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Old 08-16-2003, 05:58 PM   #1
Janet2k
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My broken leg and my upcoming WDW vacation...

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Oct 3, '03: Just thought I would update the title of this thread since my vacation is definitely on. I added an update on Page 2.

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Well, I see that my dear, dear friend Minybear has posted about my situation in another thread, so I suppose I should come out of the closet and admit that it was me she was speaking about. :D

A few weeks ago, I sprained one of my ankles, and in the process of attempting to catch my balance as I was falling, I broke the other one. I have a metal plate, a wire, and quite a few screws in my leg (two of which run from one side of my leg to the other). The healing process has been painful. I am currently only taking a blood thinner (I wonít take the pain medication anymore since it made me very ill). I cannot put any weight on my leg for a minimum of three months (if Iím lucky). I use a walker in my home (I actually ďhopĒ with it since I cannot put any weight on my broken leg), and a wheelchair when I venture outdoors (it is painful keeping my leg propped up while Iím in the wheelchair).

My upcoming WDW vacation is in jeopardy. My surgeon has already suggested that I cancel it. I told her that I havenít been on a vacation since last year and I really, really donít want to cancel this one (Iíve worked 12-14 hour days for months & months, and the only thing that has kept my sanity is the thought of two glorious weeks in WDW). She mentioned to me that by the time of my vacation, I might be in a removable cast (I still will not be able to place any weight on my leg, but I can remove the cast for sleeping and showering). If I have a removable cast, then I could float in the swimming pool (I canít tell you how glorious that sounds to me right now, ahhhhhhh!).

I have another doctorís appointment soon, and hopefully Iíll get my stitches removed. Iíll also get another set of X-rays taken in order to see how my ďbionicĒ hardware is holding up. Iím praying that everything will look good and my surgeon will tell me to keep my vacation plans intact, if I so choose.

Even if all goes well, I still have two big fears: blood clots and DVT (I think thatís what itís called). From what my surgeon told me, I have to worry about blood clots and DVT for the entire time my leg is in a cast. I know that if I fly, the DVT will be a big worry for me. Since I live on the West Coast, my flight time to Orlando is quite a bit. There are never any non-stop flights from where I live, so I usually have at least two plane segments (sometimes, more). Traveling to Orlando always takes the better part of a full day.

As to what I planned to do while on vacation, pretty much nothing but vegging out. As I mentioned, Iíve been working 12-14 hour days for months & months (my company has had so many layoffs within the past three plus years that my work load has become insane). Several months ago, I told my husband and children that if they wanted to see me while on vacation, they better visit me at the swimming pool, as I had no plans to be anywhere else for at least the first week of vacation. Now I fear my feelings might change since Iíll have done nothing for several months prior to vacation but read & watch TV, arg! For my second week of vacation, my parents were going to join us, along with one of my best girlfriends. That week might have seen me venturing away from my resort a little more (but I still planned on spending some major time at the swimming pool). My guests are waiting on pins and needles regarding whether the vacation will be kept as is or cancelled (I should note that theyíre all so very understanding and I donít feel any added pressure from them to keep the vacation intact).

Several months ago, I pre-arranged some vacation activities: all three of the GF's children's activities (for my daughter), 999 Happy Haunts Event (for my family), Mickeyís Not So Scary Halloween Party (for my family), Disneyís Spirit of Aloha dinner show (a group reservation for my family and guests and a few Disíers -- Minybear & her spouse included), the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show (for my family), and a Reserve Dinner for the Food & Wine Festival (my husband & I are joining another Dis couple for this). I would love to squeeze in a dinner at Victoria & Albertís for my husband and I (itís a vacation tradition), however, I havenít booked it yet. I might book a special dinner along the GFís waterfront instead. We havenít done anything like that yet in all of our WDW vacations, so I think it would be fun and probably easy to do with me in a wheelchair.

I should mention that I currently have the main building booked at the GF for the first week and a studio room booked at the BCV for the second week (if I keep my vacation, I should probably arrange for handicapped-accessible rooms at each resort). I am toying with the idea of spending the whole two weeks at the BCV so that I donít have to resort hop (please note that my family usually resort hops on a majority of our WDW vacations so I donít consider that much of an inconvenience).

Please donít think Iím complaining. I would never dare do that since I have family and friends who love me no matter what. I guess I just need a little guidance from my fellow Disíers who can understand what I am going through and who can offer up their own experiences to me. Any information/opinions that you can pass along my way will definitely be appreciated. As you already know, (A) I am in pain (which hopefully will diminish); (B) I am incapacitated to an extent (need a wheelchair to move around); and (C) I am worried about blood clots, DVT, and flying (very worried about that). I look forward to hearing from you all.

Janet

Last edited by Janet2k; 10-03-2003 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 08-16-2003, 06:17 PM   #2
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Hi my good freind Janet2K. I hope our friends on the DIS can help you regarding your upcoming vacation. I put a link to my other post for those people to help you also.

I hope you decide to come to WDW. I would love to see you.

Minybear
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Old 08-16-2003, 06:37 PM   #3
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Hi Janet

It seems, from your remarks, that you will be ready for your vacation when it comes up. I think that under the circumstances you should not cancel.

First thing is you should rent an ECV from an off-site company. For example, Walker is $30 per day with $199.50 for a week, and the price goes down for more than a week. They will have no problem dropping off at one location (GF) and picking up from another (BW). Also, you can get a crutches holder attached if you let them know. There are other off-site companies, but I will nto post them at this time.

I use an ECV on all my WDW visits. A couple of years ago our trip was coordinated with another family where the wife had multiple breaks of an ankle ten days before the trip. The only logistical problems we had was it was NOT possible to get six people and two ECVs in one car.

I don't think you will need an accessible room. Almost of of them are designed with a King bed and a roll-in shower. Housekeeping can provide a "bath seat" which allows you to sit down in a fairly standard height chair in the tub for taking a shower.

A last suggestion is to bring "Sharpie" markers with you to have characters autograph your cast and you will have an interesting souvenier of the trip.
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Old 08-16-2003, 06:48 PM   #4
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Janet.
I was at WDW a week after my surgery much to my surgeon's dispair. I was held together with 2 plates and 16 screws. I went another 3 times over the 3 1/2months where I was non-weight bearing. Only on the last trip was I in a removable cast. That was also at a Tupperware convention as well.
I must say that Disney treated like royalty The provided a tub chair so I could shower. Plenty of pillows to elevate my leg. Also a frig for my sodas since I cannot use coke products at all and must use a brand that cannot be gotten onsite.
The first trip I had Keys to the Kingdom Tour and was really treated wonderfully by the tour guide as well as my interpreters who were constantly vigilant that no one hit my leg or wheelchair. I would rent a wheelchair from offsite that can elevate the leg and go for it. Its a few months away and your leg will be feeling better by then and you will be going stir crazy trust me on this.
Btw that removable cast was great once I got it. Floating in the pool was a real treat. One of the consultants saw me getting into the pool and turns out she was a nurse and everytime I went swimming during the convention she guided my leg into the pool and then helped me out. The bump down steps at All Star Music were great too. Easy ro manuever. Only time I had problems was when someone decided to use the top of the steps for their clothes. Someone always came and removed them including cast members when they saw the problem.
My trips to Disney saved my sanity.
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Old 08-16-2003, 06:53 PM   #5
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That was nice of your friend, Minybear to aks some questions for you, but I'm glad you came out of the closet.:D
Sorry to hear about your injury and hope everything heals well and as quickly as possible.
Quote:
Any information/opinions that you can pass along my way will definitely be appreciated. As you already know, (A) I am in pain (which hopefully will diminish); (B) I am incapacitated to an extent (need a wheelchair to move around); and (C) I am worried about blood clots, DVT, and flying (very worried about that). I look forward to hearing from you all.
You are right, they are called DVTs; that stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis and it's basically a blood clot in the veins of your legs. It's something to worry about any time that someone has had surgery involving the hips or knees or is immobile. Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood back toward the heart; your body uses the muscles moving in the legs as part of the way that blood is propelled back toward the heart. When you can't move your leg, the blood doesn't move as effeciently. The biggest problem isn't that the blood clot forms, it's what happens if a blood clot forms and then starts floating around in your bloodstream. Here's a
link to a site about DVTs and air travel. Anyone who travels on a long flight is theoretically at risk of a DVT, but people who already have risk factors are at higher risk. Also, because of your leg injury, you can't do the things that would normally be suggested to help prevent DVTS. Not having non stop flight might actually be better, since you at least would not be sitting so long at one stretch. Even if you can't bear weight, just standing up every few hours would be better than sitting for 6 hours straight . Maybe, at your next doctor visit, mention that and ask if there are any specific suggestions about how you can avoid DVTs while traveling.
Your walker can come on the plane with you; it may fit in the overhead bin or most flights hae a closet it should fit in. The wheelchair can be gate checked; ask when you first check in for your flight. They will give you a tag to put on the wheelchair, you can use the wheelchair to get onto the plane, then leave it at the door. They will load it with the luggage and bring it back to the door of the plane at your next stop. Make sure it is marked to be brought back for your connecting city and not the final destination.
The things you have planned for WDW sound very do-able for someone using a wheelchair. My recommendation would be to keep your resort plans as they are (rather than changing to all BC) since it sounds like a lot of your activities are at MK. The buses and monorails are wheelchair accessible, but it will be a little more time consuming to get back and forth from BC to MK than from GF to MK. The wheelchair accessible rooms will be good (although we have not stayed in the wheelchair accessible rooms in either resort). Someone who has, may have other advice. You will have toilet grab bars and the fully wheelchair accesible rooms have a roll in shower with a pull down seat. Housekeeping can get shower chairs.

If worse comes to worse and your doctor says it is too risky to fly, an alternative to consider might be a visit to Disney Land. I know it's not the same, but I'd hate to see someone who has worked 12-14 hour days lose their sanity because they can't get a little dose of Disney.
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Old 08-16-2003, 07:02 PM   #6
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Your worst fear should be of getting a DVT. The risk should be
taken seriously. Do listen and take the advice of your doctor.
Flying for any length of time in cramped quarters can cause a
DVT to develop. I know scarificing a disney trip is a big deal, but
risking major health problems shouldn't be taken lightly. I have
a friend who recently flew from Mich. to Calif. and 1 week after
arriving suffered a slight stroke due to a clot. She was only in
her late 40s. Luckily she is okay now, but had to miss 3 months
of work to recover!!
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Old 08-16-2003, 07:54 PM   #7
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Oh, my goodness, am I ever grateful to my fellow Dis'ers. You folks have given me much information to ponder. I just went to the DVT webpage and it scared me, to put it mildly. I am going to have to discuss DVT and blood clots in greater detail with my surgeon during my next appointment. I am hopeful that if I have a removable cast by the time my vacation rolls around, I might be able to perform some leg exercises while I am seated on the airplane (I also would definitely book at least two airline segments). Of course, I will have to discuss this in greater detail with my surgeon and my family before I can make an informed decision. I am the type of person who is extremely cautious. If I had to make the decision right now, the vacation would be cancelled. However, since the vacation is still a little over two months away, the risk for me might be neglible. And if that's the case, and if I take all the precautions that my surgeon prescribes (and believe me, I would follow her instructions to the letter), then maybe the vacation can go on as planned. I wish I had a crystal ball (or at least a Magic Eight Ball) right about now.

Again, I can't thank you all enough for your help. If you have any further suggestions to offer, please post away. I am an information junkie. I need all the information that I can get my hands on so that once I've made my final decision, I can feel comfortable that I made it in the best way possible.
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Old 08-16-2003, 09:52 PM   #8
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Oh, Janet, I've been so worried about you lately. I sure hope you have a quick recovery.

The best advise I can give you is to follow your heart. If you really have your heart set on going to WDW, I think you should still go. Even with a disability, a day (or couple weeks!) at Disney could sure help you feel much better.

Please keep us updated...
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Old 08-16-2003, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
I just went to the DVT webpage and it scared me, to put it mildly.
I hope it scared you enough to help you and not scare you half to death (I try to avoid posting things that will scare people as much as possible)
Anyway, I hope you are able to go, but if you and your doctor decide it is not a good idea rightnow, at least you had a lot of information to help you decide.
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Old 08-17-2003, 12:18 AM   #10
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Janet2k

These folks on the DIS is great. Thanks for coming out of the closet .

Minybear

PS Hi Cali.
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:50 PM   #11
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Just about every day this week, I have seen a commercial on TV regarding DVT. The commercial states that more people die every year from DVT than breast cancer and AIDS combined (that sent a shockwave through my system). The commercial also gave a link to www.dvt.net, which I just went to and read.

This week's doctor's appointment was cancelled at the last minute (my surgeon had an emergency). I cried when it got cancelled (boy, was I looking forward to meeting with her). My next appointment isn't for several days. Nothing like being kept on pins and needles, eh?

In the meantime, I now have a handicapped-accessible room reserved at the GF, and next week I will call Member Services in order to reserve one at the BCV. I still need to determine whether or not I should reserve an ECV or if I should stick with my wheelchair. I've never been on an ECV so I don't know how much of a hassle it might be to use and get around in. Maybe you folks can help me there. How do I move about the World with an ECV (buses, boats, taxi cabs, etc.)?
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:51 PM   #12
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Okay, I read through just about every post that I could get my hands on in regards to ECVs. I think I now have a general idea as to how to go about moving about the World with one.
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Old 08-23-2003, 11:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Janet2k
Okay, I read through just about every post that I could get my hands on in regards to ECVs. I think I now have a general idea as to how to go about moving about the World with one.
If you think of any mre questions, just keep posting them.
Here's some "no cancellations" Pixie dust. Sprinkle it in the general direction of your doctor's office early in the day before your next appointment (at least 3 hours ahead of time).
Good luck and hope to hear that the doctor says it's OK to go.
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:54 AM   #14
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I 2nd the "pixie dust" . Good luck on your DR's appt. You have to be very careful with those DVT's. I don't want you or your family to go through what my DH's aunt is going through right now due to blood clots.
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.............____ /../__ /../_____
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:12 AM   #15
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Oh My Janet, Don't have anything to add just wanted to send LOTS MORE PIXIE DUST*~*~*~*~*
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