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Hi all,

Though I haven't been able to make it on the internet much in the past few months I still check in here occasionally and see how everyone is doing. We finally have internet at my house so hopefully it will be easier for me to get on here regularly.

I am actually outside right now (outside Alaska) with my husband to visit family. We will be flying back later on this week. Does anyone have tips for how to survive the flight? Flying back to Alaska means many hours in a plane. Surviving the flight here was a nightmare. I ended up laying on the floor at my husbands feet during the flight - very uncomfortable! And it didn't make the flight attendant too happy that I wasn't sitting in my seat with my seatbelt on. I had requested bulkhead several times, but was always denied. Even though I came in a wheelchiar I still look fairly "normal." How do you explain to a flight attendant that you really can't sit up for 6 hours straight?!!!

I have compressing stockings and will be wearing them on the flight home. We're also going to keep talking to airline people and especially the flight attendants until one listens to us and will let me sit in bulkhead. Then I'll at least be able to stretch my legs out a bit and maybe even prop them up. Any more suggestions that may make the flight a bit easier for me? I appreciate your help!

Rachel

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Hello,

I just flew to San Francisco last week, and it is a 4 1/2 hour flight for me. I am lucky in that flying has been relatively easy for me (I just started flying again after getting POTS 2 1/2 years ago). However, I did get a really bad POTS attack an hour BEFORE boarding the plane to come back home. I was dehydrated. For me, this is what worked:

1) Lots of salty foods and water the day before I flew

2) Gatorade and salty foods the day of the flight (but not too much food, you don't want post-prandial hypotension)

3) I always sit with my fiance so I can lean on him, or put one leg up on him if I need to (if I am in the aisle seat)

4) For me, I tried a window seat, and it worked a little better for me, as I could lean into the window a swing my legs onto my fiance's lap easier.

5) I do take half of a Klonopin 1/2 hour before take off. It is not for nerves, Klonopin/Xanax can have a calming affect on the ANS, and it seems to help

6) I practice Mindful Meditation, and I swear it works. You can learn the program in Jon Kabat-Zinn's book called "Full Catastrophe Living". I could not have traveled without it. Th ebreathing techniques and body scan techniques saved me.

7) I actually asked a person on the flight if they would mind switching spots with me. They did, and were totally fine with it (bulk-head seats). You could try, the worst they could say is no.

8) I carry emergency short acting beta blockers (propranolol) in case my heart should do a full freak out, but it never has on a plane.

9) I also get up and walk the aisle if I feel okay, because sometimes when I am sitting with my legs up, my circulation gets cut off, and then the POTS hits.

Anyway, that is about it. I hope this helps you. Happy Trails!

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Hi Rachel

Avais gave great advice, just wanted to add that maybe your doctor can write a letter of request for you to get a bulkhead. Make sure though that it's understood frome the letter that you may fly. Everyone is scared of being sued these days.

Good trip!

Ariella

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Thanks everyone. I've been pushing salt. I've got lots of Gatorade. And some 30-40 support stockings to wear for the flight. Hopefully all will go better this time! Also, this seems to be a much emptier flight, so it is likely that I might even get to have a whole row to myself to lie down on for the flight! We are flying out tomorrow - I'm looking forward to going home!

Rachel

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