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Flying and vacation

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by kerrilyn, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    Hi all,
    Hope this post is in the right area.

    For the last few years I've noticed that I do much better in the spring. Remarkably so. I don't really understand why but I have significant reduction in pain and surge in energy for a month or so in the spring. I'm thinking of taking advantage of that this year and have my husband and I go on a vacation. The thought is scary because I never know how I'll be tomorrow let alone make plans in advance. And I hate the thought of spending $$ if all I can do is stay in bed. But we have friends who want us to come visit and we can stay with them. Even if I'm not well, my husband can go out and do stuff with them while I rest. He REALLY needs a vacation. He works his butt off and has been through a lot of stress lately, but if I don't go, he won't go.

    I've never flown, the thought scares me. I was wondering if there is usually an increase of specific symptoms when flying? It takes me days to recover if I go visit my parents by car, who live 2 hrs away. The flight would be about 4 hrs.

    I don't handle medication well but I'm thinking of getting at least a muscle relaxant. I often use a Tens machine, would I be able to fly (in Canada) wearing one? Any other tips/suggestions?
  2. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    That sounds, wonderful, Kerrilyn--a nice vacation for you and your husband this spring! I encourage you to do it. I kind of dread flying myself given how difficult it is for me to focus correctly on time and place. (I have to travel by myself.) I get very sore too. So I stretch wherever I can in the airport, sit on the floor, whatever. I travel light so I never have heavy bags to wrestle with. I wear "airplane socks"/support hose. I bring an EMPTY water bottle through security so I can fill it up on the other side for extra water. And at every opportunity I relax, going into a dreaming, accepting, positive mind. I am friendly and considerate to other travellers who are often suffering too. And I bring a riveting good book in case there are long spells to wait through. Still it is a challenge and I need to rest extra afterwards.

    Sing
  3. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune Senior Member

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    WATER, WATER, WATER.

    I also wear a mask because of a depressed immune system. Sit on the aisle. Stand often, stretch. Exercise (I use that term loosely) in your seat. There are actually many exercises you can do. Start with your feet, toes are the tips of your feet, move every joint --toes forward and back, then foot forward and back, onto ankle circles, spend time doing this, and SLOWLY work up the body moving every joint you can ending with shoulder rolls done SLOWLY, move head to right and then left, ear down to shoulder, repeat other side, remember slowly, even turtle neck---do not look up or down, pull back on the jaw as a turtle would recess into it's shell. I do this every time I fly and am surprised, it brings no attention to me from other passengers. Stand up, sit down. Wait a little bit, so it again.

    Bring your own food, yes you can bring it through security....it's the liquids you cannot.

    Comfy clothes, layers, rather than one bulky item.

    Nasal sprays, at least at the destination, eye drops for dry eyes.

    I do not use pillows or blankets provided by airlines, the last person to use it might have been sick. Use your layers as pillows, support.

    Yawn, jaw drop when approaching destination for ear pressure changes.

    I am forgetting something, may think of it later.

    And yes, you do need to go, not just for your husband, but yourself.

    Enjoy, June
  4. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

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    Thanks for the great advice. I would never have thought of things like layering or compression socks. Fingers crossed that we may actually be able to go. :Retro smile:
  5. Lelvina

    Lelvina ex-Bookworm

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    I had to fly when I was about a 10-15 (out of 100), right after a very 'depleting' week. I didn't have any specific symptoms flair, at all. I couldn't eat much but I think I was using adrenalin. Other than that, nothing was really too bad. Before that I had left the house maybe... 5 times in the past year? The flight itself didn't bother my symptoms at all.

    Good luck! Even if you rest at the other end it sounds like a great experience.
  6. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Eastern High Sierra
    I think there might be a longer thread on the topic of flying with ME somewhere but I can't find it. Anyone have anything to add to the suggestions above? I have to fly sometime this month because of a family emergency and want to prepare myself as well as possible. I'll be on my own.

    One persistent symptom I've had while on the ground is sensitivity to pressure changes: seems my ears pop a lot just maybe from the atmospheric pressure changing with weather. So one thing I'm worried about is my ears popping a lot in flight. I'll drink lots of water and bring chewing gum... any other ideas?

    Pain is of course a worry, and how to get comfy in airports and in flight. Plus I haven't flown since way before the new security regulations so I will have to check into what I can and cannot bring, like, would security take away my TENS unit or give me problems about prescription meds?

    Then there's energy. How to maintain enough energy and brain power to find my way around airports full of flourescent lights and weird noises? I can't always get through the supermarket without falling apart.

    I hadn't even thought about trying to carry luggage. Argh. Maybe I can borrow or find cheap second-hand wheeled luggage.

    Oh, and what if I have to walk a long way in the airport to get to my gate? Aren't there some kind of conveyances within airports, golf carts or something, for disabled people to get a ride on?

    So much I don't know.
  7. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    About the luggage and energy thing, something I do know is if you request a wheelchair it could save you a lot of energy. From what I've heard, they'll have someone wheel you and your luggage to where you need to go and you get to bypass waiting in the long security lines. These things could save you not only physical but also mental energy in trying to make sure you're going to the right place and such under the sensory overload of the lights and noise and such. From what I can tell you do not need to mention or prove any disability for this service, just let them know it's a need and they provide it.

    If it would help you to have an empty seat next to you, you could try talking with the gate agent before the plane boards. Request that if the flight isn't completely booked that the seat next to yours be left empty. I've never done this, but I've read that they're often kindly accomodating of such requests whenever it's within their power.
  8. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    i always do better in spring as well. planning to make your trip then is a good idea.
    flying doesn't bother me except being in the cramped area for so long, the lines & all the walking & stuff. make your husband sit by the other passenger if you are in a 3 seat isle.
    travel really scares me too, like you - i dunno how to plan for it if i dont' know how i'll feel. somehow i usually manage. it is hard, plan to rest for many days in advance & many days after.
  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I ran into big problems when flying as they thought i looked too ill to fly (i was almost passing out as I was terrible ill with CFS and POTS at the time) and the plane was made late taking off from the airport (held) cause they didnt know what to do with me, as they wanted to disenbark me as I didnt have a doctors letter saying i was safe to fly.. the whole situation had me in tears with them going back and forth with their superiors not knowing what to do with me insisting I fly. The CFS was being so bad that I'd lost my ability to write, so couldnt even fill out the waver forms they wanted me to do when i was on the actual plane (due to not having a doctors letter, they wanted me to fill out special forms saying they werent responsible for me). So i strongly suggest to get a doctors letter stating you are safe to fly.

    I'd rang ahead and checked with airline and done all the right things.. but still run into issues as no one told me that they can ask for a doctors letter if they think you look ill... they can actually kick you off of plane.

    I had arranged ahead of time for them to have a wheelchair on hand for me.. so meet in a certain place at a certain time with one of their staff with wheelchair so I didnt have toe carry any luggage at all. (i friend had carried for me to the gates.. and then their staff took over). I also wasnt made to wait in any queues. Cause i was in a wheelchair, they boarded me onto plane first before loading the other passagers (and i got boarded last at my destination).

    As plane wasnt fully full.. They also allowed me to change to another seat where I had more room and could kind of lay.

    I forgot to say.. there was a long section in which they also took me throu the airport by a ride on buggy thing.
  10. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    taniaaust1,

    What a terrible experience. I have to ask, was this a U.S. carrier?

    I have one tip for traveling by air. Carry a cane as a sign of your disability. I was pulled out of line at check-in by a staff member in the Pittsburgh airport, and put into a wheelchair. From there I went through security with a line of other wheelchair bound passengers, and then delivered to the gate via wheelchair. I never walked a step.

    Not all airports are created equal, however. In my city, you could sit forever in a handicap area waiting for a ride while the trams are parked and the drivers chatting. Don't be shy. Go right up to them, show your ticket and say you need a ride.

    Oh, 2nd tip, allow yourself plenty of time to catch all these rides.
  11. rotomassmith

    rotomassmith Guest

    Tourists are easier to travel. The clothes are the best clothes to wear on long trips. It is important to remember that obtained in the very long flights, you probably want to wear a dress or a cotton cloth. so you want to make adventure tourism in the deserts of West Virginia, where rivers and wild mountains and the history around them fill up very fresh.
  12. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune Senior Member

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    Creekfeet

    Tens unit is a medical device, they are allowed, but keep it with you, I suggest, do not check the unit in your luggage. Put it in a carry on. If you carry it by itself, it will not be counted as part of your carryon allowance. For instance, I have a CPAP machine, I carry it besides my personal bag and carry on luggage. (These are separate from luggage you check in.)

    I would suggest requesting a wheelchair from your airlines. Yes there are golf type of carts that can transport you around but NOT through security. If you go up to your airline counter after arriving at the airport, you can request a wheelchair. (Request at the time of purchasing your ticket)

    After my foot surgery, I requested a chair from the airline counter. The person pushing the chair was wonderful. He took charge, he helped me breeze through security, he took care of all my stuff, putting it up on the belts, to go through, helped me retrieve my stuff, wheeled me right to the gait. It was my very best security experience.

    Keep script meds in original bottles, no problem. Some of my scripts are liquid. Again, they were not considered part of the count for "liquids" which I had in the approved-size baggie. My liquid meds, I kept separate. No problem. My CPAP machine has to be opened and "wiped" for suspicious substances and then it has to be put back in the case.

    Yawning helps my ears the most, even more than gum, but do both.

    I wrote other ideas in a post above.

    June

    Would wearing sunglasses help with the lights? I don't have the problem, so I don't know.
  13. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Scheduling a flight that is more expensive and not a red eye is the way to go. I have flown several times while being sick and honestly, just knowing I will be somewhere else usually helps. I always bring ear plugs and a eye mask to block out light. A good magazine or a book. Some food and water if you can. Try and pack lightly. The biggest problem is all that is requires to carry and pack stuff. So, to have that thought out is good.

    I think a vacation is a great idea in the spring. I hope you do go!
  14. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Im in Australia and was travelling to and from New Zealand. One of the planes was a Qantas one and the other was Air NZ i think. Ive forgotten which did which. But the other plane home nearly made me miss the plane as they put me somewhere in wheelchair to wait and then forgot about me!!! and plane was about to take off before i got someones attention (I kept being reassured they wouldnt forget me in the out of the way place they left me.. but they did). They told me I'd have to catch next flight as they said it was too late but i got upset as it was all their fault and I'd been there the whole time so they ended up arranging me to board So i really havent had much luck when it comes to flying.

    I hope anyone planning to fly has better luck

    I dont know if it's a CFS thing or not but the flights coming down.. hurt my ears severely to the point i had tears in my eyes and the pain stayed for hrs (they then were ringing). I tried yawning, popping my ears and everything else i could think of but my ears still got hurt.

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