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Flying with POTS


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Hello everyone, I know that this topic has been discussed before but I am flying this week for the first time since I have been diagnosed. It is a 6 hour flight (I think, NY to Cali.), I haven't fainted in a few months and for the most part have been feeling pretty good but of course there are still bad days. I spoke to the doctor and he said to just make sure keep my salt pills with me and stay hydrated but I am still a little nervous. I feel like sometimes you guys have better advice than the doctor, please let me know if anyone has any suggestions. Thank you!

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Wearing compression hose helps A LOT...especially running through the airports to catch connecting flights etc......

Also I get up and move around at least every 1/2 hour or so...use the bathroom, etc,,,,

When I am seated I extend my legs and rotate my ankles periodically as well........

and of course like your Dr said stay well hydrated and bring salty snacks with you.

I have never had a problem with flying yet so I hope you will have a safe trip :blink:

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Hi, I think its best to just move around a little bit even if you just stretch and move your legs and feet around in the seat. The only time I have had a problem is when the plane descended too sharply and the plane tilted a certain way, then I felt it lower my pressure on the spot. I've only experienced this a few times in my course of flights that have been many, other than that no other problem noticed.

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I don't have problems on the plane but I do have problems once I have arrived...especialy if where I am going is at a different altitude.

I just have to take it easy and drink lots, and eat lots of salty stuff. Getting up on the plane is a good one. Also if you manage two seats together you can stretch out and wiggle...that helps me.

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the most important things have (in my opinion) been mentioned.

one other thing - which depends on where you're at health wise - that some do is use a wheelchair to get to the gate. a few years ago (long before i had my own wheelchair) i "bit the bullet" and did this b/c i had so much trouble getting to the gate b/c of all of the lines...even though i would try to squat. many times i only used it on the way to the gate & not when deplaning.

and i never hesitate to sprawl out anywhere and everywhere at airports....looking silling is much better than the alternative of ending up involuntarily on the floor (for me).

good luck with your trip,

:D melissa

p.s. i'm not sure if you've searched from the past discussions (though you did mention you knew they'd occurred) but i would definitely do the search as there has been a lot of info shared/discussed.

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Absolutely agree with the wheelchair bit! If you've got connections to make, too, the last thing you need is to end up lying on the floor somewhere and miss your flight. I also always wear the compression hose when flying. And also- if you can get a bulkhead seat, that gives you more leg room to stretch out, which is good to do. Sometimes I feel silly requesting one because I'm short, but especially if you're already ordering a wheelchair, they'll try to accommodate your requests.

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If you ask for a wheelchair, where are you put into it at?

Before or after you go thru security?

Do you still have to sit as opposed to stand in lines..this can be troublesome for me just to sit.

IF traveling alone, does say, a Delta attendant push you?

Do you need a doctors note?

AND can you get on at the other end of the flight and how is this set up if you don't have your own chair?

With all the security stuff, I would think a chair would help a lot.

BUT if the plane gets stuck on the tarmac (which happens a lot because if the plane 'leaves the gate on time' the get a better rating...never mind you sit on the runway forever) does it get hot and stuffy in the plane?

I am wondering because my brother wants my 85 year old mom go fly to Seattle. And I am too afraid to fly due to my horrendous fatigue issues..and sitting so close to people, screaming babies, cell phones...etc

Maybe I should start another thread and not hijack this one but maybe wheelchairs really make a differene for many of you??

With DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) being such a problem in smaller planes, is it safe to wear compression hose if you are at risk for blood clots?

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sophia -

the wheelchair can "begin" at curbside or at the skycab or ticket counter. the only problem i've had occassionally is that i've had to wait a bit & thus had to tell them where i'd be sitting/squatting. when i was in really bad shape last year whoever i was with would just tell the skycab & they would bring it to the car. generally they push you - even if you are with someone else.

i suppose you could ask to just borrow the chair but am not sure about that. it's then standard to tip the attendant a bit but - while a pain to spend extra money - it's well worth it in my opinion. obviously if you have a bag that they're carrying/pulling (as opposed to on your lap) it would make sense to give a bit more.

after the flight the chair is often there waiting though not always. like i mentioned i used to not always use it on that end of things. at times i have had to though & certainly would need to now. if able though i sometimes get off the plane & wait at the gate rather than in the plane. they then take you to whatever point you'd like....where someone is meeting you, baggage claim, curbside, etc.

i can totally empathize with having troubles with sitting as well and yep, that's what has to happen in the lines. for me the chairs are much bigger than what i need so i generally keep my legs up & that helps some. and then i lay down once at the gate.

you don't need a doctor's note at all....just to notify them in advance. i think they request 24 hours but honestly i'm sure if you just showed up they wouldn't have a problem. unless of course it was a busy time like holidays.

i don't have any magic answers for the planes that sit on the tarmac. that just plain stinks & i don't know any way around it. i always have loads of my own fluids but other than that....

there have been many times when i couldn't have flown without the wheelchair assistance. and some other times where it made it lots less stressful.

hope this helps,

:) melissa

p.s. for those not needing to use a wheelchair but still struggling with lots of standing still it's possible to preboard & thus avoid the line waiting to get on the plane. you just have to tell the airline that you need to preboard as you have trouble standing for health reasons. i've gotten funny looks from other passengers but haven't once been questioned by the airline.

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My doctor suggested I don't fly, so I took the train this summer. It was actually enjoyable. It was a 2 day trip. He didn't want me to fly because he guessed I would faint and put everyone in a tizzy. My BP runs very low though even at this low altitude.


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