Flying with Lyme

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 8/27/2009 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I had understood that air travel is hard on Lyme but now that I am better I am able to see what the effects are like.

The last time I flew I had much more confusion for about one day- difficulty recalling my zip code, address...And more emotional lability. After about 4 hours of air flight had panic/crying/mood disturbance. That was last month.

This month I am better but again after about 4 hours of air travel - began to feel very teary and anxious- improved after an hour on the land and recurred a little when had to go back up for shorter flight.

Just thought I'd share. Have others noticed this?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 8/27/2009 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   

Many of the infections associated with Lyme cause oxygen deprivation in the brain to varying degrees. Sadness, irritability, and confusion can all be symptoms of relative oxygen starvation.  I never used to react like this, but the last 4 Winters I've had Lyme, skiing at our place in CO can exacerbate my cognitive and emotional symptoms. The link between mountains and airplanes would seem to be oxygen levels.

Obviously airplane cabins are pressured, but since our brains are already getting less oxygen than that of a healthy person, I think we are particularly sensitive to even slight decreases in ambient oxygen levels. I can see how even after a pretty short flight  the oxygen levels would be slightly below what you'd get at or near sealevel.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 2017
   Posted 8/27/2009 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah.... when I first got sick and was being told "it's all in your head" and "you're severly depressed" I went to Europe with my husband and step-daughters on the advice of my pshrink at the time. I was absolutely miserable the entire time... and then a 9 hour flight back. The thought of flying now just makes me feel even sicker.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Meade
10/01- Igenex and CDC LD positive
Rx's: Wellbutrin 300, Paxil 60, Xanax 5, Acidophilus, Invanz IV, possibly Gammaglobulin, Flagyl, HBOT  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 849
   Posted 8/27/2009 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Early on when I got ill, I did not know I had Lyme. I had to make a 2.5 hr flight home to visit my folks. The day after the plane ride, I woke up to gaining 27 lbs (yes you read that right) of fluid! I looked like freakin Bib the Michilen (sp) Man!

I could not move my ankles, toes, arms, get it. I was in agony and could barely move.

Went to the ER and 1st thing they said was Congestive Heart Failure. Yeah right. Wanted to admit and run all kinds of tests...not happening.

I took OTC fluid pills and in 3 days was back to normal, although my legs ached for days after.

The flight home was not near as bad, as I took fluid pills just in case. I have not flown again!

Prior to this, I used to fly all the time. Long overseas trips as my job required it and I never had a problem.
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Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain

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