Travel is back! Now that the spread of COVID-19 has slowed and preventative vaccines available, many people are finally taking their annual vacations or visiting long-distance family. No matter how you travel — planes, trains, or automobiles — preparation and organization are essential, especially for amputees.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Amtrak, Greyhound, the National Park Service, and others, all offer resources and guidelines to make travel easier for those with mobility issues.
But as an amputee, you know there is more to travel than just packing the right clothes. Here are some prosthetic-specific tips for you.
Before your trip, have your prosthesis checked for any loose parts, cracks, or other signs of wear and tear. You don’t want to have to deal with a breakdown while on the road or at your destination.
Pack extras like socks, liner, duct and filament tape to repair buckle or strap breaks, spare suction valve, shrinkers, donning sleeves, chargers for microprocessors, and antibacterial cream for abrasions. If your prosthesis is not waterproof or water-resistant, bring along some plastic bags to protect it from water or sand.
It’s also a good idea to do some online research and get the names and phone numbers of prosthetists and prosthetic facilities in the area you will be in, just in case you have an issue you can’t deal with yourself.
While being on vacation is a welcome break from your everyday routine, you can’t take a break from your prosthetic care. Besides daily washing of your residual limb, your prosthetic components need daily cleaning too. Shrugging off cleaning the socket, washing the liner, and re-using socks will only lead to the components harboring bacteria causing skin problems, infection, fungus buildup, and, of course, odor problems.
Odor from a liner is one of the most common issues amputees have to deal with. Options to combat it include deodorant, alcohol wipes, bleach solutions, and even Febreze, but the results are not long-lasting.
But now there is an easier way to clean and protect your liner from that funky smell, using The Liner Wand, a system that deep cleans the liner and protects it for two weeks with one application. It utilizes Apocrine™ technology, which is a proprietary formulation of titanium silver carboxylate.
Applying a single thin coating of Apocrine™ solution creates a protective titanium barrier that helps decontaminate the liner and remove the bacteria byproducts that cause odor and skin irritation. The coating remains chemically bonded to the liner, releasing antimicrobial silver ions over a period of two weeks.
Here’s how the system works:
The Liner Wand kit includes a soft bristle brush and liner-safe cleansing solution. First, gently scrub the interior of your liner to remove surface debris. After cleaning, air dry your liner thoroughly.
Then, use The Liner Wand prefilled applicators to brush on an even coat of the Apocrine™ solution. Two applicators are necessary to cover the entire liner surface.
The coating will air dry in just a few minutes and you are fully protected for two weeks! Daily cleaning with The Liner Wand non-soap and scrub brush will remove daily residue build-up, but will not remove the protective coating.
Best of all, you can enjoy your vacation (and time back home) without the worry of offensive odor.
Here are some additional resources to help you “Have a Good Trip.”