Posts Tagged flying
Flying is my least favourite mode of transportation. Unfortunately it’s also the most convenient way to travel outside of Europe.
After my brain injury I was very curious about whether or not I’d still be able to fly (by myself). This called for an experiment.
Trying out flying
My first flight was a year and a half after my brain injury. At that time I could handle far less compared to the situation now. I had far less energy and got overstimulated very easily. Or maybe I had yet to discover how I should handle the ‘new me’.
So I avoided places with a lot of people. As fifteen minutes in a busy place would deteriorate my speech, thinking and balance quickly. Flying thus was written of in advance.
Luckily someone told me about the special assistence you can request when you plan to fly. This service makes it easier for people with any kind of disability to travel by plane. Once requested in advance, someone will escort you all the way into the plane. Which means that you get a lot faster through the airport and can save some precious energy. This service made flying suddenly a possibility.
And as a result I had two succesful flights within Europe. Which meant that it was time for the next step. To take a long flight and to try it without any kind of assistance.
A ten hour flight
That long flight was my flight to Sri Lanka last week. This time, not the airport but the flight itself was the most challenging. In the airport I had my earplugs, noise cancelling headphones and sunglasses and could hide out in a quiet corner. I even made a reservation for an airport lounge to rest in, which almost made me forget I was at an airport.
In the plane however, you can’t leave. Blocking out the world is a whole lot harder if there’s nowhere for you to go. This made the flight challenging, thought the last three hours of turbulance might also be to blame. Still I learned some lessons for my next flight in five weeks.
Know your triggers
I always find travel days extremely stressful. Nine out of ten times this culminates in a panic attack. This time was no different. Thankfully I recognised I was having a panic attack early on, so I could do something about it.
Follow your gut
If you notice that you stress yourself out over something, try and do something about it. I kept chaecking my watch every other minute, because I was afraid to be late. After an hour of annoying myself I finally decided to just go to the airport way too early. Looking back I should have done that earlier.
Plan your route
Nowadays, I think you can find the map of almost all airports online. This means that you can plan where to go in advance. Knowing where the lounges, quiet areas or prayer rooms are located beforehand can give you some piece of mind. Once you’ve passed security at the airport you already know the shortest way to where you plan to rest.
Keep a choice of distractions ready
Once you’re seated in the plane, it’s a matter of sitting it through. Of waiting until the plane has landed and you can get off. I discovered that I can’t read or watch tv on a plane. My mp3 player is therefore filled with different kinds of music. Music to sleep, to distract or to cancel out other noises. Make sure you have the option of distractions for the duration of the flight.
Keep yourself hydrated
Any time you get offered a drink on the plane, take it. Not only will it help you to stay hydrated (so don’t pick an alcoholic drink) it’ll force you to go to the toilet. In other words to stand up and walk around.
The second or third day after the flight, I’ll feel the consequences. So listen to your body. If you need to sleep for 12 hours, do that. If you crave sugary or salty snacks, have those. Flying is hard and challenging, so take some recovery days into account and allow yourself some rest.
– I can only speak from my own exprience, so do check with your doctor if you have specific requirements to take into account when flying –
What do you do when you fly? Do you have or need something special that really helps you?
After suffering from a stroke, it is likely that a survivor will have limited activity. Issues with daily routines and general mobility are common, but one of the most difficult factors to consider is the idea of traveling by plane.
Transporting yourself or a loved one who has just battled a stroke can seem frightening, and with good reason. In most cases, neurological damage from a stroke has impacted the body, which creates concern when placing an individual into an environment where altitude and air pressure are variables. But as risky as it may appear, flying poses no immediate threat to a stroke survivor as long as necessary precautions are taken.
Is it Safe to Fly After a Stroke?
When it comes down to a stroke survivor’s ability to fly, the answer is yes. Flying shouldn’t be a detriment to a survivor’s health, but there are several things to consider before booking a ticket.
First off, it is crucial to avoid flying within the first couple weeks of having a stroke. This span can reveal some of the strongest signs of mental and physical impairment, so giving a survivor time to adjust is important. In any situation, make sure to consult with a doctor before making travel plans.
Once you or a loved one are on board, another factor to keep in mind is the amount of oxygen available on an aircraft. Typically, cabins provide less oxygen than a normal environment, so if one has any respiratory issues or heart complications, this is something to account for. Generally speaking, lower oxygen levels shouldn’t cause a problem, but making sure you or a loved one are comfortable is always a top priority.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
No matter who you are, sitting for a long time can cause pain in your muscles, especially your legs. For shorter flights (one to two hours), inactivity may not be so severe, but longer flights (5 hours or more) are a different story. When seated for an extended time, blood flow in the body begins to slow down, making it easier for blood to clot. Basically, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms within a vein, mostly occurring in the legs.
Cases of a DVT have the ability to become more severe if a small clot dislodges itself and travels to the lungs, heart, or brain. As scary as this may sound, a DVT can happen to anybody during long-distance travel, so there is no need to worry too much, but those who have a history of stroke are more prone to experiencing it. The best way to avoid having a DVT is to stand and stretch every hour so that blood circulates efficiently. If standing is not possible, then manually bending the arms and legs is a good alternative.
For some individuals, a condition known as hypercoagulability (formally known as Thrombophilia) can be a serious issue to consider before flying. Hypercoagulability is an abnormality that heightens the risk of blood clotting. Check with your doctor regarding treatment options such as blood thinners or compression stockings. It is also most likely to be a concern for those who have suffered from a DVT in the past. If you have or a loved one has experienced a DVT, talk with your doctor to see if you may be susceptible to hypercoagulability.
What Medication Should I Take to Fly?
When it comes to medication, being prepared is key. Flights are notorious for running late and experiencing delays, so it is highly recommended that you pack whatever medications you may need into your carry-on luggage. In the off-chance that your carry-on luggage needs to be checked, you can get innovative and pack your necessities into a purse or backpack that you can carry with you at all times. Most airlines allow you to bring liquid medications or dietary supplements on board, but checking your airline’s safety regulations beforehand is always a good idea. To provide additional support, consider getting a note or prescription from your primary doctor that lists the medication you will be taking with you; that way, you can avoid any potential interruptions.
What Extra Steps Will There Be For Me?
Along with making arrangements for the actual flight, it is extremely helpful to take advantage of every opportunity the airline itself can provide. For example, if you know in advance that your itinerary will be strenuous, you can call the airline before your trip—preferably 48 hours prior—to discuss any concerns.
More than likely, your airline will accommodate you as much as possible, but remember that crew members are not allowed to give any kind of physical, individualized care. If you or a loved one cannot perform certain physical requirements, or if there is limited mobility, it may be a good idea to travel with a friend or an affordable attendant that can assist in any situation.
If any kind of portable equipment is needed for air travel, the majority of airlines will store up to two items free of charge; however, substantial items—a wheelchair or something larger—must be checked.
In the Air Again
Being a stroke survivor certainly comes with its challenges, but it doesn’t mean that you or a loved one can’t live a full life. With any serious medical condition, a certain level of patience and resilience is required to prevail, and traveling via plane is doable with the right amount of support.
If you or a loved one plan to fly in the future, make sure to get the proper clearance and guidance from a healthcare professional, and check with the airline on the assistance they can offer. By asking questions and being prepared, you can ensure that your next trip will be successful. For more answers on common questions about recovering after a stroke, click here.
- [Abstract] Virtual reality therapy for upper limb rehabilitation in patients with stroke: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
- [ARTICLE] Finding a new balance in life: a qualitative study on perceived long-term needs of people with acquired brain injury and partners – Full Text
- [WEB PAGE] AI could play ‘critical’ role in identifying appropriate treatment for depression
- [QUOTATION] Traumatic Brain Injury Doesn’t Come with a MANUAL…
- [Infographic] Changes Observed After Brain Injury
- [WEB PAGE] Dutch ‘walking-bike’ helps disabled people gain mobility, sit tall
- [THESIS] Multi-sensors for realization of home tele-rehabilitation
- [Abstract] An Omnidirectional Assistive Platform Integrated With Functional Electrical Stimulation for Gait Rehabilitation: A Case Study
- [Slideshow] Myths and Facts About Depression
- [ARTICLE] Randomized Feasibility Trial of a Novel, Integrative, and Intensive Virtual Rehabilitation Program for Service Members Post-Acquired Brain Injury – Full Text
- [Abstract] What is the potential of virtual reality for post-stroke sensorimotor rehabilitation?
- [ARTICLE] A combination of multimodal physical exercises in real and virtual environments for individuals after chronic stroke: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial – Full Text
- [WEB SITE] Coping with Post-TBI Anxiety & Stress – BrainLine
- [WEB SITE] New Tool Gives Voice to Family Caregivers of Brain Injury Patients
- [Abstract] The Role of Robotic Path Assistance and Weight Support in Facilitating 3D Movements in Individuals With Poststroke Hemiparesis
- Assistive Technology (25)
- Books (131)
- Caregivers (350)
- Depression (147)
- Educational (110)
- Epilepsy (415)
- Fatigue (81)
- Hemianopsia (175)
- Music/Music therapy (48)
- Neuroplasticity (333)
- Quotations (13)
- Recovery Plateau (23)
- REHABILITATION (4,011)
- Cognitive Rehabilitation (318)
- Constraint induced movement therapy CIMT (92)
- Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) (303)
- Gait Rehabilitation – Foot Drop (558)
- Mirror therapy (120)
- Paretic Hand (1,396)
- Pharmacological (202)
- Rehabilitation robotics (780)
- tDCS/rTMS (293)
- Tele/Home Rehabilitation (372)
- Video Games/Exergames (365)
- Virtual reality rehabilitation (530)
- Vojta Therapy – DNS (9)
- Spasticity (235)
- TBI (105)
- Uncategorized (677)
- Video (207)
Category CloudAssistive Technology Books Caregivers Cognitive Rehabilitation Constraint induced movement therapy CIMT Depression Educational Epilepsy Fatigue Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Gait Rehabilitation - Foot Drop Hemianopsia Mirror therapy Music/Music therapy Neuroplasticity Paretic Hand Pharmacological Quotations Recovery Plateau REHABILITATION Rehabilitation robotics Spasticity TBI tDCS/rTMS Tele/Home Rehabilitation Uncategorized Video Video Games/Exergames Virtual reality rehabilitation Vojta Therapy - DNS
TagsABI Acquired Brain Injury Action observation Activities of daily living Acupuncture ADL AED AEDs Aerobic Exercise AFO android ankle ankle-foot orthosis antiepileptic drugs anxiety aphasia App Apps Arm Artificial intelligence assessment Assistive Technology Attention augmented reality Balance BCI behavior biofeedback biomechanics Bioness book Botox botulinum toxin brain Brain Computer Interface Brain Injuries brain injury Brain plasticity Brain stimulation Brain–machine interface Cannabidiol cannabis Caregiver Caregivers CBD CBT cerebral palsy Cerebrovascular accident Children chronic chronic stroke cognition cognitive Cognitive behavioral therapy cognitive function cognitive impairment Cognitive Rehabilitation Cognitive Rehabilitation Communication concussion constraint induced movement therapy Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) dementia Depression dexterity disability driving drop foot Drugs Educational EEG elbow Electrical Stimulation Electric stimulation therapy Electrodes electroencephalography Electromyography EMG emotional Epilepsy Executive function Exercise Exergames Exoskeleton exoskeletons fatigue Feedback FES finger Fingers fMRI foot drop Force Functional electrical stimulation Functional electrical stimulation (FES) functional magnetic resonance imaging functional recovery gait Gait Analysis gait rehabilitation Gait Rehabilitation - Foot Drop gait speed Game games Gamification gaming Gloreha glove Google books grasping Hand Hand exoskeleton hand function hand rehabilitation Hemianopia Hemianopsia hemiparesis Hemiparetic hemiplegia hemiplegic hippocampus home home-based home-based rehabilitation home rehabilitation homonymous hemianopia ICF infographic iOS iPad IPhone Kinect Kinematics. Levetiracetam locomotion Lokomat lower extremity lower limb Lower Limp marijuana mCIMT Medical treatment memory mental health mental practice meta-analysis Microsoft Kinect Mirror therapy mobility Motivation Motor motor control motor cortex Motor function motor imagery motor impairment motor learning Motor recovery motor rehabilitation motor skills Motor training Movement MRI multiple sclerosis Muscles Muscle spasticity music Music/Music therapy Nervous system neural plasticity neuro-rehabilitation Neurofeedback Neurogenesis neuroimaging Neurological neurological disorders neurology neuromodulation Neuromuscular electrical stimulation Neuron neurons Neuroplasticity Neurorehabilitation neuroscience NIBS Nintendo Wii NMES Non-invasive Noninvasive brain stimulation Non Invasive brain stimulation Occupational therapy onabotulinumtoxinA orthosis Outcomes pain Paralysis paresis paretic hand pharmacological physical activity physical rehabilitation physical therapy physiotherapy plasticity plateau post stroke Post traumatic Epilepsy pregnancy Prognosis proprioception PTSD quality of life Randomized controlled trial range of motion. recovery REHABILITATION rehabilitation rehabilitation robot Rehabilitation robotics repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation Research review robot robot-assisted rehabilitation Robot-assisted therapy Robotic robotic rehabilitation robotics robots Robot sensing systems rTMS saebo Safety SCI seizure seizures self-management sEMG sensorimotor Sensors Serious games serotonin sex sleep smartphone Spasticity spinal cord injury stem cells strength Stress Stroke stroke recovery stroke rehabilitation systematic review Tablet Task-Specific Training TASK ANALYSIS TBI tDCS technology TED Tele-rehabilitation Telehealth Telemedicine telerehabilitation therapy thumb TMS Training Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Transcranial magnetic stimulation Traumatic Brain Injury treadmill treatment UE UL Upper Extremity upper limb Upper limb rehabilitation Vagus nerve Vagus Nerve Stimulation Video Video game Video games virtual reality Virtual reality exposure therapy Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Virtual rehabilitation visual field VNS VR Walk walking walking ability walking speed wearable Wearable sensors Wii Wrist youtube
- February 2020 (33)
- January 2020 (72)
- December 2019 (90)
- November 2019 (86)
- October 2019 (99)
- September 2019 (93)
- August 2019 (79)
- July 2019 (70)
- June 2019 (78)
- May 2019 (57)
- April 2019 (60)
- March 2019 (48)
- February 2019 (64)
- January 2019 (109)
- December 2018 (78)
- November 2018 (70)
- October 2018 (75)
- September 2018 (87)
- August 2018 (100)
- July 2018 (112)
- June 2018 (63)
- May 2018 (55)
- April 2018 (45)
- March 2018 (83)
- February 2018 (129)
- January 2018 (106)
- December 2017 (98)
- November 2017 (60)
- October 2017 (72)
- September 2017 (68)
- August 2017 (131)
- July 2017 (93)
- June 2017 (98)
- May 2017 (82)
- April 2017 (60)
- March 2017 (142)
- February 2017 (80)
- January 2017 (91)
- December 2016 (123)
- November 2016 (85)
- October 2016 (149)
- September 2016 (65)
- August 2016 (68)
- July 2016 (91)
- June 2016 (72)
- May 2016 (50)
- April 2016 (44)
- March 2016 (82)
- February 2016 (66)
- January 2016 (36)
- December 2015 (68)
- November 2015 (86)
- October 2015 (99)
- September 2015 (85)
- August 2015 (70)
- July 2015 (113)
- June 2015 (83)
- May 2015 (69)
- April 2015 (77)
- March 2015 (91)
- February 2015 (64)
- January 2015 (111)
- December 2014 (112)
- November 2014 (164)
- October 2014 (158)
- September 2014 (228)
- August 2014 (108)
- July 2014 (8)