Flying Long-Haul Monday - Terrified Due to Chronic Pain

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chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 4/30/2011 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband and I are getting ready for a vacation to Italy and Croatia for three weeks (where we have a house).  We are to leave Monday.  I should be ecstatic but instead I am terrified.  First of all, I have chronic back/calf/thigh/hip/shoulder pain (3.5 years) as well as fibromyalgia and celiac disease.  I've flown with chronic pain before and remember all too well the horrible pain I had to endure (layovers, lines, flights).  But currently my pain is worse than ever.  I asked for Ativan to help with the anxiety but none of my pain meds help so I feel so unprepared.  I am packing good books, some gluten-free snacks, etc. but my fear overrides my excitement.  It's not really the pain I fear but of all the what ifs and the feeling of being trapped without being able to lie down for so long.  I know deep down the thought of it is actually worse than the reality.  Plus I've been on some pretty turbulent flights in the past and I get nauseous flying to begin with.
 
I really want and need to be excited but I am just too nervous.  sad

venus2471
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/30/2011 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Chantrerelle, please notify the airlines you will be flying on about your disability and you may be suprised at the accomodations they are willing to make. They allow you to go into the 'red carpet' room which is more comfortable then sitting out in the general waiting area and will provide assitance in boarding/de-boarding, transfers, etc. I have found them to be very helpful even though I can't afford to fly first class. Have you asked your doctor(s) for nausea medication? It really helps me. I can't reacall what I take off the top of my head but it's a really strong one that actually helps me rest too most of the time. Pleae make sure you will be taking all your necessary medial and insurance information with you so just in case the need arises to use it. I so feel for you. If you're like me you think back of when you were healthy and would have jumped at the chance to take such a trip. Instead, you are dreading it. Please try and make the best of it. It's so hard to do but at the same time, it's important to your husban and most of all to yourself to do something if there is just a glimmer of hope that you many have a few enjoyable memories to sustain you thru the bad times. I pray that your vacation turns out a million times better then your imagining it to be for both you and your husband. God knows you both deserve it!
Aloha & God bless you abundantly!

chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 4/30/2011 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
We have exit row seats and therefore I unfortunately cannot tell the airline about my pain! In order to sit there you must physically be able to help in an emergency. But we felt we needed to book exit seats so I could at least be a bit more comfortable. My doctor is away for three weeks so did not get anything for nasuea - just am taking Gravol.

You are so right - I used to fly regularly with ease - no issues at all. Now my fear-avoidance has taken over. People who do not understand roll their eyes and say, "Well, at least you get to go!" That's not the point. At all. I want to go more than anything but the last trip the turbulence was soooo bad that I had to keep vomiting which hurt my back even more. I have DDD and herniated discs as well so am in constant pain without end. The average pain is about 5-7 always. Sometimes worse, of course. There was one day a few weeks ago when the pain was down to about a 4.

Thankfully my husband is so wonderful about all this. It is reassuring he'll be with me but from our door here to our door there is 30 hours!
Back injury 2007 with 3 herniated discs, IT band syndrome, myofascial pain, DDD.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease February 2011.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia April 2011.
Insomnia forever but worse the past few years due to pain and discomfort.

momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 4/30/2011 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi chanterelle. Welcome to the chronic pain forum. I will also be praying that your vacation will be a hundred times better than you imagine it will be. You take care and do make sure to that your medical and insurance information in case the need arises. I've never flown, but the ativan sounds good for the anxiety. Enjoy your vacation.

love and hugs
Loretta
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 4/30/2011 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your kindness and prayers. Truly I am grateful. I know that I need to put all my trust in God but I'm having a hard time with that these past few days - my worry takes over! Anyway, the travel portion is what scares me. As I am always in pain I may as well be in Europe where there are lovely distractions and our pretty stone house. I cannot believe how I have allowed myself get worked up to this point! The thought of even boarding the first plane makes me want to vomit. Thanks again for your support.

BTW, my medical and insurance info is all printed off. Plus I have printed off tons of medical terms in both Croatian and Italian, as well as my Celiac restaurant cards. I also have a massage therapist in Croatia I go to as well as stretches from my PT. I'm still taking my Oxycontin, Flexeril, Tramadol, etc. along for presence of mind. Maybe they work better in Europe than Canada! :-)
Back injury 2007 with 3 herniated discs, IT band syndrome, myofascial pain, DDD.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease February 2011.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia April 2011.
Insomnia forever but worse the past few years due to pain and discomfort.

chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 4/30/2011 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Paula,

You are so kind. Really. It's interesting - I've thought many times myself that it would just be easier not to go. But no one has ever considered that option for a moment but me. It's encouraging to know people really think that this can be done! Instead of thinking of it in one huge 30-hour chunk I am going to break it down into shorter legs that seem more manageable. My throat is so sore and I'm incredibly congested - either allergies or a cold. Just praying it doesn't go into my ears as then I really can't fly! That would make me sad.

The other doctor I know is also away. We have no walk-in clinics here and the wait at the hospital is between 6-8 hours on average. It is really quite pathetic. I really wish I did have some phenergan! Not only is it difficult to be sick on flights but vomiting is also quite embarassing.

We drive three hours to the city tomorrow and fly out the next morning. My doctor has told me not to sit more than 15 minutes at a time so I always lie down in our vehicle. I'll post tomorrow before we go!

Thanks, Paula.
Back injury 2007 with 3 herniated discs, IT band syndrome, myofascial pain, DDD.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease February 2011.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia April 2011.
Insomnia forever but worse the past few years due to pain and discomfort.

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 4/30/2011 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Once the plane is up in the air you should be able to walk to the bathroom and back,
maybe tell the flight attendants your diabetic, so they don't wonder why your up and walking to
the bathroom so often, just a thought for you to consider...If you can take benadryl with
your current medicines maybe having that to relax you into sleeping is
an idea...but ask your pharmacists to see if it's okay to take with your other meds...
Hey, enjoy the trip once your there, okay...try to focus on that fun
Well wishes and can't wait to hear good things of your trip once your home...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 5/1/2011 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I will definitely be doing a lot of walking. It was a toss-up between exit seats where we have extra space and just the two of us so no crawling over anyone and not let the flight attendants know or be cramped into a tiny space for ages. We decided to have more legs on this flight (more time at airports) as opposed to longer times in the air as at least in airports I can walk and lie down (we're bringing along a yoga mat so I can lie on hard surfaces).

So far I've never been able to sleep on planes, even with prescription sleeping pills. Plus I am to walk around at least every 30 minutes due to my disc troubles so cannot take anything for sleep, darn it.

The things one in pain must do to travel! Plus with Celiac I must be extra diligent with snacks and make sure that all my meds are gluten free. Some changes have had to be made. I used to take this travel thing so for granted. Now? Not so much...

I just wish I could close my eyes and be there! It really is paradise on earth.
Back injury 2007 with 3 herniated discs, IT band syndrome, myofascial pain, DDD.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease February 2011.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia April 2011.
Insomnia forever but worse the past few years due to pain and discomfort.
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