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Travel Trouble


jlmahon
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My husband and I planned a trip for next weekend several months ago when I was feeling much better. I'd still like to go as the weather is warmer and I really need to get away. Even if I spend my time sitting by the pool and nothing else. Problem - standing in an airport security line. The last time I stood in an airport security line, I got a severe attack of nausea and almost passed out and had to leave the line. We almost missed our plane. Do you think a note from a doctor explaining my problem with standing would help? I'm really hoping if I can just get through the security line I can somehow walk to the gate. I usually don't have problems with walking although with my health lately I'm not sure.

Problem two - symptoms when flying. I'm not sure if this is due to pressure changes or changes in oxygen level but I hyperventilate when flying. Does anyone else get this and know what I can do to to alleviate the problem? Also, does anyone have a problem with needing to urinate every 15 minutes when flying? It seems like I can't keep fluids in me when flying. I think it would be beneficial to sit in a front row where I can stretch out and be near a restroom, but how do I go about that when flying on an airline without assigned seating?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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Hanna,

for the airport security line I would use a wheelchair whilst waiting - they usually have airport ones that you can borrow, I'd phone and check before you go.

Not sure about the seating on board - try ringing the airline helpdesk.

Hope you have a good trip,

Flop

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Some people I know request a wheelchair or use a cane seat when standing in line. Standing in line is definitely a problem. As far as the flying itself, I don't have that experience except I do carry packets of electrolytes and put them in my water bottle, a couple for each trip. This probably helps retain fluid. Hope you have a great weekend.

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Hanna,

I would suggest using a wheelchair. You can borrow one from the airport. It also makes the security process quicker because you don't go through the regular line. Instead you go through the employee security entrance.

On the plane: make sure you bring some electrolyte packets and stay well hydrated. Also, salt loading may help you to retain fluids so that you don't have to go to the bathroom as much.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!!!

Rachel

P.S.

Another thing you might find helpful on your trip is a simple camping stool. You can find them at Wal-Mart in the camping/fishing section. I used one for a while before I had to be in a wheelchair. They cost about $7, fold up for easy carrying, and are lightweight. I got one that is made of wood and has a canvas seat. It looks kind of like a directors chair, only without a back. Anyway, it was very helpful for when I could walk into someplace (Post Office, Hotel, etc) but not stand at the counter. That might ease the check-in process at a hotel.

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Hello,

I have successfully flown from Minneapolis to : New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Diego and Chicago since being diagnosed. My tips: Plenty of Gatorade, Pedialyte, whatever suits you. Bring: music, dvd's (I bring a laptop to watch movies on). Also, I am NOT trying to push drugs on you, but if you haven't flown in awhile, contact your physician if you have anxiety issues. Klonipin has saved me on several flights. It calms down a hyperactive nervous system - so be it klonopin, valium, xanax, etc. whatever works for you, bring it. Take it 15 minutes before take off (if your physician says that's okay). Mainly - RELAX- you will make it. If the rest of us can do it, so can you!

Take care,

Ava

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Yeah- if you get sick standing in line, I would definitely request a wheelchair!!!! It saves so much feeling lousy- between waiting in line and lugging around a bag, I don't think I've gone chairless (except for a few same gate connections) in about 2 years. And I bring my seat cane besides, fx if they just take you to the gate or waiting for your bags. It's a real lifesaver. Plus my family flew from Antigua to Atlanta on a plane that left over an hour late, and although we had to wait 45 minutes for the wheelchair, (Atlanta airport!!!ACH don't get me started), it was really the only thing that saved us missing our plane- (security, immigration, customs, bag recheck, and onward) that and my brother ran ahead as soon as we got to the terminal yelling hold the plane- lol.

As to problem 2- I always wear support hose when flying. Aren't perfect, but i feel i'm at least doing something! Also, I drink more gatorade when flying, and although the liquids are always more of a problem lately, definitely take as much as you can. They usually let you bring empty water bottles through security, so you can fill them up in the bathroom (you know, $3 bottles of water are no fair).. and bring on as much as you can carry! Plus if I'm feeling lousy and there's no food, I'll drink tomato juice as well as water, cuz of the sodium. Anyway, best of luck to you!! (and as for the peeing thing- I always have to sit in the aisle- other than that, not much to offer!)

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Guest dionna

i fly all the time! okay what i do... is call the airline and request a wheel chair on check in so i don't have to wait in any line. yes a doctors note will help you out tremendously. let the flight attendants know about your condition. you would not believe some of the nice attendants out there... of course though some can be rude too. we will hope for the nice ones in your case. i have even been bumped up to first class a few times. if you sit close to the restroom that would be great! i have to! even if you aren't able to get a seat near the restroom at check in... the flight attendant might ask someone who is sitting near it to switch seats for you and your husband. people tend to understand when i need help like that. tell them you will need plenty of water and salt and they will give you your own bottle of water and plenty of salty snacks. ;) i actually have another flight next weekend. well the 23rd and i am taking my own wheel chair this time. :P best of luck to you!!!

dionna ;)

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couple short comments 'cause I didn't read all of the previous...

1) my big tip for traveling is Ear Plugs!!! It's very noisey in airports.

2) for the hyperventilation, try to calm yourself and remind yourself to relax and pretend you are at home...if all else fails, you can breathe into a paper bag.

Hope you have a great trip and lots of fun and relaxation!!

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Here's a tip I have for lines - when I travel I always bring my wheeled suitcase as my carry-on bag, and when waiting in line I sit on it. That has worked really well for me in the past with getting through long lines. If the line is really not moving I'll often just sit indian style right on the floor :lol: Just wear pants you don't care about getting dirty ;)

For the bathroom stuff, when you get to the terminal you could try talking to the flight attendants and ask for an aisle seat next to the bathroom. If you have time, I'd recommend getting a note from your doctor.

Have a wonderful trip!

Pam

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You can have your husband wait in line for you at the ticketing area, and have him request a wheelchair for you---or even get a representative get one for you before you get in line--it's free. I've done it a number of times and while it sometimes means you'll have to wait 20 or so minutes for the attendant to come with the chair, it's still worth it to me not to be passing out in the airport. The chair is usually pushed by the attendant all the way through the airport until you get to your gate. You can ask one of the stewards or stewardesses to get your a chair for when you get off the plane too--it'll be waiting for you when you arrive at your destination.

Nina

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I have been flying for years with POTS. I find it critical to elevate my legs during flights. After I sit down I look around to see if there are any extra seats. If there is an extra seat, I explain that I get very dizzy if I cannot elevate my legs. I ask very politely if I could move so that I am next to an empty seat. That is the ideal setup. If you are sitting next to someone you know, you could just rest your feet on their lap. I am very short so this works well.

I flew last month and discovered a new trick for a flight with all seats filled. If you can reserve a seat, reserve a "bulkhead" seat which has no seating in front of it. There is just a wall. Then during the flight I elevate my legs on my seat cane which I position against the wall in front of me. During take off and landing the flight attendant will stow the cane overhead but they can give it to you to use during the flight.

You cannot take bottled water through security BUT you can buy all the bottled water that you want past the security gate and then bring it onto the plane. You can take water through security IF you have a note from your doctor.

Like everyone else, I wear my compression stockings and request a wheelchair with assistance. A lot of the wheelchair pushers will expect a tip. (FYI)

I make sure I arrange the flight times so that I don't miss sleep due to too early or late of a flight. I make sure that the layover is at least 40 minutes so I don't miss my connecting flight

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Karyn

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Call the airlines before your flight and ask for bulkhead seating. Most likely you'll have to ask to speak to a supervisor and tell them you'll fax a doctor's note if they need one. Just explain how imperative is that you have the extra leg room and close access to the bathroom. I do this everytime before I fly and I keep a note with me from a doctor from Mayoclinic just in case I run into any problems at the airport.

Everyone else had great suggestions.. I'm a nervous one when it comes to flying so I take a klonopin about 30 minutes before take off, drink a lot fluids before and during the flight, enjoy the salty plane snacks, when you get up to go to the bathroom give yourself a chance to stretch a bit more, etc. Every little thing helps.

Usually flight attendants are pretty understanding if you explain yourself to them. I actually fainted once while boarding a plane...right into a flight attendant. I had the flu really bad at the time, very high fever, body aches, etc. I didn't think they were going to let me fly but it was late at night and I was flying home. They put me in first class and made me stay hydrated the entire time and eat crackers. I didn't even get into my POTS with them but they took great care of me.

Have a good trip!

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