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Old 04-23-2007, 06:02 PM   #1
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Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

Are there rules for traveling? I'm going to need them in my purse, because I'm still in a lot of pain, but need to travel by plane for a personal reason.

I am not sure how I should go about handling this...do I need to do anything RE: law, safety, or anything else????

Thanks.

P.S. Also, anyone ever travel with metal in them...what do I do for that? It's TITANIUM
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C4-C7 Herniations
T5-T10 Herniations
L3-S1 Herniations
Thoracic Fusion via Thoracotomy 10/06

 
Old 04-23-2007, 08:19 PM   #2
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

We traveled by plane with opiates and titanium in my husband's foot.(the opiates weren't in his foot...just the titanium...lol)
We had the doctor write a letter explaining the metal and showed it to security at every airport stop. Some didn't even look at it and just waived us on! I think they've seen lots of it and know what to look for.
I think as long as you have the opiates in their original container and in your purse(you wouldn't want to have them stolen out of your luggage or have the airline lose your luggage and be out of meds)you should be ok. I know some people carry copies of their prescriptions along with this for extra documentation. I briefly remember someone mentioning a limit to the quantity when traveling into certain countries?? Maybe it was only being able to get a three month supply and traveling abroad for longer than that.(I wish!)

Anyway, hope this has been of some help and enjoy your trip.~Mush
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

Mush gave you great advice, I just want to add that they will probably 'wand' your back and at most will have a female officer feel under your shirt along your back. Also I can cosign that you should ALWAYS carry your meds in their original bottles, in your carry on. Things can be stolen or lost in your checked bags, and do not have bottles with different or more than one kind of pill in them. Your pharmacy can print out a record of all your prescriptions, but I doubt if you would need it.
Also you may want to ask for a preboard, It helps not to have to stand all that time waiting to board, and you can choose a seat that is comfortable to you and ask for help storing things in the overhead. Keep your bag with your meds in it on your lap or between your feet at all times, take it with you when you use the restroom, and try and get a bag that zips closed, so if it tips over, your pills cant roll out.
Hope you have a nice trip!
~Fabby

 
Old 04-23-2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

Dear Babs17,

Mush told the story very well!

The airport security might use their metal detecting device if you set off the main detectors when you go through. It's nothing to panic about, but it does take a few minutes extra time.

My doctor told me to always have control of my medications by carrying them on the plane with me--not in my checked-in luggage, just as Mush indicated. The doctor also told me to "strap your opiates around your body...the airport luggage people must be able to sniff them out of a person's luggage!" I'm serious, she said that. Plus, keep all medications in their original containers with their prescription labels intact.

Take care on your trip!

Sincerely,
Jon (Conductor)

 
Old 04-23-2007, 08:52 PM   #5
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

And Fabby was right about the pre-board....it's a great help.

And Jon...my hubby set off the alarm every time...sometimes they would look at the letter and sometimes they would just wave him on.

But my 8yr old did get pulled aside and we weren't allowed to touch him or his bag because of a crucifix he had purchased as a souvenier. It was pretty funny but security didn't like our jokes about it!~M
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:00 PM   #6
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

LOL I set off the detectors with an underwire bra. I'm sure my face was beet red while they kept running the wand over my bust
I was so worried about my meds I didnt even think of what I was wearing!

 
Old 04-24-2007, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

Mush, Fab, & Jon,
Thanks so much for the information...it's just amazing that you all chimed in to help me. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it!! Really.


Just as many of you have gone through this, I am VERY nervous traveling. Mostly b/c of the pain, but also about the Titantium in my back, and my "strong meds" that I am on. Its funny, b/c on a daily basis I don't think of them as "strong" meds, but when I think of a security guard finding them on me, I feel like I'm going to get in trouble for something. It's like when you are NOT speeding , and a POLICE car gets behind you, you automatically get scared thinking you are doing SOMETHING wrong. That's how I feel about this traveling I have to do. LOL. We are all crazy by now, right? LOL. Thanks again!!

Any other info, feel free to add on.
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C4-C7 Herniations
T5-T10 Herniations
L3-S1 Herniations
Thoracic Fusion via Thoracotomy 10/06

 
Old 04-24-2007, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

last time i flew i had all my meds in a plastic see through bag which never left my hands. I also had a doc s note and told security folks i would beep because of metal plates screws. Yep i did. i was in the chair had the cane they waved the wand and it lit up by neck back. They did a slight search of lugage had sandles on had to have help taken them on off All in all not bad got a nice ride to the gate got a handicap pre boarding pass helped in plane and out of plane. Was very impressed in how they helped the handicap at both Houston airport and Sandiago very impressed !!!!!
Babs just be prepared the worst part was taking off and landing as far as back pain and spams. No ammount of meds can prepare you for the force of what i experainced with spams/ pain of take off and landing.
Also went through some turblance.
Word of caution keep emotions in check no weirdness on plane ( they can refuse to let you fly) We had a baby on board that screamed during take off and landing ( she cried for me ) ...
Oh also it may take a day or so for back/neck to settle after that ajetation......and of course a day or two once you return. You cn make it through it though!!!!

Last edited by zoey1; 04-24-2007 at 10:53 AM.

 
Old 04-24-2007, 11:01 AM   #9
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Re: Traveling With Opiates Via Plane & Metal in Spine

I flew from Washington, D.C. to Tucson, Arizona 2 months ago. I kept all of my medications in my backpack and it was at my feet during the entire flight. Nobody asked to look at my meds. All I did was place the backpack on the scanner belt and it went through just like other carry on bags and purses. Nobody asked me to take the bottles out or wanted to see documentation on any kind. I was in a wheelchair and was taken aside for a metal check. I told the security person right away that I would need to have a body check because of my rods and cages. I have ALWAYS set off alarms....I have so much metal and screws in me that my family refers to me as the Human Home Depot!! Anyway, the security person told me that in the future I should alert them to the fact that I will need a body check and that way they won't waste time having me go through the "walk thru" scanner. Another suggestion that has probably already been made: If you have large bottles of medication that aren't convenient to take on your 1 or 2 week trip, have your pharmacist make smaller, duplicate containers with all the same information that is on your prescription bottles. This way you can just take the amount of medication you will need for the days you'll be away (plus 3 days just in case something delays your return!). That way you have all your meds in more convenient containers. Also, depending on where you are staying, try and find a good hiding place for your medications. Use the in-room safes that some hotels/motels offer. Better yet, if you don't have too many bottles, take your meds with you when you leave your hotel to go sightseeing, etc.

 
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