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I'll be flying for the first time ever in 3 weeks. It's a 3 hour flight and I'll be going alone. I'm beyond nervous. My pots isn't as bad as some here. My main symptoms are dizzy and extreme nausea. I don't take any meds except for omeprazole and zofran as needed. I've read where people say to drink a lot of water but water makes me feel worse and I have a fear of vomiting so in my head if I don't drink anything, nothing can come up. I'm always dehydrated but my previous drs haven't said anything about it. Can I go to my pcp for iv fluids the day before? How does the pressure change effect pots? What are your experiences with flying? Every time I think about the trip my hr goes up. I'm afraid of having a panic attack but won't be able to take anything that day since they make me so drowsy. Ah the joys!

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micheller- My family is flying tomorrow. My daughter's cardiologist said to drink lots of fluids and to get up a lot to walk in order to help circulation. Can you drink something besides water like Gatorade and bring anti nausea meds like zofran? Maybe take the anti-anxiety med once you are on the plane so it doesn't matter if you are drowsy. Ours is a 5hr flight with a 2 1/2 hr layover and a 5 hr drive. Ugh. Maybe my daughter will sleep.

Good luck!

June

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I have flown, no problem. 3 hours is not very long. Just get up and use the restroom a couple of times to stretch your legs. Seriously, the take off and landing were absolutely fine, no different than before I had POTS. The time in the air was no different than sitting on my couch at home.

For me, car trips are horrible. They make me dizzy and it takes me a day to recover from a long car trip. No problem with a plane ride.

Depending on the airport, the walk to the plane can be long, but I would recommend walking it rather than getting a ride because then you get some exercise.

Just as a general unasked for suggestion, you really don't want to be "dehydrated all the time". Healthy people who are dehydrated will feel nauseated and dizzy and have POTS symptoms. Getting hydrated could help your symptoms in general. You don't have to drink water, you can drink anything: milk, soda, juice, sports drinks or eat juicy foods like ice cream or fruit. And be sure to get enough salt in your diet to retain the fluids.

Good luck, I hope the plane ride is to some place fun.

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Please let us know how it goes. I am going to have to fly in a few months. My doctor said he doesn't recommend that I fly, but he also admitted that he is no POTS expert. I have the same concerns you have. Try not to let the anxiety of flying get to you. Good luck!

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I was fine on my flights in October that were just shy of 2 hours each. I did use wheelchair assistance in the airports so as not to wear myself out and also to avoid having to stand in line at security and boarding (I'm usually fine walking but standing in line is a sure fire way to set off my pots). I did hydrate and I also made sure to wear my higher compression compression stockings. I dressed in layers so I could do anything from tank top to fully covered with a scarf depending on my body's mood at any given moment. I had my phenergan with me but I also took my OTC Bonine with me just in case as it is for actual motion sickness and works a little differently than phenergan. I didn't end up needing either one but I knew I was prepared.

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Thank you for the replies!! I do ok walking but standing is difficult after a while. How long does it usually take to get through security? I'm only bringing a carry on bag with wheels so I don't have to haul around a bag. I'm going from Milwaukee to Dallas so I think they are both pretty big airports. My friend is driving me, is she able to stand in line with me just in case? I have motion sickness strips, not sure what kind they are and zofran. I do ok in the car as long as I haven't eaten anything 2-3 hours before. Even driving a few blocks can be very nausea inducing. My friend said take off and landing is like a roller coaster. I wouldn't be so nervous if I wasn't going alone. Ugh

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Wear compression stockings, take antinausea medication before, listen to music take your mind off things, try and stay hydrated. I flew

Last summer and was ok and had to also manage a feeding tube.

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Every one has given great advice. Only thing I would offer is that semi-sparkling mineral water helps me quite a lot with nausea - it's something to try before you the day of flying. Try to stay hydrated as it's most important and if you throw up 1). you have something to throw up and aren't dry retching and 2). that's what the airsickness bags are for -- remember plenty of people throw up when flying. I actually have a fear of throwing up in public (almost a phobia) and carry a plastic bag with me for reassurance. I only needed it once in many years when I was on a car trip and had a migraine. The other thing that has helped me when flying in the past is to ask for a window seat -- being able to see out seems to help me with my balance quite a bit - in my case it helps take away the sensation of roller coaster quite a lot. But I realize some people don't like to see out.

blue

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I have to fly for work quite a bit, unfortunately, and I think I've nearly perfected my bag of tricks. What everyone has offered is true and helpful, so I'll just add a few thoughts. If you can, try to get an exit row or bulkhead seat--way more room for stretching and not feeling closed in. Also, if you have a flexible schedule, try for an early flight...typically, those flights are much less full AND free of turbulence since the atmosphere hasn't had time to heat up yet.

I get wretched motion sickness, too, and I can tell you that not eating and drinking actually makes it worse, so I usually go for a bagel or something easily manageable. My drink of choice mid-flight is tonic and lime, and it's become what I like to call "Magic Air Juice".... :-) it alleviates all kinds of icky symptoms (headache, upset stomach, etc.) It's so effective that my fiancee who is literally a world traveler has adopted the tonic/lime and abandoned his old ginger ale standby. Takeoff is actually ok--the plane tends to level off rather quickly, but landing can be off-putting, so just make sure you're distracted by something pleasant the last 20 or so minutes of the flight.

Having said all of this, I have a flight to Hawaii coming up in March, and I'm so nervous about it, I could literally pass out. It's 8.5 hours nonstop from Dallas, and I have no idea how I'm going to cope for that long. I'm in First Class, so that helps a bit, but after about 4 hours, I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a hefty tranquilizer. Ugh! Anyway, feel free to let me know if you have any questions...I've pretty much encountered EVERY potsy symptom in midair, so I'll be glad to share my experiences!

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Thanks all!!! The only seat that was left was a window seat next to a wheelchair seat. I'm not sure if that's more leg room or not. The plane there seems to be smaller. 18 rows, 1 row of seats on the left, 2 on the right. The flight back is much larger. 32 rows, 2 on the left, 3 on the right. I'm not sure what seat I have on the way back. I have troubles with elevators like my center of gravity is thrown off but I'm wondering if it would be easier since I'll be sitting down. I'll be bringing my zofran for sure.

A few non pots related questions. I'll be buying shampoo, conditioner, and body wash when I get there but what about face lotion and contact solution. I think I read that they have to be in a zip lock bag? I'm only bringing a carry on so no bag check. I have no clue how security works as far as what can be brought through. What about hair straightener? I'm not sure if the hotel has a hair dryer either. Sorry, just want to make sure I have everything in order to make the whole process easier.

Ophelialit do you live in Dallas? That's where I'm headed to meet my boyfriend for the first time. Long distance relationship. On top of flying nerves, I have meeting nerves too. Ha. I'll be a big mess.

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Hi there micheller--wow, this IS a big trip for you....meeting your boyfriend and a flight all in the same day....how exciting, though! And yes, I do live in Dallas. Strangely, I just moved here in July to be with my fiancee....we also had a long distance relationship for a while, but we actually knew each other from junior high school....it's a long, bizarre story, but it all worked out perfectly, and I hope it does for you as well!

Regarding your questions about the liquids and so forth, the TSA wants all of your itty-bitty bottles (I think 3 ounces is the allotted amount per item which makes it touch to bring cleansers and moisturizers and the like) put in a clear Ziploc bag so they don't have to pull you out of security and dig through your carry-on searching for bottles of hairspray and perfume while strangers stand around and gawk at your lacy bits flying out of the bag! :P

You'll find some airports are more strict than others (in my experience, the smaller the airport, the more aggressive the TSA agents--I had one in St. Louis try to detain me due to a lint brush--for real). But as long as there isn't anything too egregious in your bag, you won't have any problems. You can bring your flat-iron (who could live without that??) and hairdryer and anything else you might like as long as it isn't flammable or containing a blade (I accidentally threw a bartender tool/corkscrew with a foil cutting blade in my purse prior to a trip once, and they weren't too happy about it. I ended up throwing it away before being allowed to pass security. Oops.)

I'm trying to think of all the issues I've encountered while traveling, so I'm sure I'll pop back up a few times with things I forgot to mention. Please keep us posted on the trip and how everything goes--feel free to PM me if you'd like!

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Hi folks. A word of warning....tonic water is not recommended for potsies and pilots as the quinine has an adverse effect on your brain's motion center which controls motion sickness. I learned this the hard way. Ophelia, I'm glad it works for you. I just wanted to let everyone know as tonic water seems like it would be rather benign.

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Katybug--wow! I actually had no idea that the amount of quinine in contemporary tonic water could have adverse affects. I get motion sick at the slightest amount of movement (I'm the only person I know who gets sick in the driver's seat), and tonic water has always treated me so well on flights--actually alleviating dizziness and such. OK then....well! Perhaps sticking with the ginger ale is the way to go until you find something else that works better for you!

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Yes...my dad who is a former marine fighter pilot looked at me like I was crazy when I said I might have some tonic water. In his day (it's been a minute) the pilots were banned from drinking tonic water 24 hours before a flight. I don't know if that rule is still in effect or not. But anyway, he told me and I looked it up and sure enough..... Well, I guess that's why I got carried out of the ladies room and driven home by a friend after one vodka tonic which was the last alcoholic drink I ever had a few years ago. My dad says he thinks that I was probably sicker from the quinine due to my pots than the alcohol.

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Katybug,

You've just confirmed something I always suspected. Only the other day I said to my daughter how much I hate tonic water and now I know the reason why. Thanks for that!

blue

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