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SoliDeoGloria

Concerns About Flying

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I need to do some extensive traveling to a family event in the near future. I think the overall airtime will be 12+ hours. I haven't flown in over a decade and I didn't have noticeable symptoms at that point in my life. So hubby and I are concerned about the effect this may have on my health. I'm taking a guess that most of my symptoms stem from blood pooling and low blood volume. And any kind of stress (physical or emotional) seems to intensify my symptoms. I'm hoping to have compression hose by then and I plan to hydrate well (am I allowed to take drinks onto the plane or should I try to find some gatorade powder?). It may be hard to elevate my legs or recline the seat because we have to go economy. Hubby is worried about the aftereffects of sitting for so long and then the stress of jet lag (lack of sleep is very bad for me). I'm also concerned about not causing a scene with the relatives. I don't want my illness to make them uncomfortable or spoil their fun. So I'll do anything to be healthy and happy. I'd really appreciate some advice about flying and/or jet lag.

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Sorry I don't have any good advice, but I have my fingers crossed for you! I don't fly either because I am terrified I will have an "episode" on the plane, not to mention potentially making my symptoms worse. The only thing I can suggest is to make sure you have lots of water before, during, and after the flight. Also, do some calf raises and pulses while in your seat to help with the blood pooling. As far as your relatives go, hopefully they are an understanding bunch if you need to re-adjust for a few days! Wishing you luck! Please let me know how it goes and any advice or tips you find after your flight!

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I don't know the specifics of your situation but I can tell you about my experience. I have flown before I had POTS and during when I didn't know what was wrong with me. I have found smarwater in bigger airports which I grab when I get through security. Also I drink it and some G2 beforehand. I bring lots of food too since I do not eat gluten. Don't get hungry-just keep snacking every hour.

Once when I was bad I freaked out at the security line so I told the lady I had a heart problem and couldn't stand for long and she let me cut : )

I wear compression when flying too. Last time though I think it was too much compression and I had too high of BP making me dizzy. You will be the smartest person on there when everyone is worried about blood clots.

I bring G2 powder packets through security and it's fine. I usually am too tired the day after flying to do anything, so give yourself a couple of days to rest when you get there. And it makes a world of difference o have your husband there. I am always flying solo.

If I get anxious, I remind myself " hey, come on! You have gone skydiving so don't be such a wuss. You have done this more times than you can count! This is exciting!" I also got a Chakra Deck app on phone last time and did some of the breathing exercises. A little coffee is good for me, but not too much!!

One time I even made a list on the plane of the states I have flown to, and that helped make me feel like a seasoned traveller. A trashy celeb magazine is really helpful too!

I could go on and on...most everyone gets a little anxious so ur not alone!

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Some practical thoughts -

(1) they won't let you carry water through the security checkpoint, but you can carry a water bottle. I always bring my liter Nalgene and then fill it at a drinking fountain past security - lots of people do this so it's not weird. I personally don't like the Nuun tablets but my doctor suggested trying them; you might think about Gatorade powder or other options too. Though, be prepared if your salt is table salt for them to ask what it is :^) The last time we flew they took a sample and did some chemical analysis on it, which was pretty funny!

(2) you can ask for a wheelchair at the ticket counter, which will keep you from standing through security (sometimes I look at the line, then think about whether I want one or not). I find that doing anything pre-flight to aggravate my symptoms (like excessive standing) is a definite bad idea. If you have to get patted down, sometimes they have chairs and you can ask to sit in between steps.

(3) I've heard some folks here talk about getting bulkhead seats (you can get them with a doctor's note, I think, and a phone call to the airline) so they can stretch legs out and put legs up against the bulkhead. Plus then you're closer to the restroom if you need to pee often due to water intake.

(4) Don't feel bad about asking the flight attendants for as much water, soda, whatever as possible (I do soda for the sugar while flying, for other folks here it's a no-no).

(5) And - if you can - definitely schedule an afternoon or a day or whatever to rest on both sides (especially when you get home again!).

Good luck!

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