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Hi There,

Since my diagnosis 6 mos ago, I have not felt well enough to do much of anything. I am now feeling better, am back to work, and minimally functioning. I am grateful to be on Acebutolol for now... I am in such a need of a vacation, but fear that flying will set off my symptoms, and that if it does, then my destination city wont know a thing about POTS...

How does flying affect POTS people?

Thanks in advance.

Tracey

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Hi,

I can say that I haven't had too many problems flying. I'm not sure how long your trip would be, but I have flown 3 long haul flights from Europe to the US and back. Make sure you have a comfortable seat and drink plenty of water. If you are going to a different altitude(higher) or you think you might get anxious you should talk to your doc about medication that could help you.

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It's the drastic barometric pressure changes that bring on my symptoms when I fly and airplanes at cruising altitude are pressurized to only 85% of sea level pressure.

My advice is to salt-load, lots of fluids, compression hose, elevate your feet and recline your head as much as possible, try to time your meds, if any, to correspond with your flight, and limit your flying time to less than three hours if possible.

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Tracey

I don't have POTS, so I don't know how relevant my experience will be for you....

I'm ok when I'm in the air, but something goes awry on landing - I have a massive increase in my fatigue and nausea levels; my speech doesn't work properly and I'm even more likely to have a panic attack. I now have an agreement at work that I don't fly inter-State for meetings (I'm useless at these meetings anyway these days). I've never been carted off to hospital after flying. At worst, I've sat slumped in the airport with my head on my knees, heaving. There are people who feel they can't live without dignity, but I seem to do ok.

The last time I flew it was for an inter-State holiday - I was really unwell, but I think I might have been better if I'd allowed 24 hours to lay flat after getting off the plane.

Good luck - I hope you take your holiday, and that it is fabulous.

With best wishes

Dianne

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I've gone on a couple of trips where I had to fly, and the flying itself isn't too bad, but like Dianne I'm exhausted once I get to where we're going after we land. Then it takes me a day or two to rest up and recuperate. I was just on a week-long trip for a family emergency where I had to help my mother, who has Parkinson's, get to the hospital, shop, and drive her around (very stressful) and by the time I got back home to Tucson, it took me 4-5 days to recover. Now I just try to avoid flying where possible, and drive instead - or better yet, have people come here!

Cheers,

Jana

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In addition to the above:

I suggest calling the airline ahead of time so they will have a wheelchair ready to take you to a gate. Some airports have motorized transport to a gate. Do not carry or wheel too much if you try walking to the gate. It's tiring and sometimes a long way.

Request bulkhead seating in the economy cabin so you can put your legs upwards on the bulkhead...or alternatively, the first seats on either side in the corner of the cabin are ideal for this. I typically put both legs up in the corner. Obviously, wear loose clothing so you can maneuver without splitting your pants. If money allows, first class (or envoy class) is the way to go...no lines, seats recline better, boarding first, additional food and drinks, etc.

Go...you'll be glad you did. Seat canes, or rentals scooters are great when you visit places. People at recreation areas try to be accomodating to people with special needs. Call ahead. I also carry water in a squirt bottle to stay cool with, as well as a great umbrella.

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