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Aiko

Have you ever attended Otakon on crutches?

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Is it doable? Were you able to enjoy it? My heart is just breaking right now. 

This will be the first otakon I have been able to attend in eleven years and I feel like I've been looking forward to it at least that long. But last week a car darted out in front of us and we crashed, leaving me with a very sprained ankle and a bunch of chest and torso brusing. It could have been worse, that's for sure, but my limited mobility is leaving me very depressed and pessimistic about being able to enjoy the con. While the crutches have allowed me to shuffle from one room or another in my house, they put a ton of strain on my already bruised chest muscles. Wheelchair rentals aren't covered by the medical insurance and it's unlikely that I could drag one along on the road trip with me anyway. I'm just sad and stressed out because I really want to enjoy this event after waiting all this time but now I'm not sure I'll really be able to when it takes so much energy just to move a few feet.

Sorry to mope, I'm just wondering if anyone else has been in a situation like this before and found a way to enjoy themselves, or just has any tips/advice or general encouragement. Thanks guys.

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From the https://www.otakon.com/help/faq/ page

"Otakon makes every effort to accommodate the needs of our diverse membership. If you have special needs, please let us know so we can ensure accommodations are available. Typically, these services can include interpreters for the deaf and access in getting around the WEWCC for those with limited mobility.

For those who need sign language interpreters, we need to know in advance to make the arrangements; alternatively, we'll be glad to work with you to get your usual interpreter access.

Those with limited mobility may have difficulty navigating the WEWCC, as it is a larger building and accessibility isn't always obvious. We make every reasonable effort to accommodate people with such disabilities, and reserve elevators and special access seating for most events. This year, we're asking those members who need wheelchair or similar access to stop by our Member Accessibility area and obtain a sticker, which will grant access to elevators and certain staff-only access points. Not only will the sticker make it easier for volunteers to identify you as someone who should be given access, but it'll help us see how many of our members require such assistance and plan accordingly."

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Thank you! I did notice that on the FAQ page and it was certainly reassuring. If nothing else, being able to use the elevators will make things more manageable (I can't figure out for the life of me how to make crutches work with stairs, and I've been trying to practice in my home for days). I guess a lot of my remaining apprehension stems from just how exhausting it is to move even very short distances. I'm also just not very good on these crutches in general and not terribly confident in my ability to navigate in crowds, especially in places like the dealer's room. I certainly don't want to overexert myself or risk making my injuries worse, but I worry I'm going to have to end up spending most of my time stationary. I haven't been to this convention center before but I can tell that it's massive and I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to get the most out of my weekend while minimizing the time I spend moving from place to place. (I may just spend a bunch of time in the makerspace, depending on how crowded it is).

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Well, one good thing is that they have reserved seating, so you don't have too much of a need to arrive at any events in time to go through a line ride, so, there's that.

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Not personally, but I've seen people on crutches and using walkers attending the con, if they can do it I'm sure you can.

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9 hours ago, Aiko said:

Is it doable? Were you able to enjoy it? My heart is just breaking right now. 

This will be the first otakon I have been able to attend in eleven years and I feel like I've been looking forward to it at least that long. But last week a car darted out in front of us and we crashed, leaving me with a very sprained ankle and a bunch of chest and torso brusing. It could have been worse, that's for sure, but my limited mobility is leaving me very depressed and pessimistic about being able to enjoy the con. While the crutches have allowed me to shuffle from one room or another in my house, they put a ton of strain on my already bruised chest muscles. Wheelchair rentals aren't covered by the medical insurance and it's unlikely that I could drag one along on the road trip with me anyway. I'm just sad and stressed out because I really want to enjoy this event after waiting all this time but now I'm not sure I'll really be able to when it takes so much energy just to move a few feet.

Sorry to mope, I'm just wondering if anyone else has been in a situation like this before and found a way to enjoy themselves, or just has any tips/advice or general encouragement. Thanks guys.

 

Had a long post, but after trying to send it two times, neither one went through.  And trying a PM wouldn't work either.  Let me try a shorter version:  YouTube has lots of videos on how to get around with crutches.  There are specific ways to go up and down stairs, which makes the pain minimal and doesn't make the injury worse.  If you want to check it out, try searching "using crutches on stairs" and "falling from crutches safely."

 

Years ago, I practiced "pretend falling" in my living room with crutches, and practiced leaning far over on different sides, which really helped give confidence for using crutches.

 

I'm so glad you didn't get hurt worse than you mentioned from the crash!  And I hope you make it to Otakon!

 

[Edited to add more, to see if this posts]:

 

I was on crutches for around 8 weeks, years ago -- felt like FOREVER!  Walking (hobbling, actually :blink: ) at the local Mall with crutches was really tiring.  But I didn't rest, so I think if I had rested a few minutes every now and then, that probably would've prevented being so tired.  And Ibuprofen (like Motrin or Advil) is really excellent for pain that sometimes happens when using crutches (I'm not a doctor, so if you haven't used Ibuprofen before, you might want to check with your doctor first).

 

Personally, I remember getting crazy over how long it took to do anything when on crutches.  Just getting ready to go out in the morning took FOREVER.  Some days were ok, sometimes I just wanted to scream (and I'm not a violent person).  After a million years (it felt like a million years, anyway), when I got off the crutches, I actually celebrated (even though I used a cane after the crutches, it was so worth it to be off those crutches)!

 

If you pace yourself, I think you'll be ok, as long as you prepare yourself for the fact that you might miss something that you really want to attend at Otakon, because of the crutches (or wheelchair if you use that).  I hope you don't miss anything, but just for a mind-set, you know just to prepare yourself so you're not let-down if you do miss something you really want to see.  I really like the Dealer's Room when the pain is acting up, not only for all the goodies to check out at the vendor tables, but because it's easier to rest there when the pain's getting to be too much.

 

Good luck and I really hope you make it to Otakon!

 

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Hello Aiko!

Please stop by the Member Accessibility booth once you arrive! Since you are on crutches, feel free notify Otakon staff at the main entrance and they will usher you to Member Accessibility (will have to go through bag check first) so you don't have to stand for long periods in the building entry lines. More Member Accessibility info can be found here:  https://www.otakon.com/info/member-services/ 

The WEWCC provides wheelchairs for checkout at their info desk in the grand lobby, however those are very limited and first come first serve. There are also rentals  available for wheelchairs and scooters as well and  if interested they can deliver to the WEWCC or any of the surrounding hotels. Best to reserve ahead of time, however they are able to deliver same day as requested with the ETA depending on how busy they are. Thanks!! 

EDIT: For urgent rental requests (less than 24hr notice), they suggest you call them instead of filling out the form. Thanks!

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I would suggest not trying to attempt the stairs at all. The stairs will be full with people going up and down at all times and that is just a bad situation for someone with limited mobility. Definitely make sure to get one of the accessibility stickers for your badge. You will not be able to skip lines for panels and autographs, etc, but you can get there early and ask for a seat to sit in and have someone hold your place in line for you.

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