Hello I'm hope someone can reasure me that flying with MS is not too much of a problem, I'm flying for just under four hours and feeling nervous to how my body will react. Have any of you found it a problem?
Hopeing someone can help so I may go on a long over due vacation!
I flew in January and it went well. Here's my tips.
1. Pace yourself before, during and returning from your trip. Frequent short rests and keeping stress to a minimum will help more than doing everything possible until you collapse. Get good sleep when possible.
2. Take all medications (including injectables) in a carry-on bag and keep in the plane cabin with you. I carried the Copaxone Rx with me since I only needed to take a few doses and didn't have the labeled box.
3. Wear shoes you can slip on and off easily at security check points. Be mentally prepared for the possibility of a pat-down. (I had two because my knee replacement sets off the sensor. They were fully explained, professionally handled, done by women, and finished quickly.)
4. Set up help (shuttle, wheelchair, etc) getting between gates and to/from terminals. The walkways can be long and difficult to maneuver, especially if you try to carry too much in hand. Planes can arrive late so this is best arranged beforehand.
5. Wear layered clothes for temperature control. It can get very warm walking to a gate or sitting in a grounded plane but chilly in the air. I'd think about taking a personal mini fan next time. It's about time to get one of those in my purse anyway.
6. Put some money in your pocket to get a snack and bottled drink once you are through security. You can't take liquid in a bottle through security and freebies on board are near non-existant these days. I ALWAYS want water on hand.
7. You are allowed to use a cane beyond security. If you need a walker or wheelchair at your destination but aren't taking it with you, set up for a loan or rental ahead of time.
8. Be aware that some airports don't have walkways from the plane to the gate. Several times I had to maneuver small, steep steps from the plane to tarmac. Wheelchair access to non-US destinations can be very non-accessable. Check everything possible before you go.
I'll stop there and let others give their tips. COBOB travels on a regular basis so he should be our resident expert on this. Of course, Lulu is no stick-at-home Grandma either and will encourage all of us to be on the move.
I found your post very helpful as I am flying from England to Australia next month so it was great to have some tips. I have flown before long distance and it has been Ok although I seem to have had a few incidents of fainting but don't thinkthis is MS related.
So I am sure you will be fine and go for it and enjoy your travels.
Mary, what a great list. You are so right- I tell everyone to seize the moment an go....... even if it's just down the road. There is so much to experience out there and our time clock is ticking. Go now so you don't regret it later.
Just remember that so much of the travel is out of our control so relax and just go with the moment.
BTW - we just did the week in Texas and the only problem we had was I drank a Venti Starbucks chai tea latte much too late in the day while waiting for a delayed plaing.
Jujuminx, thank you for mentioning the injectibles it was my biggest concern about my flight and subsequent cruise. I was worried I would need some special ID or something in order to bring my medicine with me. What an awesome website, being new to the disease it is good to know I have a place to come to.
One of my favorite things about this forum is the tips we share about living with MS. Lots of things seem small but they can add up to greater function with potential to last longer. I'm all about gathering information and then designing the best plan for my specific situation.
Wooohooo! Flight and cruise?!? Sounds like you are getting ready to have some fun!
I have traveled twice since my last post here in March and still never questioned about my injectables by security. Just make sure to carry your perscription just in case.
Stay religious about taking your meds when you should. Don't delay or put off b/c you are partying. I personally believe it is very important to maintain your routine w your meds. It's very easy to get out of sync when you are on vacation.
I fly about every three months and find after I get home I have a relapse. The last one was my worst ever.
I have to fly again next week and I am feeling a little nervous as I don't know if this is just a coincidence or not.
I don't won't this to stop me flying but are scared that I may not get the use of my legs back next time.
I fly alot (domestic US and international) and I've never had anyone ask to even see my pre-filled injectibles . I've heard that as long as you take a copy of the drug label (like the one that comes in the box with Copaxone), then you are fine if they do ask you to see it.
Like others have said, I think my biggest issue is stress, so any advanced planning you can do is good. During long flights (for me that is over 4 hours), I just make sure to get up and walk around several times to avoid cramps. But I generally don't have significant spasticity anyway -- so you can take others' advice on this.
A lot of the airports I go to are quite large and can require walking long distances to the gate. So try to arrive early to the airport so you can pace yourself with the walking and resting and not have to rush. I also avoid lay-overs as much as possible--simply to shorten the day as well as the amount of walking I have to do inside the airport. Non-stop flights are more expensive, but to me they are worth it.
As an aside, I also opt for travel insurance in case I have a flare -- especially when I might be going out of the country. I had my first flare the day before I was to go on vacation to Maui, and I had to cancel my flight. Luckily the airline gave me credit for most of the cost of the flight -- but I think that might be rare. I think I also had to send them a note from my doctor.
This is a slightly old thread, but it's a very good topic.
Although I've had MS for over 20 years, I've been aware of it for on the last year. In the intervening years I did a lot of flying. For one stretch I was flying 2-3 times a month for about 18 months. My flying these days is down to once a year, most recently to Canada for vacation.
I've never had any MS related issues associated with flying. I have also not had any problems bringing injectable meds. I just make sure that everything has the proper prescription label.
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