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Any advice for plane travel?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by EsmeDolce, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. EsmeDolce

    EsmeDolce

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    I have to fly across the country this weekend, and I'm nervous. Ever since the ME/CFS hit, flying has been horrible - utterly exhausting, painful, and overwhelming, and it takes me forever to recover. Last time I passed out at the information desk and missed my connecting flight. Not fun. I'm also increasingly having trouble being in a moving car (nausea, dizziness, chest pain), and I'm worried that means that being in a plane will be even worse.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to make flying more bearable? I'm getting a wheelchair at the airport and planning to get there early to avoid any last-minute stress. Is there anything else I can do? I have one 4-hour flight, then a 2.5-hour layover, then a 2.5-hour flight.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
     
    sarah darwins likes this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    If you go to Google Site Search you will find a number of thread on ME/CFS and plane travel. Just put plane travel in the search field.

    Sushi
     
    SOC likes this.
  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    I used to get oxygen when I flew. But you need an rx and have to get it through the airline so it might be too late for this weekend.
     
  4. EsmeDolce

    EsmeDolce

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    Ah, thank you. I tried using the regular search and couldn't find anything. The Google Site Search works much better, thank you!
     
    Sushi likes this.
  5. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    Pack snacks!
     
    EsmeDolce likes this.
  6. SOC

    SOC

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    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Use electrolyte water, not plain water.

    Compression socks (or other compression garments) to help deal with blood pooling from too much sitting without being able to move around.

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

    Take pain meds in advance. It's often harder to touch the pain if you wait to take the meds until the pain is bad.

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

    Wear dark glasses and headphones if stimulus is a problem. The wheelchair attendants will take care of most everything for you, especially if you look pretty out of it.

    And hydrate. ;)
     
    sarah darwins, EsmeDolce and Sushi like this.
  7. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Cornwall, UK
    Everything SOC said.

    I've had to do quite a bit of air travel since becoming ill, including quite a few transatlantic flights, half of them through the night (great recipe for a week of PEM).

    I did by far the best when I went over the top on hydration, including whichever isotonic drinks I could buy airside (Gatorade or whatever). Stoke up with isotonic fluids before the flight, and give yourself plenty of time airside to find a good supply to take on board. Drink what you think you need, then drink some more. Regularly. And yes, snacks — whatever works for you (probably including some salt) — will also help a lot.

    Otherwise, regularly do whatever stretching exercises, especially in the legs, that you're able to do. And a few minutes of breathing/meditation exercise now and then don't hurt at all.

    If you do all that, you may even enjoy the flight!
     
    EsmeDolce likes this.
  8. AkeBono

    AkeBono

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  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Get a seat that's close to a toilet, but also as close to the main exit as possible. Ones with extra leg space might be available near the front, and can make it easier to keep one or both legs elevated during the flight.

    Don't be afraid to ask for accommodations. If there's no easily accessible seats available, you can call ahead of time and let them know that you are disabled and need to sit near the front. Similarly, if there's a toilet at the rear of the first-class cabin, the lead flight attendant will usually give you permission to use it if you explain that you can't walk far and if it's the closest.

    And use a wheelchair as much as possible. Even if you can usually stand and walk for short periods, those will add up very quickly at airports and in the airplane. They should be able to take you through passport control and security without your butt leaving the wheelchair, and can also take you right up to the door of the airplane.
     
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  10. Garethjones

    Garethjones

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    I will agree with what Valentijn suggest, it’s better to have correct seat to make things easier for you and calling in advance is definitely the best way to go. Also, it’s very good point to mainly using Wheelchair unless it’s absolutely necessary anyway best of luck.
     

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