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Machair

Pots Attack At 38000 Ft!

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I just got back from holiday and all was ok until the return flight which was 11 hours. I haven't flown long haul much since being ill, but this time I tried to do everything right, but suddenly as lunch was being served I started to experience the really high heart rate and knew an attack was imminent.

The problem was I was flying from a hot humid country back to the UK and was probably less hydrated than I should have been but the main problem was the severe panic I felt as the attack also affected my gut. During the holiday digestion was very difficult and slow due to the heat- it felt as if food was just going nowhere so I ate very light meals. However with the dreadful panic and anxiety it made things swing to the other extreme and I was in and out of the aeroplane toilet. It wasn't diarrhoea but I felt as if it could become so, and so I took Immodium to make sure that it didn't become an issue which in extreme cases I have suffered in a POTs attack.

The palpitations went on for 20 minutes or so and I was pretty sick and wondered how I was going to cope for another 6 hours. I think eating lunch set off the attack as all the blood must have rushed to the gut triggering the symptoms. Has anyone else experienced this during a flight and have you any ideas how to prevent it?

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I haven't flown since the on set of Pots for the reasons you are talking about. This did happen to me on a boating trip to the lake. I was fine until I ate lunch At the dock. As soon as I got back on the boat within 15 minutes I was in full fledged panic and that feeling of "need to get off this boat ASAP". Terrible feeling. I knew it was from eating though.

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Yes, this happened to me in December (ironically on a flight to an autonomic clinic!). As I normally am when flying, I was fast asleep for the first 75 minutes of the flight. I woke up to tachycardia, flushing and horrendous nausea and abdominal pain. I knew the only thing that would help would be to lie down, and since the flight was packed I ended up lying down on the floor in front of our seats (thankfully we happened to be at the bulkhead). I stayed there with ice on me until I couldn't anymore, and spend the rest of the flight glued to the toilet and vomiting. I have to tell you that, in retrospect, this was the most embarassing thing that has ever happened to me :). I managed to get through landing in my seat without any more vomiting, etc., and they thankfully let us off the plane first. I then conked out on some seats just inside the door of the airport for about 45 minutes. Ugh. Thankfully my awesome dad was travelling with me and he explained to the staff what was going on, and he convinced them not to call the paramedics :) I'm also thankful my three little ones weren't with us - they would have been very freaked out. I will say, too, that I am now being treated for MCAS, and it seems like the airplane incident took my episodes to a whole new level of severity. I'm sorry you're dealing with this as well - I wouldn't wish it on anyone!

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Yes, I start getting symptomatic right before take off when they pressurize the cabin. I plan on keeping a benzo with me when I fly in the future just in case. The summer before I was diagnosed I freaked out on a plane for 4 hrs. It makes me wonder if most normal people's anxiety during flight isn't also due to the cabin pressure.

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Yup, flying is one of my triggers too! I now fly with a handicapped tag on my ticket, if I'm flying alone. You can request that if the plane is not full to leave the middle seat open I can then sit sideways with my feet with socks on in the middle seat. They do reserve seats now near the bulkhead and front of the plane for handicapped. The bulkhead is tricky if the wall is close enough you can put your feet up on it, that keeps you legs elevated, if not then your in trouble because the bulkhead seats are separate by the tv tray and you can't put the arm rest up to give you more room if the middle seat is open. I now tell the flight attendants that I might need to lay down, if my blood pressure drops and if I faint to make sure my head is down and my feet up. I don't say any of this though if my husband is with me. It also doesn't always happen. Seems like if the plane gets shaky it happens. That happened on the way back from seeing Dr. Grubb, I got so ill I had to have a wheel chair and lay down in the terminal as well. That has only happened once thank goodness. I prepare better now. I always have a barf bag with me too!

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Even before I had my POTS dx this was happening to me. And, my docs kept telling me it was panic attacks and I kept telling them I'm not afraid of flying. I reverted to meditation as soon as I got to my seat in order to control my heart rate. As someone else mentioned, it seemed to be when the pressure in the cabin changed is when my symptoms would start. (That makes sense because I am a POTSy who is totally affected by changes in the barometric pressure.) The meditative breathing didn't completely prevent the attack from happening but it definitely kept it to a dull roar instead of a full blown tachy, GI, migraine, excessively sweaty fest!

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Yes. I flew for the first time last summer. Felt fine at the start of the trip but through the flight and fist day at Disney World I was a wreck.

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I was on 14 hour flight from Fiji when I had a major pre-syncope attack. I was stuck on the floor of the bathroom for about 5 minutes before I barely made it back to my seat. It was right after the liquid ban, and before you could even bring your own water bottle aboard...even if you bought it inside the terminal. The flight attendants would only give me 3 oz of water at a time, and took forever when I hit the button. The only thing that saved me was that I had an entire row to myself to lay down. I fly a lot and usually have some issues, but nothing like that. It made me think the key is to hydrating...also to not take such long flights when possible.

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