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Old 10-09-2012, 07:38 AM   #1
mickeymom55
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Questions about special requests

My SIL broke (shattered) her ankle 3 weeks before our annual F&W vacation. She cannot put any pressure on her foot and is currently using a walker and wheelchair to get around. We have made arrangements for a scooter but have questions regarding resort accommodations. I contacted WDW to request a handicap accessible room but there are none available at POR. The CM said we could request a first floor room - which I guess will work, but can I request additional items such as a shower seat and hand held shower fixture? Are these items available? Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:12 AM   #2
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Yes.

Alligator Bayou at PO has no elevators, but buildings are only 2 stories high, so you have pretty much a 50:50 chance of ground floor even with making no requests.
The Mansions at PO do have elevators in each building, so if assigned there, you will just need to find where the elevators are in relation to your room.

PO New Orleans also has elevators in each building.

Most of the WDW resorts have at least grab bars in the showers of first floor rooms.

You can request shower chairs and hand held shower heads from Housekeeping/Engineering.

Two suggestions -
Shower chair - before using it, check it out and make sure all the screws are tight. We got one once that was wobbly because the screws were loose. You want to check that out before actually using it.

Hand held shower head - make sure you know how to make the water divert to and from it and the regular shower head. Some are pretty obvious, but others not.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
mickeymom55
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Thank you so much for the reply. Excellent info on checking the equipment and shower head!
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Be aware that the grab rails in regular rooms are on the back wall and may be of no use getting in and out of the tub. Depending on which ankle it is I was able to use the tub using a garbage bag and a large rubber band covering my cast. I still had to keep the leg out but it avoided getting the cast damp. I was no weight bearing for 3 months and made 2 Disney trips during that time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
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Two trips?!? We will be thrilled to accomplish just one! From what you said, you can commiserate with the situation. Good to know about the grab bar location in the tub. Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Yep. Shattered my tibia and fibula and a metatarsal. I am now screwed together with 2 plates and 16 screws and feel it every time it gets cold. Tell her to take her pain meds before she really is in pain. My first trip was a week after surgery and had already been planned. It was Gay Day weekend and I was able do most thing but not Jungle Cruise. Special boat was not working yet. She will not be able to get in and out with the walker safely. She may need to transfer to a manual chair to use the special boat, but she will be able to go that way.
Be aware that the scooters can't go through all ride lines and she may be asked to transfer to a manual chair in some instances for the line. Pirates is a transfer to a manual chair and a step down that may not be doable with a walker or help from companions. Similar to Jungle Cruise and no special boat.
Maelstrom similar situation with a step down.
I tended to focus on the shows and parades rather than the rides knowing I could come back at other times for the rides.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:06 PM   #7
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We are already planning our next visit minus the cast and ECV! Sounds like a good excuse to go back. We will do our best and rely on CMs who know how to handle needs like this. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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The way I get into some rides when I am non-weight bearing on a limb (which seems to happen randomly), I kinda scoot down on my butt from the wheelchair seat, then down into the boat. That way my center of gravity is low. Think of a toddle "bumping" down the steps on his rear end. I basically still do that when I need to.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:17 PM   #9
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I love it "I do what I need to" -great advice. The goal is to have fun and I appreciate the help with information I've received and great tips to make the most of our trip.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:01 AM   #10
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I had a break very similar to Lisa (Talking Hands). Totally shattered the ankle. I didn't manage to get to Disney during that time but being non-weight bearing for three months was pretty tough even without a Disney Trip!

If she has a shower chair, as Lisa suggested, using a plastic garbage bag and some duct tape you can keep the cast dry in the shower. My husband used to wrap me up every morning before my shower. He did have to help me in and out of the tub. A HA shower would be much easier to deal with!

When you rented the ECV did you ask about having it able to elevate the leg? The ankle will swell if not elevated and will be very uncomfortable. I am not familiar with equipment that comes with a rental ECV but most of them I've seen at the parks don't look like it would be easy to elevate the leg.

If she is taking narcotic pain meds, she might want to avoid anything that spins! Even when I don't have broken bones I sometimes take pain meds for arthritis and some other stuff and they don't mix well with Mission Space for me!

I did do a trip in a manual wheelchair last May. I had a stress fracture in the foot with the bad ankle. I walk a bit "off" because of the ankle and it caused the damage. So my daughter pushed me. This saved the expense of renting a scooter since we own a wheelchair. Personal chairs are much better than the Disney rentals I understand. The cast members were great when they saw us coming. They quickly directed us to where we should go when you reach the point of the line where they have to separate wheelchairs from the regular line. Not sure how many are in your party but we had three and they always kept us together. I did not get a GAC since the wheelchair was the only accommodation I needed.

If her cast is high enough that she can't bend her knee (mine was mid-thigh) it might be difficult to board some attractions.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:42 AM   #11
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Check out this trip report for Doing Disney Disabled!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=465756
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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Something to watch like was previously brought up, and that is the swelling. I broke my foot 17 years ago and to this day when it is hanging down too long, it swells up. In a cast it will be worse, and if it is hot out, it will swell even more. A wheelchair with elevating leg rests might be good idea to have too. At least she could have the best of both worlds. She could drive the ECV for a while and then switch to the chair to elevate her leg. It is almost impossible to elevate the leg on a ECV to help eliminate the swelling. Remember the more her leg swells the more pain she is going to be in. If there are enough of you to switch off on pushing, I would just fore go the ECV and use the wheelchair exclusively as long as it has elevating legs.

I can tell you from experience that if she is in pain from the swelling, she will not have any fun and will be miserable!
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:30 PM   #13
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I didn't even think about swelling. Being at the parks for extended periods of time without elevating her leg could be very uncomfortable. Alternating between the wheelchair and ECV is a good idea. She is in a hard Velcro closure boot. October weather can be very hot during the day and that could add to the swelling. So much to think about to be sure she's comfortable. We don't want to add any complications to her situation! Firsthand experience (unfortunately) results in great suggestions. I knew this was the best place for help.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:51 AM   #14
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Just wanted to give you a quick review of how things went on our trip. It was great! We had a first floor room at POR which worked out perfect. The shower bench we requested showed up on the first full day of our stay. We stopped several times during the day to let my SIL put her foot up as well as take her boot off for some relief. As far as the rides are concerned, we were amazed at how efficient the CMs were at assisting us. Also, they were helpful and polite - only one instance of a C M being a little short with us but no big deal. Using the ECV also worked out great. We rented from Walker Mobility -prompt delivery and no issues. Crowds at the F&WF were pretty heavy and tough to maneuver, but we managed. Low crowds for the MNSSHP made for a pleasant evening. My SIL did return to the room a few times during our stay to put her foot up on pillows - this allowed her to go a little longer in the evenings. Again, thank you all for the information and encouragement - it definitely helped to make our trip easier and comfortable! You are great!
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #15
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Don't have any experience with the leg but as far as getting a cast wet. My DD several years ago burnt her arm. Melted butter that was meant to go on popcorn. Instead it spilled all down here forearm covered in 2nd degree burns. We had to change the dressing every day. She was 12 at the time. This happened about a month before our planned April vacation trip. She is a fish in the water and telling her she couldn't go in the pool wasn't going to go over well. So we visited the disboards and found out about an inflatible cast. So we ordered it online. They have them for Arms, elbows, legs, over the knee, foot and ankle. You put it on over the cast or dressing and blow it up afterwards. She was able to bath, shower and go in the pool. This thing literaly saved our vaction. Good luck.
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