Mike and I flew out to see our nephew graduate, Mikes sister’s son. It was my first trip away from my home. We stayed just over a week and we flew. There was a lot of preparation. First I needed to call Baxter , my medical supplier and let her know the amount of days and the address, of where we’d be staying.
Well Maggie and Bill live on a farm in Standard B.C. So I had to find out, where they have their farm supply’s sent to, for pick up . I also had to give Pat, my Baxter provider, the Name, phone number and address of this company. I needed a letter from my Kidney specialist so I could travel with all my “old school” supply’s with me on the over head storage. In case my machine (which was being stored in the fragile compartment under the plane) was lost or broken. We where not charged extra for the five over weight, ( eight, 2000 ml. bags ). This put us over for sure and the two bags only ( each) allowed by West Jet, put us over by one bag. They where very understanding and are experienced in dealing with this sort of thing. Unfortunately, even though we explained that the cycler machine was a life saving device, the baggage handlers that were working in the fragile department that day where lousy employees. They broke my machine even though it was in a hard case, designed by Baxter to withstand a lot of abuse. Of course by the time I hooked up after visiting with our family, it was around midnight. So I was tired and not in my familiar surroundings , trying to figure out if I had just pushed a wrong button because I was so tired . I finally phoned the twenty-four hour help line posted on my machine and the fellow on the other end of the line helped me to trouble shoot what it could be. Finally he said,” your machine is broken”! He said that I would have to do my old school, exchanges until they could have a new machine emergency curried to me , the next day. Which of course was a holiday weekend. I was so stressed internally, but I didn’t show it because I knew it was late and I needed every bit of my energy to do my exchanges through out the night. (plus I was upset with myself for not hooking up earlier, which would have meant going to bed earlier, and missing out on the evening). I hadn’t done the twin bag exchange, since the power outage in April. So basically every four hours , I had to do my exchanges until the machine-made it to me. Baxter had it to me the next morning around 11:00 a.m. So I only had to do three exchanges in total. We were all very impressed and relieved because I only had a two-day supplies of the twin bags. Baxter is an amazing company! I had felt so guilty because those machines are expensive! The fellow reminded me that patients fly a lot farther than Standard , all the time and usually the machines are fine. He said,” this had nothing to do with you, it’s the air lines fault”. So on the way back we explained what we had been put through , very calmly and put in a complaint with the girl who was checking our tickets and bags. She was an amazing, professional and caring person and employee. She apologized and called some one down from the fragile department to transport the machine personally, so as to avoid the conveyor belt and to her credit and to West Jet, my new machine-made it home safe! We had a fantastic time and I don’t regret going to see Maggie, Bill and Abe. We enjoy their company and miss them in our regular day-to-day lives ! I got to do things I really love to do! Being on a farm, I am in my element. At the risk of sounding cocky, I usually handle, vulnerability, with not too much trouble but this time was quite difficult for me. Being that far away from my family and having a life threatening condition, unnerved me some. I don’t like to admit this, yet I know I need to. I guess it is part and parcel of having a life threatening disease . It always amazes me how much better writing about my experiences as apposed to talking about them can make me feel. It upsets me to think that I would probably not travel far again until after my Kidney Transplant.