

OMG Selina... this is something you DO NOT NEED... It makes no sense at all and you would think that the health of their passengers was THE most important aspect of the trip. What the hell are they thinking! I really hope your adapter fits!!! xx

Marg said...

Oh Selina that's so bad, I can't believe how they can make it that difficult for you. I think you were very restrained I would have been adding a whole heap more fucks than that!!! I hope that someone somewhere sees sense.

MummaMoments said...

Selina! This is disgusting! How sad it is that things are so political these days, that they won't take on the responsibilty of assisting a passenger... maybe in case they are seen to be liable if something goes wrong? Such a nightmare for you!
Can I suggest asking your Dr if you can get hold of a "Non-rebreather mask" rather than a plain old hudson style so you are not rebreathing your exhaled CO2? They are those masks with a bag hanging from them, they deliver high rates of 02 as well.
I sincerley hope you have a safe and happy trip xxx

Selina said...

Unfortunately that was also an issue. They won't let me take my own nasal prongs, (they say that the mask is fixed), so I'm assuming this would also extend to taking another mask. They will only let you use what they have, nothing else. They really are being quite difficult about it all, very inflexible.

Thanks for all the support, it is making me feel a little better about things!

Allana said...

What a nightmare you poor thing! It seems the airline needs to get its priorities in order! I wish you a safe and not too painful trip xx

crzylady said...

Oh. My. God. How about if you sue them for endangering your health? How would that be? I think you should QUICKLY post a little paypal link that allows all of your friends to make a small "health" fund donation :) I'd be happy to!

Car said...

:o that is friggen shockng :o

Fingers crossed your adapter fits the plug, or you get a symoathetic air hostess :(

m.e (Cathie) said...

seriously!!! what the!!

Mistea said...

So seriously not sure what has happened in this world that makes pleasure so much more important than health! Here's hoping your adapter fits the socket and your journey is free of health difficulties.

Peta @ Pippiwillow said...

"fucktard"!!!!!!!!!! that one of the best names I've heard.... I am appalled and angered to read about your experience - stupidly you are so NOT on your own in these matters. i reckon a quick email to a high quality publishing like The hErald Sun would hasten a change or two rather quickly - shame and public embarrassment seems to help. Cheers. peta

Jan said...

Don't blame you one little bit for coming over all sweary, Selina. What a ridiculous situation. I do hope Emirates sees sense and that you have a wonderful trip. At the very least, give 'em heaps!

nutterbug said...

Oh I use 'fucktard' all the time! Sometimes 'retard' just doesn't cut it!

I would totally be plugging the batteries in if it fits. Payback for all the hassle. Good Luck!

ZippyZippy said...

Hope you have an fantastic trip after all that crap!
I do like Fucktard - think it's going to be my new fav word.
I found you over at CurlyPops - I have a 12 year old niece with CF

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