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I leave in a week and would like help

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by lynn, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. lynn

    lynn Approved members

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    My son and I leave for California a week from today for his surgeries at Stanford. I am NOT a traveler. With seven kids and one income our vacations have always consisted of choosing a place we could drive to in a few hours.

    I will be leaving Nathan home and that is making me rather nervous. A month of taking care of his diabetes while being 2,000 miles away will be a challenge, to say the least. My oldest daughter will be doing most of the care of him. She is a pro at the basics so as long as he doesn't get sick or play too hard then things should be okay. I suspect there will be at least a few long nights on the phone while we try to keep his blood sugar from plummeting after a day outside.

    What should I know about flying? What should I be making sure I bring or don't bring when thinking about being gone for a month? MUCH of my time will be spent at the hospital. We will have four full days of testing before the first surgery. Then four days in the hospital. Then three days at the hotel and another surgery.

    My mind is swirling trying to prepare everything!
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I'm a little confused.

    You're not traveling with your D kid, right? As far as what to bring, are you thinking about what your son might need post-op?

    If you are asking more broadly and if you haven't flown in a while I'd suggest you check out the TSA web site for carry-on regulations.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Lee

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    Good luck for you and your son. I know this operation is a long time coming for him. I would make sure that there is MORE then enough supplies on hand. For example, what would happen if your daughter dropped a bottle of insulin? Plan for stuff like that.

    Other then that, my only other offer of advice is to check into a Ronald McDonald house or some place similar by the hospital. Staying in a hotel room for a month can really add up!
     
  4. lynn

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    I'm not surprised you are confused! I'm having a hard time getting my thoughts straight and my words are even worse.

    Nope. Not bringing Nathan. I am wondering if you could all help me brainstorm things I need to think of so he will be set for a month.

    I am also just wondering as a general rule about traveling. To be honest, I have never flown.

    I'm sure this makes things about as clear as mud.:eek:
     
  5. lynn

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    I have plenty of insulin and even if things go horribly wrong and it should all go bad she should be able to fill the prescription at the local pharmacy. Pump supplies are a bit sketchy but there is nothing to be done about that. We can only get what we can get and all of our backup was just used when we were having some troubles. Hopefully when they call to refill the order they will be willing and able to call me on my cell phone. They won't refill unless they talk to me.

    We are on the waiting list for the Ronald McDonald house. We also have a reservation at the hospital guest house. Hopefully the Ronald McDonald house opens up for at least part of our time there because EVERYTHING else is very expensive.
     
  6. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Ok, that's easy.

    Arrive at airport 2 hrs early (it's a bit silly, but it's advised), if you have luggage to check you get on line at your carrier's desk(s) show ticket/e-ticket and ID, check bags and get boarding pass. They'll tell you the gate number there. Then you go through security (this is where they will take away your liquid and all that jazz) then you just go to the gate and wait for them to begin boarding. At your destination just follow the crowd to the luggage pick-up:cwds:

    On the D front, I'd just make sure you have twice as much in supplies as you would normally use and easy to find Dr and pharmacy phone #s. And maybe have your older daughter bookmark CWD in case she has a mini emergency and can't reach you.

    Hope it all goes well.:cwds:
     
  7. monkeyschool

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    Hi Lynn -
    Lots of positive thoughts and prayers for your son's surgery. Do you know any other D families Nathan can check in with while you are away, especially in school or if you homeschool while they are home....or maybe a direct tie to a nurse in case he can't get hold of you or dad? Do you text? I find texting with my DD allows me or them to check in without being intruding in whatever they may be doing at the present time.

    I haven't been away from DD so I can't really give a list of what to pack, but I think in your shoes I may leave a list handy on what to always have in the fridge or in stock (like the glucose tabs, OJ, etc) and be sure the kids know how to inventory those so they don't run out.

    If you need pre-weighed snacks it may be a good idea do get a whole bunch of those done before you go.

    Best of luck with your trip and your DS's surgeries. I look forward to an update.
    D.
     
  8. RosemaryCinNJ

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    Dear Lynn...First and foremost contact the airline ahead of time and tell them you are traveling with an ill child so you get on and off the plane first...
    Second...ask for a bulkhead seat...when you check in...more leg room and your son would be more comfortable..
    Third...airline security have restriction on what you can and cannot get through security with...you can find this information on line...I am thinking of you both...
     
  9. obtainedmist

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    If you have room, squish in your favorite pillow! Look out the window and enjoy the clouds. Drink water on the plane and avoid sodas. Pack a sandwich for you and your boy...they don't feed you anything anymore! Take gum or hard candies for lessening ear pressure during landing at sea level. If that doesn't work, rotate the jaw to clear the ears or try to yawn. Rent a movie while on the plane or take a portable DVD player...it makes the time go faster. Bring lots of books for when you are in CA if there is going to be a lot of waiting around or down time.

    Wishing you a smooth travel day and a phenomenal outcome with the surgery. You are in good hands with the country's best out there!
     
  10. Becky Stevens mom

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    Everything Rosemary said:cwds: She is one smart lady!

    Lynne, when I flew a couple years ago I walked into the airport and must have looked like a dear caught in headlights. A very kind elderly gentleman walked up and asked me if I needed help. He was a volunteer that worked in the airport. I spoke to him for about 10 minutes. He answered all my questions and told me where I needed to stand and how to get through security quickly. When you get there, see if your airport has these people too. I will never forget how comfortable this man made me on my first time flying alone
     
  11. Our3girls

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    Lynn, I am so happy the day is coming that you have been waiting for and keeping you in our prayers as I know it is very difficult.
    I am not sure how long the flight is but I would buy the neck traveling pillows so you can sleep in the plane. They will come in handy for you in the hospital also. Make sure any and all medication is in your carry on and does not get checked. We will also take anything that we need incase our luggage gets lost. I would suggest lots of comfy clothes (oh and slippers for your son) for both of you since you will be in the hospital a lot. Maybe a blanket or pillow that your son likes that could ease some anxiety leading up to the surgeries. I would recommend you start taking emergenC or airbourne also to keep you healthy so you can be there for your son.
    If you can print maps around the hospital so you know where stores are and restaurants so you don't have to eat at the hospital all the time. Maybe even a library or museum so you can take some time and get out of the hospital for a few hours.
    Remember you cannot take anything that could be sharp even finger nail clippers on the plane they will take them and you will never get them back.
    Best wishes and HUGS
     
  12. frizzyrazzy

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    Lynn, good luck with your son.

    I think maybe I would set a schedule with your daughter for regular text messages about BG and diabetes things so that you're never left worrying - maybe a three time a day email or something?

    I also wold probably invest in something like an ipad to keep you busy - you can use it as a book, games, surfing the internet etc, as I'm guessing you're going to spent a LOT of time sitting around waiting.
     
  13. PAULEEN

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    Hi Lynn
    As other's have suggested get a schedule together for your daughter along with all the needed phone numbers of your son's endo, nurse, peditrician, pharmacy, etc. Have her contact you at a specific time each day unless it's an emergency. Contact the airline and tell them you are traveling with your son who is ill, pack things that can keep you both busy on the plane and in the hospital and things to keep you comfortable. You are in my thoughts and prayers. When you get the chance check in with us all and let us know how things are going. Wish I could be more help. If you need anything that I can help with PM me. Take care and God Bless.
     
  14. txmom

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    Lynn,

    I have some flying experience - 3 million miles with American Airlines

    Procedures:

    1) check in at the counter (before you go through security)
    2) Ask for assistance in boarding (you can get a wheelchair at this point if you need/want it. The benefit of asking for a wheelchair is they will assist with any luggage you are taking onboard. Downfall is you will be the last person helped off the plan in California.
    3) Both you and your son will need ID (if your son is young a birth certificate or school ID will work....you will need your drivers license).
    4) Both of you should wear slip on shoes as they are going to ask you to remove them to go through security.
    5) All liquids have to fit in a 1 quart baggie. No single item can contain more than 3 oz. Since you are going for a month you may want to wait to purchase saline solution, shampoo etc. when you arrive. Pack your baggie of liquids before you leave home and have them in an outside pocket of your luggage so you can put them in the tray to go through security.
    6) Put watches, necklaces, etc. in your purse and send through the x-ray so you don't set off the alarms when you walk through. Rings don't set off the alarms.

    I assume you are checking luggage since you will be gone so long. Note that you will be charged $25-$50 per bag that you check. Each checked bag can weigh up to 50 pounds. You may want to pack one large suitcase to save some money. If you want to try to avoid this charge, each of you can bring two items on board (one small roller suitcase and one other items...note that your purse will count as one of the items...I usually pack a large tote for my "on-board" stuff and just add my purse. It doesn't matter if the tote is gaping open when you board.

    Onboard stuff:

    I pack a single flannel sheet with me, it takes less space than a small blanket and is enough to keep the air flow off of you. I also pack gum, snacks, and any food I want to eat as the food they sell is poor quality and expensive. You can bring water/drinks on board but you have to purchase them after you go through security at the lovely airport prices.

    A book/magazine etc. is also always helpful for long flights. If you are bringing a laptop you can load a movie for you and your son to watch - charge the battery before you board.

    Other items to pack:

    Extra contact lenses, glasses, comfy socks for hotel/hospital, sweats or nightgown that you can wear in public (hospital).

    If I remember correctly you are going to San Francisco? If you are, it will be cold there despite the fact it is summer in California. Long pants and a jacket will be needed.

    Let me know if you have other questions, this is all I can think of right now. Good luck, we are all thinking about you and wishing the best for your son.
     
  15. Teacups

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    Excellent advise given already... :)

    Only other things I'd bring would be a journal and knitting. Do you have a portable craft or hobby for the waiting times?

    Also, for the plane ride, travel games for you and your ds. Even a deck of cards can go a long way for many ages (can't remember how old he is).

    Seconding the snacks/sandwich idea for the plane. You never know if you'll be delayed. I also suggest a potty break about 30 minutes before the plane's scheduled to land and the seatbelt sign goes on. :)

    I'm sure you'll do fine. It's a lot to think about since a month is a very long time! But you'll be near stores and can always pick up any forgotten items.

    Praying for you all!
     
  16. lynn

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    THREE MILLION MILES!!!!!! I'll have 4,000 under my belt in a month. Oh yeah.:p


    My son is 16 but does not have a license yet because of the seizures he has had due to this disease. He also doesn't have a student ID because we homeschool. Should I expect trouble? What should I do about this?
     
  17. txmom

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    Don't worry about the ID, I looked at the TSA site and it says....

    Effective June 21, 2008, adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight.

    Since he is under 18 you should be fine.

    Good luck.
     
  18. lynn

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    Thank you!
     

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