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Traveling with ME-Plane or Car Ride?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by InvertedTree, May 19, 2011.

  1. InvertedTree

    InvertedTree Senior Member

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    I have fairly severe ME. I need to travel about 500 miles away.

    I'm trying to figure out which form of travel is the easiest on our disease whether it be planes, trains, or automobiles.

    It would mean a 10 hour car ride or a 3 hour plane trip. I have not flown or traveled since I got sick.

    I'm hoping for tips, suggestions, and/or experience.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I have just traveled on a three hour flight and am pretty disabled. I ordered a wheelchair in advance for both airports and that was a savior. There are a lot of lines and walking in airports and I couldn't have managed otherwise.

    Are you traveling by yourself? If you are I wouldn't suggest driving for such a long trip. I wouldn't be able to do it but, if you have someone else to do the driving, it might not be so bad especially if you can take breaks.
     
  3. InvertedTree

    InvertedTree Senior Member

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    Hi Nielk-

    Did you crash after flying for 3 hours?

    I'm not sure if I'm traveling by myself or not. I might have someone who can travel with me.

    I can't drive over 3 miles or drive on the freeway so I have to have someone else drive if I go that route (no pun intended). With flying at least I get it out of the way sooner.

    Thanks for the tip about requesting a wheelchair if I fly.
     
  4. Nielk

    Nielk

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    The wheelchair is so essential! Without it, I would have crashed for sure but, because of it, I just needed a good night sleep to get back to "my normal"
     
  5. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    The actual flying time is short enough not to be an issue, but the driving time is long enough to probably be a major one.

    Other factors include, how far you have to walk inside the airport, if you need a wheelchair, how good the roads and you car are, if you are the sole driver, if the car journey is all done on one day or spread out over 2 days, etc. Getting jiggled about in a car for hours is pretty exhausting for me, even just as a passenger.

    Trains are okay, but have similar issues to driving. Can be a bit rough, and a long travel time.

    Personally I would fly, driving that distance would knock the stuffing out of me. Main issue is dealing with the airport.
     
  6. caledonia

    caledonia

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    The last time I flew, which was before I was sick and before all the post-9/11 security regulations, it took just as much time to fly as to drive an 8 hour trip. You have to drive to the airport, then do all the airport stuff, then fly, then do all the reverse.

    Maybe with a longer trip (like 10 hours) flying is the way to go, but if it's 8 hours or less, I would drive (or more accurately, have my body driven - lol).
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi InvertedTree,

    So many variables to consider. For me, it's hard to imagine I'll ever fly again, for the following reasons:

    1) Very high EMF exposure on flights. After one of my last flights, I had a burning/cooling sensation along my upper thigh for several weeks afterwards. Was quite relieved when it finally went away. Most people aren't aware how much radiation they're exposed to on flights.

    2) Control. Once I'm in the system of air travel, I feel very vulnerable to the timelines and necessities, regardless of how well I feel I can handle them at any given moment.

    3) Sensory Overload. Is a major problem for me, and airports and airplanes are some of the worst places for me to be.

    I anticipate making a trip from Oregon to Minnesota sometime in the next year, and have been considering whether to try flying again, since it's such a long distance. But I doubt I will. I have a van with a bed in the back, and can travel most of the distance on little traveled interstate highways along the northern stretch of the country. When I'm not doing well, I can't go for very long at a time, but when I can take care of myself, I can sometimes go for hours. The sense of freedom and control (and adventure) when on the road is what tips the balance for me when it comes to travel.

    But we're all different, with different capabilities and temperaments. Being able to take a side road for a short while and walk in nature while on a road trip resonates with me better than the "hectic" task of navigating our air traffic system.

    I hope you have a good trip, either way.

    Best, Wayne

    ETA: I've had a recurring dream over the years of laying down resting and sleeping in the back of my van, while the van is driving itself down the road. I sort of become aware of the van driving itself, and get a bit concerned, but then realize it's doing quite a fine job with out me being at the wheel. To put your mind at ease, I have no plans to try this in the real world! :D
     
  8. invisible ME

    invisible ME

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    Hi InvertedTree,

    I've also faced this dilemma, and am still not sure of the best answer (for me). While flying seems faster and easier, you might want to consider the time involved (flight + security/early arrival at the airport + getting to/from the airport). When it adds up, it's not always that much shorter than the drive, and you'll have less control over various factors than if driving. As Wayne mentioned, airports are not great if you suffer from light or noise sensitivity, or sensory overload in general. A wheelchair is a must in the airport (recently learned that the hard way). Will you have someone travel with you, or will you have to lug your own bags, etc?

    If driving, is it possible for you to drive a larger vehicle (minivan, SUV) that would allow you to lie down on the backseat? That would make the trip a lot easier than going by car and trying to sit upright. Being a passenger can still be exhausting, especially for such a long trip.

    Good luck.
     
  9. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    I agree with your points 2 and 3. I can't speak about #1. The worst part for me is maneuvering the airport. Once on the plane I'm OK.

    I look forward to the "downtime." No phones, no conversation, etc. I always carry ear plugs and an eye mask (which are particularly useful in doctors' waiting rooms) everywhere I go.

    Having something very interesting to read is a great help while you're on the plane. Do have something to look forward to. Take a yummy Starbucks decaf on board. I personally like airplane coffee, and treat myself to a caffeinated beverage. I allow myself to splurge on a magazine I ordinarily wouldn't buy.

    Of course, since it is now so expensive to fly, I have to ride in a car. That being said, all of the above help me silence the control issue and drown out the sensory overload. I hope this helps Wayne and others. Oh, last but not least, I always fly non-stop.
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Anybody doing any traveling this summer? Would be interested to hear what tips work well for you. Thanks.

    Wayne
     
  11. Rooney

    Rooney

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    I can fly by myself if it's nonstop. A wheelchair is a must and it's free. On regional flights with the size of plane I had, I learned that the only seat with moveable seat dividers was in the very back by the johns! As nobody wants these you can hog both and lie down with your feet on the isle arm rest. One can't be bashful in these situations even for the lady like. Just don't wear a dress which shouldn't be hard for Wayne.
     
  12. vli

    vli

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    This is highly individualistic, but what's helped me fly between England and Asia at least once a year as well as other shorter trips are: must pack a good eyemask; ear plugs; zopiclone for sleep; and to drink as much water and walk about the train/plane whilst awake as much as possible. Trains I'm more happy to just sit on, planes however I really have to make myself walk around or the blood will probably be at a near standstill in my circulatory system.
     
  13. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I would not advice a long plane ride especially if it involves time changes. It can really cost you a major crash. I guess it all depends on your level of activity.
    I am planning a trip with my husband driving about 6 hours away. We take many breaks and I still arrive very tired and spent but hopefully by the next day I am ok. We don't make any advance plans since it all depends on how I feel but we are staying in a place that has balconies with beautiful views of the mountains (Vermont). So even if I feel I can't do anythin, we can just hang around the place and enjoy the beauty of the nature all around us and we can make barbecues. TThere is a pool in the complex so my husband can go swimming. If I feel up to it, we take scenic drives around. This is about the tenth time that we are returning to Vermont in the summer and we enjoy it each time.
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Um, I guess I forgot to mention I'm a cross-dresser. :D:angel:
     
  15. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    i do best in he car but with my husband driving. I am just back from a vist with Dr. Klimas, it was 700 miles. We took our time and stayed over one night after about 400 miles. I could never drive that far myself, in fact just drove for the first time in ober 2 years to get a haircut but that was a short trip but I did okay. I was a little anxious though.

    When I have flowi there is always so much confusion and tickets and luggage and all that, renting a car and the whole bit. The actual flying part was okay. I don't like all the things going on in the airport or the waiting.
     
  16. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Marg,

    I totally agree that driving, especially if someone else can do it for you is much less hassle than driving.
    How did your appointment with Klimas go?
     

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