Flying Across the Country. Can I make it? I'm afraid

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by teller7, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. teller7

    teller7 New Member

    I'm almost afraid to ask this question in here. I don't know if I'll get in trouble. Here goes. My sister wants me to come and stay with her for a few weeks to give my husband a little breather, and me some new walls to look at. I live in Oregon, and she's in Florida. I really don't know if I can stand the trip. I get so weak and the brain fog makes me act so stupified that my husband is afraid that I'll have a spell and no one will be there for me. Has anyone in here traveled with all these problems? I feel so bad because my sister is really looking forward to this. I hate to let her down. I don't think she realizes how bad we get sometimes and we never know when the sometimes occur. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. Please help me make my decision. Sorry for so many different posts about different things, but I save this up for the days I can get the energy to get on here. Thanks for listening everyone.
    Carol
  2. bakron

    bakron New Member

    If it's for a few weeks and will allow you to get accustomed to the time change difference and the weather, it shouldn’t be too draining a trip. You could have wheelchair attendants meet you at the airport on both ends and any stop in between to assist you. That would save energy on your part and would be a really wise thing to do. Just tell the airline that you will need wheelchair assist. If the visit is relaxed and not "demanding," (i.e. not a lot of shopping, visiting, sightseeing, etc.) it will most likely be a very beneficial visit for you as well as your sister. Go and enjoy!

    Jeannette
  3. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Hi Carol,

    Maybe you should make a list of pros and cons.

    Are you going more for your sister or for yourself?

    Will she be home or does she work?

    Do you share the same type of lifestyles? Does she
    understand that you need to rest a lot?

    Do you feel as though making the plane trip alone
    is frightening?

    Also, do YOU want to go?

    Is the thought of going causing you great anxiety?

    I kind of lean towards you not going, but that is mostly
    because I think traveling when you are not well
    is hard enough with someone with you. Alone,
    is sounds like it may be too much.

    Have you flown before?

    Hope this helps somewhat.

    Lynn
  4. kredca4

    kredca4 New Member

    I love to Travel, but since I have FMS/CMP, I find I don;t enjoy it as much. I usually like to Drive.

    It depends mostly on what you think you can do.
    What are your Health need's? Can you be comfortable sitting for a long time?

    You will need to get up and walk around, to avoid leg problems, plus there will be Noisy children, and because they are children, they will have higher voice's, which really hurt's my whole head. It's being in such close quarter's.

    Plus the sneezing, and coughing, that folks do, you know, is it a cold or is it an allergy, or just someone clearing their throat?, because, like me, when I get nervous, I get really flimy in the throat.

    Would you have to change Planes? If so, you can have someone from the airline help you get to the next plan, by wheelchair, just tell them when you make your ticket reservation's.

    Take one tote bag with you, for your Med's, a book, a favorite snack, extra sweater, it get's cold up there.
    and anything else you might need health wise.

    Pack everything else, and have the bag's put on the plane, don't carry stuff with you. Also have someone arrange ahead of time to meet you at the other end, and have a wheelchair waiting for you. You will enjoy the trip more if you don't try to Hide you Health problem's.

    If you don;t have to change planes, you might want to take a sedative, be sure to let the Stewdress know, so that they can watch over you, as you sleep through the Cloud's. lol

    Walk around also to avoid getting Gas, if I sit to long, I do get that problem, it;s from having IBS, I usually wear a long dress, that's lose, but not where it get's in the way of movement. Don't wear shoes that aren;t comfortable, for sure, lol.

    Well I guess that's way more than my 2 cents worth, but I don't think that just because we have these Syndromes, we shouldn't at lest Think about having some fun.

    It's your body, and your the only one who can make the desicion, I know that your Sister will still Love you and understand. I have sibling's and we are all disabled, so we do understand each other. well most of us.

    Sincerely
    sharon
  5. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    My mom went on her first flight at age 70. She called in advance and they had a wheel chair ready and waiting for her. (she doesn't normally use one ) I had to talk her into it.
    They were just wonderful to her ! Using a wheelchair means you don't have to worry about what gate and how to get there. They look at your ticket and take you where you need to go !
    [This Message was Edited on 06/08/2003]
  6. sujay

    sujay New Member

    Hi, Carol,

    It would be wonderful for you to have a chance to visit with your sister, but I'd give serious thought to having her come visit you. Lots of my patients have trouble with plane trips or (particularly since we live at sea level) high altitudes. Low oxygen levels tend to encourage coagulation of the blood (one reason it's important to try for an aisle seat, etc.) so short flights, where the plane doesn't go up as high would be better tolerated. I took the train to visit my sister in California (almost a 24 hour trip) and I was surprised at the number of people I met who had FMS and had found they just couldn't tolerate plane travel, but loved to take the train with a sleeping compartment. There are lots of other aspects of travel, most of which seem to have been addressed above, but it sure is nice to be able to connect with family. I hope you find it's worth it. Love, Sujay
  7. teller7

    teller7 New Member

    Thank you everyone so much for the advice. I really think I shouldn't make the trip right now. I only have maybe one or two fairly good days, then I'm down for the rest of the week. I'm really sad about it this morning, but something deep down in me says don't go at this time. Again thank you all.
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have always listened to that "little voice" and have never been sorry. Air travel, even a short trip, is very hard on many of us, especially on long trips or trips with long layovers.

    My Mom and I had to miss her brother's funeral because neither of us was in any condition to travel at the time. I hated that, but we do have to put our own health first.

    Love, Mikie
  9. vinetti23

    vinetti23 New Member

    It's an interesting question. My job had me traveling almost weekly for 2 yrs... 2 yrs...175,000 miles. That's probably a factor in how I developed FM to some extent. (It did not set in until the second year). From all of the craziness I went through, here's what I would say. Hopefully some of this will be helpful. Some of it is just my own personal prefs that I find help me.

    1 - you are going to a later time zone so it's a harder to wake up in the AM. So, don't let anyone push you to get up at 8 AM - that will be like 5 AM to your body. And lack of sleep always makes FM worse. It takes much longer to adjust when you go east than west.

    1a - Will there be an adequately comfortable bed where you are staying? i.e. no pullout couch w/ the big metal bar across the middle!

    2 - Avoid the noise and crowds in the terminal if you can. Don't sit in the crowded area where everyone is before boarding. Sit in a gate across the way that is empty. (This may just be a thing that effects me...)

    2a - Be prepared for security. If you haven't traveled in a long time, just remember that it's been stepped up. The metal detectors are more sensitive (so take off your shoes if they have metal, etc...) and you can only take 1 personal item (laptop bag / purse) and 1 carry on. The TSA is usually nice, but the process of getting all your stuff onto the conveyer is annoying (well, if you're like me and don't check bags) and then if you beep you have to get "the wand" which is a pain. If you check bags and only are carrying on one thing - then no big deal about security...

    3 - Try to get a seat on the plane further away from the engines. The noise can be draining. There is a website that I used all the time called seatguru.com to help you pick a seat if you know the model of aircraft you will be on. Some planes are much noiser than others in the back (American Airlines MD80 is the worst of any) - while others are the same througout (737). Also, try not to sit in the middle if at all possible. If you can, get the emergency exit seats (but usually those are taken by frequent flyers). I would fly on the least full flight you can since you will have more room to spread out. However, in the summertime - and with the airline cutbacks, the "least full" is probably 90% full.

    4 - Make sure to take a few water bottles or gatorade - whatever you prefer. The air on airplanes is dry but people don't realize this until they're already 1/2 dehydrated. I find they never give you enough water on planes...especially if there is turbulence and the flight attendants can't get up.

    5 - I'm not sure if you take any meds that help the FM or "desensitize" the brain to some extent (eg nerontin, klonopin) but I would take it before getting to the airport.

    6 - I would actually do a stopover. That seems like a LONG direct flight (and I don't even know that there would be direct flights on that route), but a stopover would really help to stretch out and get some real food.

    7 - bring a CD player, book, etc whatever helps you relax. There are actually "noise reduction headphones" by Bose - but they are very expensive (like $300). I still never bought them even in 2 years of flying but I wanted them so bad. (I would've lost them in a week knowing me)

    There are also two interesting facts that I think are helpful...

    1. The cabin is pressurized at 9000 feet - basically just a little higher than Denver, CO.

    2. The air is not recycled like most people think. The plane does draw in fresh air, but since the air is so thin at 35,000 feet, it has to be compressed and it is extremely dry. So, you are getting fresh air but it's just very dry air.

    I know - two random facts - but when I learned both of them I was a lot less sensitive to the fact that the air quality seemed so bad on planes.

    Well, those are all my tips... hopefully some of that will be helpful. [This Message was Edited on 06/08/2003]