Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lymphedema, the TravelScoot, and Flying 150,000 miles/year

Dean and his lovely wife

From Dean Hughson:

Lymphedema after 15 years

About 15 years ago I began swelling in my one leg and couldn't figure out why. I shouldn't have been surprised because my daughter had came up with lymphedema when she was 9 but I didn't put the pieces together.  The doctor tried to inject dye into my ankle and it just hurt too much. Then I realized....drats, I have primary lymphedema which is the type that you inherit. I got to looking at pictures of other old men in my family and realized that my great grandfather had it and even my mother perhaps.  in the beginning it wasn't too much of a hassle. I just had to buy larger shoes but slowly it got to be a problem.  The proper way to handle it is to get manual lymph drainage massage and to do compression bandages but living in warm areas it is miserable to do that and I travel. So I do periodic 'tuneups' and do my best.  Approximately  10 years into it my walking got difficult. I can walk but not long distances. I started using the scooters at the grocery store and Walmarts and found that helped me so I bought first a large one, a Celebrity X model. It weighed 190 pounds and I had to drive it up a ramp into our van. Airports hated it because under ADA rules they must load it but it would take 3 or 4 people to do it. I then ran across a mobility scooter at  I am now on my second one. It weighs 34 pounds with the lithium battery in it and I can lift it out of my van with one hand. Airlines like it.  It took some training; ANA Airlines in Japan took it completely apart down to the last screw to see if it was dangerous and assigned a man to run along aside me in the airport; his name was Rabbit.  He quickly got tired of running and the next time, no runner. I have flown on many airlines and they 'get it' now.  They know me and actually are happy because the scooter isn't a bother. SAS Airlines actually took it into the baggage in business class and I was the first person off but usually it goes into the hold of the plane.  I also have become an expert on batteries and have learned much about how to keep the travelscooter running. You need a 'pit crew' if you fly more than 150,000 miles/year like I do.  The thing is that no longer am I forced to not go when people want to go to wine tastings or music concerts. I go right along now.  It has taken some 'emotional' work to accept being handicapped but I now understand I am just using a tool.  Like a hammer, it is what I need to do my job.   If you too are in need don't by shy; take the help that is available.  Life is good.

Why the TravelScoot was the right choice for Deborah

In my Target Misses The Mark post I talked about the problem with how stores maintain (or don't) their store mobility scooters.  Below is a site I often see in my local Targets -- a scooter abandoned because the battery ran out.  Deborah sent me an email that puts it much more eloquently, and explains how she chose the TravelScoot and why it's the right scooter for her.

Hello Elizabeth,
I'm Deborah and I'm a supersized woman from England.  I also have a twisted leg (born with it) which has led to arthritis in my knee and ankle and a shortened achilles tendon.  I work full-time in a national job, and because of my lack of mobility, have been finding my life has been restricted more and more.  I do travel by car and train for work, but that usually wears me out!  A couple of years ago I did try a mobility scooter, but it was so big (to accommodate my size) that I could only use it if I went out with my husband.  Gradually I used it less and less and relied on a cane or rollator. 
In desperation I searched and searched for something more portable that would give me back my independence and freedom, and allow me to go where I wanted.  I came across Travelscoot, and your blog, and began to feel hopeful.  Anyway, people I talked to said that I should keep walking as long as possible, blah, blah, but then a few situations really got to me.  My lovely husband and I travelled to a nearby town specifically to go to a large store full of household items.  I thought I'd be OK to look around, pushing a shopping trolley, but it has been very cold in the UK lately and my joints were really sore.  We ended up buying one item and then I had to return to the car, and then go home.  The next incident was at a large supermarket.  I usually use a store mobility scooter, but they were being repaired and the two that were still working were being used.  Again, I sat in the car whilst my husband shopped.  Then on a trip to London with a colleague for a business meeting, we finished early and had time to spare before our train. Unfortunately after getting on and off the train and the bus and walking to the venue,  my legs were hurting too much to look around the wonderful array of shops in the centre of London, so I ended up spending two hours in a coffee shop.  That was the final straw for me, I knew I need to do something to regain my mobility.
Although I was very tempted by the Travelscoot, and inspired by the stories on your blog, I hadn't actually seen one in 'real life'.  So I contacted Hardy and he passed on details of satisfied Travelscoot customers within easy travelling distance.  I received some very enthusiastic replies in response to my emailed enquiry, and found a lovely lady, Julie, who lives less than an hour's drive from me.  Julie was happy to let  me try her Travelscoot and really helpful with lots of Travelscooting tips.  My two concerns were: would I be able to get on and off it OK, and would it fit in the boot of my sports car?  The answers to both these questions were a resounding 'yes'!
So my new Travelscoot is now on order, and I have such a list of places I want to go, things that I want to do.....  I just wanted to say thank you for your blog, and I will let you know when I have my first Travelscoot adventure.
With kindest regards,

Deb's new Travelscoot

From Deb:

I have to tell you - because of you and your site I now have my very own Travelscoot!

I too am a woman of size. I've suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for years and have struggled to get around. But it isn't my size and arthritis that forced the decision to get a scooter. It was my lungs. Just recently I was diagnosed with a paralyzed diaphragm, a condition that makes it extremely difficult to move much without getting out of air. My doctor recommended a scooter, and knowing I wanted something I could manage on my upcoming cruise made me want a Travelscoot. The weight limitation of the scooter held me back - until I came across your website. I placed the order earlier this week and it arrived on Friday.

It has been up and down my driveway, the grocery store, and just yesterday it served as a "spray truck" (you can see the picture here ) Now my family can't wait to "bling it out". Thank you for my independence!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Frankie and His New Wheels!

First, Frankie met Tony from Chicago:

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Tony from Chicago we both met for the 1st time and I got my photo taken on his TS...OMG, I love it and on Thursday, I ordered one... I can not wait till it comes....Thank you Tony so so much!!!

Ten days later, Frankie has his very own, very new TravelScoot:

From Elizabeth:  This is the first picture I've had on the blog of the new TravelScoot.  It has a reverse, there's no belt, AND the motor is in the left rear wheel.  You heard that right, INSIDE.

Today Sept. 24th, 2013 I received my new TravelScoot, so I went out this evening around my neighborhood and loved it...!!!  I'd like to thank all the people from this beautiful blog for all the info you gave me on TS. Again thank you all so very much...!!!



Check out the new TravelScoot at 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oxygen and the TravelScoot

I've recently begun oxygen 24/7, and I'm wondering how other TravelScooters who use oxygen carry it around?  I started out with with my portable oxygen being an M9 (C) cylinder tank set on a pulse rate of 2.  Carrying this tank on the scoot was easy.  However, using the pulse rate isn't keeping my levels up high enough, so I need to find the best way to carry continuous oxygen.  Do any of you use a portable oxygen concentrator with your scoot?  Have you come up with a clever way to carry it around?  I'd appreciate input and pictures.  I'm sure I'm not the only person trying to figure this out.

Anyone in Chicago?

Dear Blog,

Well today is Sept. 1, 2013 and I need to wait till mid Sept. till the TravelScoot gets to the US...

Everyday seems like years but I know I want wait I just want to go out on my TS and enjoy life...I have very severe Emphysema, and I am on oxygen and with TS I can take a ride around the block or go to the lakefront and enjoy my beautiful city of Chicago, In the Midwest winter is around the corner and I just wanted to enjoy the last of summer as I can't take my TS out in the winter...!!!

Does any one know of a TravelScoot person living in Chicago???

When I get my new TS I will take photos and post on this Blog!

Frankie from Chicago