Flying - can anyone help with precautions?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tennisnut, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. tennisnut

    tennisnut New Member

    Hi there, I'm soon to take the first flight for many years and although it's only a couple of hours I'm concerned that the pressurised atmosphere is going to take it's toll - not to mention the amount of germs that will be recycling throughout the plane. I can wear a mask for most of the time - I have no pride left, but wonder if there are any precautions, boosters that have helped others?? Cheers TN
  2. tennisnut

    tennisnut New Member

    Yeah, I guess I am a bit worried in advance. Bi-product of too many episodes of ill health, colds, viruses, the aching and the time taken to recover. I always feel when this happens, that I have "set myself back" in the quest for health. Cheers TN
  3. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    My suggestion would be similar to JaminHealth.

    Although they won't let you take
    water through security so you will need to take an empty water bottle and fill after you get through security or you can buy water at one of the small shops inside the airport.

    Also wear comfortable shoes for walking . smile

    Take your vitamins or meds with you on your carryon or your purse do not put in your checked luggage as then you might need the meds. smile

    The only other suggestion I have is to get to the airport early so you don't have to rush
    around , less stress for you that way.

    And enjoy the flight. Smile

    gentle hugs, Susan

  4. DemonFairy

    DemonFairy New Member

    I hope I've caught you before you've departed on your trip and that I can provide some useful tips. Like someone else mentioned, travel in the most comfortable clothes you own-- for me, it's usually sweat pants, a t-shirt, a zippered sweatshirt, socks, and Crocs. Crocs let me slip my shoes off at the security checkpoint (something done at US airports, but not Canadian ones), and I don't have to fuss and bother with laces. It's not a fashion show, and the comfort allows me to doze off on the plane more easily than if I was wearing more confining clothing. I also carry a neck pillow and an eye mask in my carry-on bag (a bag which I keep under the seat in front of me, not in the overhead bins, so I can access it easily).

    All my travel has been international, and I was advised to keep all my prescriptions in their original bottles, and to place all the bottles in a clear ziploc bag in my carry-on. I don't know if this tip applies to domestic travel, too, but I've never had the security folks even take a second glance at the bag of pills. Keep all your necessities in a carry-on bag (like your glasses if you're wearing contact lenses, your passport, a magazine, some snack foods, an mp3 player, etc.), but carry as little as possible so you're not lugging around 30 lbs. of unnecessary junk. As I mentioned above, my "carry-on" is usually a backpack, so it forces me to keep my load light. I check my bag(s), even if I could theoretically fit it in an overhead bin, because I don't want the burden of dragging it around the airport with me.

    In the airport, spend the couple of bucks on a luggage cart if you have heavy bags to check. Even if you think your bags aren't too heavy, traveling internationally means you could be facing an hour of more of lines if you pass through immigration and customs at busy times of day. A luggage cart is just one more little way to make things easier. If SkyCaps are available (or curbside check-in), take advantage of it so you're free of your bags as quickly as possible. Depending on your level of physical disability, call the airline and request that they have a wheelchair available for you (you'll probably have to remind the person at the ticket counter and arrival gate about it). I've seen lots of "healthy-looking" people in wheelchairs, so if you think it will help you, it's a service already built into the cost of your ticket. At some airports the distances between gates are massive, and there's no point overworking yourself if you don't normally do a lot of walking. I didn't use wheelchair service when I traveled last May, but I was feeling so run down prior to the trip that I was relieved I had the option arranged in case I needed to fall back on it.

    Your original question was about health and fear of infection on the plane. The issue of airplane health isn't so much that the air is extra-dirty, as it is that the air is extra-dry. Extra-dry air reduces the protective mucus layer we usually have in our noses, throats, etc., so it makes it easier for a germ to by-pass our normal defense mechanisms. Keeping yourself well-hydrated with water is an excellent way to help your immune system try to keep on top of things (avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine, which can dry you out even further). I personally like those "Airborne" effervescent tablets you can add to water, just because plain water can be a little dull, but I can't say whether or not they work. They're supposed to help boost your immune system, and if having flavor makes you drink more of your water, then it might be a good thing. To keep your nasal passages hydrated, use a saline spray. For cleanliness, I always carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my carry-on and I use it often (they even make small bottles which you can wear on a string around your neck). Wash your hands often, and keep your hands away from your face unless they're clean: don't rub your eyes, for example. You may not even realize you're doing it, but touch your armrest and then rub an itchy eye and you may have just introduced the cold virus to your body. If you'd feel better wearing a face mask, then by all means, go right ahead -- you wouldn't be the first and won't be the last. Many people find them kind of warm after a while, which might be uncomfortable if the plane is crowded and stifling, but that's about the only downfall I can see. I'd bet if you wrote a little message on your mask, something not-necessarily-true, like "I don't want to give you my cold", you'd even get people thanking you for wearing it :)

    The biggest piece of advice I can give about flying is to do whatever you can to cut down on your stress. That means doing your pre-travel activities, like packing, before the last minute. I make lots of notes as I plan for a trip (things like, "Make sure I have x number of cans of food available for the cat-sitter"), and I can get those little things taken care of weeks, or even months, in advance. Get to the airport early and once you're checked in, think of it as a good opportunity to relax and people-watch, or read a book you've been looking forward to. Carry lots of small snack items with you (things like dried fruit, energy bars, beef jerky (the non-garlicky kind so your seat-mates don't hate you!), etc., so you don't have to stress about hunger and don't have to pay outrageous airport prices.

    I traveled twice last year, and got sick one time. I could feel the small beginnings of a sore throat when I arrived at my destination, but I was determined to avoid getting sick. I hydrated until I was worried I'd float away, and I used things like Zicam and zinc lozenges. I truly thought I'd slayed the beast before it did anything but give me a scratchy throat, but my flight home was a disaster. Bad weather caused me to miss my connection, and after a five hour airport delay, I was rerouted to a different airport about 3000 miles away and *then* I was finally put on a flight home (after another four or five hour delay). My flying time wasn't supposed to be more than 5 hours that day, but I ended up being on airplanes for 9 hours. My total travel time was supposed to be 8 hours, but it ended up being 18 hours. When I arrived home in Las Vegas, the Strip near the airport had been closed off because it was New Year's Eve, so even getting home from the airport was more of a challenge than normal. I woke up on January 1, 2008, with one of the worst colds I've had in my life, and I think it wasn't because of dehydration or recirculated air -- I honestly think it was the stress that pushed me over the edge.
  5. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    You've already been given lots of good advice....the one thing I would add is to take colloidal is a natural antibiotic, antifungal, anti-pretty-much-any-kind-of-germ, immune comes as drops and is not cheap, but if you only take it for traveling and the duration of your trip, it's not too bad

    you may have to get a few small bottles, rather than one big one, though, bc there are limits as to the amt of liquid you can take with you....if you go online to the airline's site, you should be able to get more specifics about the rules....also make sure to check exactly how much a dose is and how often you are supposed to take it, in order to ensure you get enough....I know that sounds obvious, but the first time I purchased it, it wasn't real clear until I actually opened the package and I wound up having to make another last minute trip to the store for more (it's something like 5 or 6 dropperfuls per serving (depending on the size of the bottle) and they say that for short term immune boosting you should take it something like 5 times a day (maybe more)

    anyway, it is good stuff....i took it on my trip and didn't get sick and that was at the height of cold/flu season - lots of people were coughing and sneezing on the flights.....I also recently felt like I was coming down with something - woke up feeling absolutely miserable, took it several times throughout the day and by the end of the day had gotten rid of whatever it was....oh & there aren't any side effects (& believe me if there were I would have gotten them)