flying with RA (or the equivalent)

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elcamino
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 4/1/2006 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I just got back from a cross-country flight, and boy am I glad it's over.  I had a 3 hour flight to Dallas, then a 3-hour flight to CA (one-two hour layover in Dallas).  It was pretty rough having to sit on the plane all that time.  I took my ultracet before we left, but jeez, I may as well have taken nothing at all!  I ached so bad, and got progressively  more stiff the further into the flight we got.  It almost got to the point that I couldn't move.  On the way back, during my layover in Dallas, I started doing stretching exercises waiting for them to board our flight.  Didn't help much.  I hope the next time I fly, the  ENbrel kicks in, or whatever I happen to be taking does.  Do any of you have any tips on how to deal with situations that require you to be still for long periods of time?  Doesn't it make your RA worse?
 
Elcamino

starrnr
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 4/1/2006 11:03 PM (GMT -7)   
As a frequent traveler with AS & RA, may I offer these suggestions? I don't know where your RA affects you, but I have a AS in my SI joints, neck and feet. Ask for an aisle seat or bulkhead seat (more room to move). Get up and walk around as often as you can (safely of course). Stretch as much as you can. Take one (or 2) of those handy little pillows and use if for support on your neck or back. It's the sitting for long periods that ties us up, so any movement you can do sitting or standing is better for you.

I do this on my trips to Europe and trips within my own state (CA). It really does help and it's easier for me to get through the flight. Perhaps 1-1/2 pills might also help you? I'm on Enbrel & MTX, and currently am not permitted to take narcotics (GI issues), so I make sure I take my ibuprofen (per my rheumies orders) at least 30 minutes before I start flying and then take it again 4 hours later.

I'm sure others have suggestions as well, this is just what I do and it helps tremendously.

Sherree

elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 4/2/2006 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Sherrie.  Your suggestions sound like they could be pretty helpful.  I always ask for an aisle seat, so I can get to the lavatory easier :)  Perhaps for the next flight, I'll take an extra ultracet.  I also have arthritis in my SI joints, neck, and shoulders.  I've seen those travel pillows--they actually sell them all over the airports.  They would support my neck, but it's my SI joints that were killing me this past week.  Unfortunately, on all four of my flights, there was excessive turbulence, so staff was not allowing passengers to walk around much.  I'm sure that was just bad luck on my part. 

FYI, be careful with the ibuprophen.  If you  are prone to lower GI issues, ibuprophen will make it worse.  I'm not allowed to take any of the NSAIDS because of possible IBD.  That's why I'm on the ultracet.

Elcamino

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