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Long flights

Welcome to MeetAnOstoMate
17,031 Members
Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:09 am

My daughter lives in Perth W.A. and I visited her many times prior to my ileostomy 18 months ago. I would love to go out to see her again but worry about the long flight involved.  Can anyone tell me of their own experience with such a journey please!

 

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:01 am

Hi,  I live in the US< and my son and his family, live in Australa ( Robina, Queensland)   That's a long flight!   Air time, is over 19 hours.....not counting the trip to the airport,and the Brisbain Airport down to the gold coast.  

Best suggestion to you is to be prepared.   Take enough surgical supplies with you for the whole trip, and pack them in a carry on bag.   Also put a change in a carry on tote, along with tape, and another pair of undies, just in case.,   In my 7 times of going back and forth, I only had to change on the plane once, and it wasn't a problem, as I had everyhting I needed in my purse in a baggy.  clean wafer, pouch,  skin prep,  wipes, powder and tape.   Easy, quick change.    In addition to Australia, I've flown all over the country here, and then to Europe,  China, Japan & South AFrica, which was the longest and most tedious journey.   Wear comfortable lose clothes....and even bring a change,  just for comfort.   Best of luck to you.   Have never been to perth, and would love to visit, perhaps the next timme I head to oz.  Best of luck..

 

Marsha

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:05 pm

Lilian,

 

  I also live in the US and I travel for work all the time.  I keep a change of clothes and 2 precut pouches in my carry on.  As well as wet wipes.  I also have an ileostomy and this is how I usually travel.

  Depending on how long the flight is, I try not to eat anything within 5 hours of my flight.  If it's going to be a short flight like 2 hours or so, I'll grab a bite to eat at the airport before I board the plane.  On longer flights, I'll buy something to go to take on the plane with me, or I'll buy something in the air.  I know it's expensive but my company pays for most everything.  My output doesn't start kicking in until about 5 hours after I've eaten something.

  I just hate using the restrooms on the plane.  Because usually the person that used it before me was a pig and pissed all over the seat...lol

  I tend to empty my pouch right before they start to board and usually, I'm good to go.  Hope this helps.

 

Bain

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:07 pm

Lilian,

 

  I also live in the US and I travel for work all the time.  I keep a change of clothes and 2 precut pouches in my carry on.  As well as wet wipes.  I also have an ileostomy and this is how I usually travel.

  Depending on how long the flight is, I try not to eat anything within 5 hours of my flight as my output doesn't kick in until 5 hours after I've eaten.  If it's going to be a short flight like 2 hours or so, I'll grab a bite to eat at the airport before I board the plane.  On longer flights, I'll buy something to go to take on the plane with me, or I'll buy something in the air.  I know it's expensive but my company pays for most everything.

  I just hate using the restrooms on the plane.  Because usually the person that used it before me was a pig and pissed all over the seat...lol

  I tend to empty my pouch right before they start to board and usually, I'm good to go.  Hope this helps.

 

Bain

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:09 pm

Hello Lilian. 

I have just booked our flights to New Zealand this week for early next year. I was going to go to Perth to see my sister but I think she will be in NZ when we are there. I think Bain and Marsha have the right idea in that they recommend being prepared. 

I have a colostomy and irrigate so I hopefully will not face quite the same problems as you but nevertheless, the irrigation throws up its own issues, which I have been working on today and have developed a 'travel-pack' with a battery operated power shower for the irrigation process. I've just this minute come on here after trying it successfully for the first time so I now feel prepared in that department. I also use a CPAP machine and am assured that it will not pose a problem on the aircraft as long as it works on batteries. I telephoned the hospital and apparently I can borrow a battery pack as long as nobody else also wants it during the same period. Of course, I asked if I could book it there and then, only to be told that they haven't got next year's diaries yet so they cannot book me in. (Go figure!) I will not be too pleased if, when I contact them in December, someone else has booked the pack out for the same dates as I need it. Such is life!

I hope your journey is incident free and you enjoy your break as much as I intend to enjoy mine.

Best wishes

Bill 

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:34 pm

Lilian,

 

 

I live in the US and travel often to see my son and his family in Japan. From NY its about 14-15 hours non-stop. I believe the other posts have pretty much covered everything in good detail. The one thing I can add is, if you are travelling economy always book an aisle set. It eliminates the stress of having to jump over other passengers repeatedly if by chance you have an active ostomy that day.

 

X_

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:48 pm

Hi Lilian,

I used to live in Perth W.A. (great place, best coastline in the world but I may be biased) and when I was there did 3 long haul flights to the USA (about 30 hours from the west coast of Oz).  

All the advice here is excellent.

I also have an ileo and have absolutely no problems on board.  I always take my supplies with me on carry on, but as yet have never had to change the appliance in flight.  If I drink plenty of water and eat every time the food trolley arrives, I only end up having to use the loo every 5-6 hours.  Find it easy to empty if output is a bit fluid but if not, just use the paper cups of water available to swish it around - do be aware of turbulence though, definitely had to brace myself a couple of times (and don't wear white clothing)!

 

So about 20 hours from London to Perth?  My advice is kick back, de-stress and enjoy the in-flight entertainment!  Won't be long before you're hearing "Welcome to sunny Perth!"

Jo

 

 

 

 

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:29 am

Bill, please explain a battery powered shower for irrigating.  Thanks.  Mary

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:46 am

Hi Lilian ... Get on that plane and take off!!! Smile  I have had my ileostomy for about 18 months and travel everywhere.  I live in the U.S. and travel to Europe whenever I get the chance.  Everyone has said what I would tell you -- I most definitely take my appliance changes in my carry on bag and rule of thumb is to take double the changes you would make if you were at home.  I do that although I have never had to use more supplies than I have used at home.  And most definitely sit in an aisle seat if you think you will have to get up numerous times.  I do not have to empty often at all so if flying in the main cabin and not business or first I get a window seat and just go to the restroom when the person on the aisle gets up.  

The tip about the water in the restroom is perfect ... I always have a small water bottle with me and take that to the restroom with me in case I need some extra water to get things flushed.  As we know, there is not an abundance of water in the toilet on airplanes (if any) and it flushes very quickly -- forcefully mind you, but quickly. 

So again -- have a great flight and do not worry.  Pack those supplies and a quick change of clothes in your carry on and take off! 

 

Paula

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:58 am

Hi.  Can I ask about security and body scanners?  I'm flying to Hamburg on Thursday and have a colostomy.  Do you have to declare the wet wipes or will they just let you leave them in the hand luggage?  Has anyone told security about the bag before going into the body scanner?  I did pre-book an aisle seat near the toilet just in case.  I wasn't prepared to risk being given a window near the front.

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:08 pm

Hi supermeguk ... Here has been my dealings with the security scanners.  If I am going through the walk-through I do not even bother mentioning my ostomy because that scanner has never picked it up.  But I do make sure I empty before going through security (I usually take very early morning flights so not much in it anyway).  If I am going to have to go through the scanner where you hold your arms above your head I advise them that I have an ostomy.  It depends on the airport as to how they handle it.  Some will just have you rub your hand on top of your clothes where the ostomy is and do the test for gun powder residue, some will do a pat down.  But with that type of scanner I tell them and I do have the blue ostomy card you can print out from www.uoaa.org for traveling.  Some security agents are familiar with ostomies, some are not.  

I have never declared wet wipes and have had no issues -- others may have more dealings with that but I see no reason to declare them.  

So with me -- I do not declare the wet wipes, I do not tell security about my osteomy if I am going through the walk-through scanner but do tell them if I am going into the whole body scanner where you put your arms above your head.  

I am sure you will get through security with no problems.  

Paula

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:22 pm

G'day Lillian... I've done the trip from Perth WA to the UK and back again... but I was crazy enough to do it 8 weeks after my ileostomy surgery which was 14 years ago.

I'll give you the same advice I gave to a lady on this website 3 years ago, she made multiple long haul flights without problems and we remain friends to this day in spite of the fact she has had a reversal and is no longer... "one of us".

Advise the airline (when you book your ticket) that you require a special diet…. Just decide whether you can live without sugar or wheat for the duration of the flight! You will be the first to be fed at each mealtime, so by the time everyone else if getting their meal and tucking in, there should be no queues for the loo, which will be your turn to deal with your pouch.

I found the biggest problem with airline loos, is that they tend to flush only the back part of the pan and we drain our pouches to the front. Taking an empty paper or plastic cup to transfer additional water from the hand basin may solve this problem for you.

The other problem with the loos is the fact the floors get pretty wet towards the end of the flight (hopefully it's just from overenthusiastic hand washing!) So, if you can take a couple of “disposable underpads” as used in hospital beds and place one on the floor, it will keep your feet and clothes dry.

If you run out of ostomy supplies while you are here in Perth you can purchase just about everything from the WAOA at 15 Guildford Road, Mt. Lawley, WA, 6050.


Best wishes..... Diana"

Bad cholesterol is the kind that clogs arteries, shoplifts lipstick and lies under oath." [Reader's Digest.]

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:54 pm

I personally have not done the trip  (yet) since my Ileostomy... I am originally from Australia, and go home as often as I can afford to.  I have been a little apprehensive myself, but I understand, firstly, that the cabin pressure has absolutely no affect on the pouch ( which I call Joey)...I am more concerned with the 15 straight hours it takes from Vancouver.  (not a good flyer)!.   I am hoping to take a trip next year.

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:38 pm
vMaryriceot wrote:

Bill, please explain a battery powered shower for irrigating.  Thanks.  Mary


Hello Maryriceot.

I have only had the battery operated shower for a week or so  but it seems like just what I need. There are loads of different ones on the market for camping but I bought this one because it was 'upgraded' in terms of having the on/off switch outside the water. I bought mine from Amazon and it's described as:- Portable Camping Shower 2017 Upgraded, Acetek USB Rechargeable Handheld Shower Kit with Detachable 2200mAh Battery Pack, 200cm Hose, Shower head and Water Pump for Outdoor, Garden Plant Watering, Camping, Car & Pet Cleaning by Acetek.

The thing needed adapting for use as an irrigator so I'll share what alterations were needed.

1) The hose was cut off and connected to the hose supplied with a coloplast irrigator system that has the regulator switch. This makes it easier to control the flow, rather than just having an on-off situation.

2) I had already adapted the end so that I did not use a cone, but used the tip of an anal catheta, which is ideal for irrigation because that's what it was designed for. The tip can be cut off the catheta and it fits neatly onto the coloplast tubing.

3) However, before doing that, I cut a plastic showergel container to shape and drilled a suitable sized hole so that it could be fitted onto the tube to act as a splashback shield. It's surprising how effective and essential this little device is and it's much better than using the cone.  (you can see a picture of this on my photo profile when it was attached to the pressurised garden sptrayer that I've been using for years.)

4) The water container I plumped for was a Lock&Lock 3.4 litre cereal dispenser because it held enough water and was then right shape for putting in my handluggage and storing the shower plus other stuff. It has the litres marked on the side- which I enhanced by marking wth a permanent marker becasue it would have been difficult to read when the container was on the floor

5) Before throwing the coloplast irrigator bag away, I salvaged the temperature guage and stuck it onto the side of the water container with double sided tape - it works very efficiently to indicate the temperature of the water inside and thus, helps to avoid water being too hot or too cold.

If I get time I will take a picture of the new device and post it so that you can get a better idea of what I am talking about. Don't be put off by the verbal description of what needs altering becasue it is all very simple really and the connectors are the same as the ones used in the Coloplast irrigator so your don't need to buy anything special.  I will photgraph the anal catheta so that you know what it looks like in its entirety. However, I do believe that this is a luxury and the process could  be undertaken with just the coloplast tube as long as it is smoothed off so that there are no rough edges. I got a supply of them from the surgeons who helped me when I was faecally incontinent but Im sure they would be stiull available through medical suppliers. 

I hope this is a reasonable enough description to give you an idea of what you can do to rig up a battery operated irrigator ( total cost was about £30 ) 

Best wishes

Bill

 

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:58 pm

I always tell security about the 'bag'.......they take me aside and have me use the explosive residue detector ....where I rub my hands over my pouch area and then they swipe it for residue.....I also get a disability pre-boarding pass ----- I want the seat all the way in the back and the isle seat - nearest to the bathroom....and I tell the flight attendends of my possible need to empty the pouch often.....works for me.......

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