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sonyasmith12

Having To Travel To Area With High Altitude, Any Issues With This? Ski W Pots?

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I am accompanying my family on a ski trip to Jackson Hole, WY on Friday. I live in Florida @ sea level. Wondering if anyone has had any issues with there POTS symptoms in higher elevation. My husband says I should try skiing one day. Has anyone ever tried?

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Yeah, I used to live at 7,000 ft. in Colorado. I never really got used to it. But, I used to ski (before some accidents). I prefer Cross-Country to Alpine - but, have done both. But, when I'd do Downhill - I'd use my Cross Country ski's. I felt much more in control - but, is a different technique. I was much younger then and don't think I'd even try to attempt it now. But, I enjoyed it.

Now, when I go to visit family --I have to use oxygen at night as my POTS is worse then it was back then and I do have problems with the altitude. There are some herbals that you can take that greatly help with the lack of oxygen and it helps to increase it in your body. I use that when I go.

Last time I went I didn't have as many problems as I had in the past. But, I lived at that height for over 20 years with POTS. Realize that you have to take it much more slow and slowly allow your body to adjust. It takes awhile for you blood cells to enlarge to carry the oxygen and it's not something that you can push.

Jaskon Hole is a beautiful spot ---lots to see and do. One of the most enjoyable things I've done in my life was a snowmobile trip through Yellowstone. Loved it! Maybe you will get to do that. I'm glad my hubby had me rent my own and I didn't ride with him. But, I was soooo sore. It is quite the work-out. Have fun!

Issie

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yeah, have fun! only cross country, no alpine ski for me ski used to ice skate on canal... loved water ski tho! been awhile since i've done any of those tho.

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Have fun sonyassmith12! It's funny because I am actually going from high elevation (I live in Co at 6700 elevation) and am flying to Florida on Wednesday to see my grandparents and am wondering if I won't notice a difference in going to sea level (I lived in PA for 18yrs until I moved out here but that was prior to POTS). Jackson hole is a beautiful area, I haven't skied since moving out here (too expensive! Although I live 45mins from Ski resort) but I do snowmobile (also pricey,but the hubby is into it so its what we do.lol ;)) and although it can be a workout I would highly recommend trying it if you can, I can't ride like I could before pots but I still go and even if I am having not a great day I can stay on the trails, stop often, and we have actually gotten into stopping and building a fire and roasting hotdogs and I can hang out by the fire while everyone else goes and hill climbs and plays in the meadows. I would try skiing, even for a half day or one run, just to say you did it. :) Also remember to drink a lot of water, wear sunscreen when outside as you will burn much easier then when at sea level, I would take the first 24 hours easier if you can to allow your body to adjust to the difference in oxygen levels, and if you drink alcohol they say to try and avoid drinking for 24 hours as it also contributes to dehydration. Watch for signs of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness, a lot of the symptoms are very similar to what we deal with every day, so just be aware of your body and how you feel. Have fun and keep us updated. : )

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Thank you guys for your advice. I will definitely try. I love skiing, since I'm originally from Canada, but haven't been since I've been sick w POTS.I have a really hard time traveling. Usually sets me back a few days all together.

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Hi Sonya. I live in FL too and travel each summer to Idaho, to visit my hubby's family.

Prior to dysautonomia I had severe anxiety issues with flying so the idea last summer of flying and then going to McCall, ID which is similar in altitude to Jackson Hole was absolutely terrifying. But, I'm not one to give up so here's what I did and it really helped:

- packed and was ready to go a full day early so I had rest before flying.

- took an afternoon flight and got 2 ltrs of saline IV before going

- arranged special bulkhead seating due to medical necessity

- spoke with the head flight attendant of each flight before taking off. (said I had a rare fainting and heart condition, want them to be aware but not alarmed if I faint or need extra help and extra water. If faint, just need to lie down. It's ok to faint upright for a few mins while flying- not life threatening. The key is that they knew a bit about me and therefore checked periodically to see if I was ok. By the way, I did not faint but did have some high tachy moments. Don't think it ever dipped below 100 in flight.)

- took full dose of Xanax

- arranged saline IV on the other side. Spoke in advance with nurses at McCall hospital and had the IV therapy pre authorized. (that saves a lot of $ and stress over going through ER. Told them I might not use it, but I did 3 times during 10 day stay.)

- planned nothing first full day after arrival.

As for altitude, I did have more shortness of breath. And I spent at least half of the time in bed- but that is normal for me. Maybe a bit more fatigued. I did green juice while there which helps me. Also, I arranged a couple of massages which were nice and helped me stimulate my parasympathetic system.

You may be in a very different situation so I'm not sure you'd have the same needs.

I can't imagine skiing as I get symptomatic in 30 seconds of standing and blackout mostly before 10

mins- but if I thought I could I would go for it. Sounds super fun! And if you are well enough to consider it, I bet you can do it. Maybe plan ways to do counter maneuvers if you get tachy and plan rests in between runs where you can take off your skis and elevate your legs. Might want extra help getting on and off chair lifts. Eehh gads - ok im not so sure about the chair lift. Have you skiied before? If so, maybe you'll be ok bc you know what to expect. Oh well. What's the worse that can happen? You'd fall

down like all the other Floridians. :)

Oh, btw- I think POTS cured me of the anxiety issues and flying. I think I was having control issues before and since all year I haven't been "in control" and have felt so close to death so many times I had not a single issue w anxiety. Cool huh?

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I used to ski all the time when my POTS was in "remission." I didn't even think that it would be an issue until last fall and we went from Phoenix to Albuquerque (which was fine, even at 5500 ft) and then the next day we went to the top of Sandia Peak. It's 10,000ft. After 10 minutes of walking around, I got dizzy and felt really bad. We had to quickly get down under 8,000 and then once we got back to the house (my MIL lives there) I spent the afternoon in bed. I was able to be up and about that evening and the next day. I hope now that I am less symptomatic I would be able to ski again, because I LOVE it. I would say go for it and just listen to your body. Have a great time and let us know how you do!

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I was at Jackson Hole this past fall. Jackson is at 6000 feet, and MOST people will experience at least minor symptoms of the altitude if they are coming from sea level. Although the ski resorts are way higher then 6000 feet! It is a given that you will experience symptoms at altitude past 7000-8000. Most people start to really experience altitude sickness above 9000 feet. Some of the ski resorts out there go above 11,000 ft.

You have never skied before and will be really exerting yourself trying to learn (normal for new people). You should also expect to fall frequently. This will be done at a higher altitude then your body is used to, meaning fatigue will set in really fast (normal for most people). Throw in your issues along with the normal response, and you are really setting yourself up for fainting and getting sick if you push yourself to hard.

I started to feel the altitude going above 7000ft, and I live at 1500ft and routinely go to 3000. Camping in Yellowstone at 8000ft I was to dizzy to walk and had to retreat to Mammoth. I tried hiking above 9000ft and could only manage about ten feet before I was half delirious.

It is not all bad though, and everyone reacts differently. It might be best to sleep at a lower altitude. If you decide to go, it is best to have a plan to retreat to a lower altitude if you start to get sick. Dont be afraid to go to first aid or flag someone down if you need oxygen! Although regardless if you experience problems or not, if skiing is not your thing, you might end up spending the whole trip in the lodge twittling your thumbs.

I wouldn't pass up the trip and would take the risk (although I live for adventure). I am jealous, lol

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On flying and high altitudes I wear compression hose and abdominal binder. Also my cardio told me that when I get bad at altitudes I can up my bb's (i'm not on any right now but was on 200mg metoprolol 24/7) and have to make sure I'm drinking loads. Hope you'll have a fab time!

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I was in the high Sierras last September. I didn't have any major problems the first few days, even at 10,000 feet. However, the fourth day I was miserable. We were driving and encountered many fluctuations in altitude. I felt disoriented and short of breath. I felt significantly better once we returned to about 2,000 feet. Altitude issues tended to fluctuate for me. I went hiking in Peru at very high altitudes, but then got altitude sickness in Ecuador a few years later and spent most of my time in bed with a crushing headache.

I long to improve enough to ski again. I live less than an hour from the slopes and my prepurchased ski tickets went to waste this year.

FYI - I don't officially have POTS but have similar symptoms.

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We will be taking our daughter with POTS on a vacation and will be staying at a week at 9,600 feet elevation. I don't know if this is advisable, or should we look for something a few thousand feet lower. Our daughter is used to living at around 400 feet elevation. She seems to tolerate flying OK for several hours, which usually has a cabin pressure equivalent of about 7,000 feet.

Drinking lots of water is a given. Are there any other tips?

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POTS Dad - I live in CO at 6,500'. :) For tips, I would say bring elytes and consume plenty of salt so the water she is drinking stays in her. I personally expect that 9,600' is going to be pushing it. I would look for a place to stay that is lower. We have flatlanders stay with us every summer, and some of them are really bothered by about the 3rd day or so (headaches, fatigue, etc. in perfectly healthy people).

I found this table for altitude versus comparative percent of oxygen available as compared to sea level. So you can see the difference of staying at 10,000 feet versus 7,000.

0 100%
1,000 96%
2,000 92%
3,000 88%
4,000 85%
5,000 81%
6,000 78%
7,000 75%
8,000 72%
9,000 69%
10,000 66%
11,000 64%
12,000 61%
13,000 59%
14,000 56%
15,000 54%
16,000 52%
17,000 50%
18,000 48%
19,000 46%
20,000 44%


Read more: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=1703524#ixzz2WF0x8sQ0

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I live at 6,500 feet in Arizona, I haven't really noticed much to be honest. I regularly travel away from this elevation, and (before I got diagnosed) was a pilot in unpressurized aircraft (and we would regularly get up to 13,500 feet), and I honestly didn't feel too much difference. However when we would pull G's in the plane, boy did my symptoms get the best of me. Flying in a commercial airliner, the atmosphere is usually pressurized to about 6,800 feet above sea level, and less than 10% humidity, so basically what I deal with every day. I did notice moving to this area, I was extremely tired until about 2 weeks after. Going down in altitude doesn't do anything to me though, no better, no worse.

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