Flew 12 hrs to Japan, 3 hrs to Taipei, still alive

Some people on this board have expressed concern over flying with MAV/VN/etc, so I just thought that I would report that I recently did a lot of flying and came through in one piece.

I had been putting off taking any flights since this condition struck me about 10 months ago. But I typically have to spend a few months in Asia each year to oversee our offices there (I am a lawyer for an investment company). I couldn’t put it off any longer. Luckily, my company pays for me to fly business class and they pay for my wife as well since it is a multi-month assignment, and I use my miles to upgrade my daughters, so we can all fly business. I fly on Japan Airlines, which is not the best Asian airline but is better than the American airlines like United, American, Delta, etc. If I was paying out of my own pocket, I would have to fly economy or premium economy. I mention this because I think it makes a difference when you can fly business: on the flight, I got a great meal of sushi and filet steak, rice, green tea, pickled fish and rice, etc., plus got a seat that was pretty much a lie-flat shell, food and drink when you want it, the flight attendants play with your kids, etc.

Went on Japan Airlines from Chicago to Tokyo, then spent the night at Narita, and flew to Taipei the next morning. Both flights were constantly rocky, not white-knuckle rocky, and no seat belt signs went on, but just a continuous side to side and up and down that got annoying.

Before the flight, I had been taking 1/4 of a .5 Klonopin nightly. As I got on the plane, I took another small piece. I felt good for most of the flight, I was chilled out but did not sleep for the first 7 hours. At the 8 hour mark, I fell asleep for an hour and woke up a little dizzy and disoriented, slightly panicked. I took .25 of the Klonopin, which chilled me right out, and then I played chess on the entertainment system for two hours until it was time to get ready to land. Got off the plane, shuttle to hotel, slept for seven hours, woke up, got ready for the shuttle back to airport, then flight to Taipei. Also took a little extra Klonopin on that flight and was able to play chess. Somehow I find chess to be a good distraction since it takes your mind off the flight. I arrived with jet lag but was able to take care of the kids, get set up at the hotel, and basically handle everything without trouble.

Bottom line: it was ok for me to fly with MAV/VN but I was smart to bring along a lot vestibular suppressant. I basically had to go from a dose of .125 Klonopin to nearly .5 Klonopin for the two days of the flights, and now I am tapering back down. I believe that Scott has posted this advice already, but I would double down on it.

At the suggestion of my doctor (Dr. Cherchi at the Chicago Dizzy and Hearing Clinic), I used the Ear Planes during take off and landing, but I found that they did not seem to do much for me, and they irritated my ear for a couple days after the flight. I am not sure whether they helped or not.

Now that I am here, I feel no different than I did in the States – I am dizzy to the same extent, no worse or better.

I am glad that I made the flight and continued with my life as it would have been without this terrible condition. I still have some more flying to do inter-Asia (Hong Kong, Beijing, Thailand) but those should be do-able with the same system. While here, I am trying to see a neurologist just for the hell of it, to see if there are any new angles that they are playing out here. The only disappointment is that I was going to try starting on anti-depressants but figure that I should wait till I am back home where my doctors are located in case I get some weird side effect or reaction.

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Flight Kit!

Decongenstant (US) Sudafed (UK) “Ear Planes” Memory Foam Neck Pillow

Thanks Longshort, this is reassuring. I am flying 11 hours to Hawaii in three weeks and I am a little tentative about it. Despite everything, I really want to live my life like I normally would and not that of a sick person. I don’t have any benzos, but I am going to try to get some before my flight. Thanks for the post.

Deekon

Thanks for posting about this, Longshort. That is really reassuring.
Glad you have had such a positive experience and I wish you all the best for the rest of your trip.

Deekon…just returned from an 11nr flight to hawaii…did have achange in dallas and that layover lasted about an hour and half. Im from the dc area and we travel alot…have been dealig with this dysequilibrium for many years now and i always double up on meds for the flight… for me…ativan works as a good vestibular suppresant and relaxes me. We always upgrade (my husband is a frequent business traveler) and i always drink tons if water!! Hawaii is a tough trip…but so worth it!! By the way… dont forget to bring your ativan ir whatever benzo tou use on the plane just in cSe… some trips are worsethan others but wirh hawaii you have so much to look forward toz, which island are you visiting? Aloha!!!

Thanks Dee, I currently do not have nor tried any meds and I think I can handle it without. I don’t have many triggers, but the big one is stress and anxiety. So if I can stay calm on the plane I should be fine. I am visiting Maui this year. It will be my third year in a row for this trip. My brain issues started when I got back from Hawaii last year which I why I am a bit nervous, but dammit I don’t care.

HI
I flew from LA to Sydney, and did fine. I took the same meds I always do, was lucky enough to have the lie flat seats, and slept 8 hours of the 14 hour flight. I did fine coming home as well. It was AFTER being home for about 4 days that I went through a stint of extra dizziness, but it passed…I travel on shorter trips all the time on planes and in cars, and no problems…but I’m heavily medicated!! :slight_smile: Keeps my threshold high so I can do the things I enjoy and live my life…
Kelley

Dekon…have you considered asking your dr for something mild “just in case”? That sometimrs helpd in snd of itself! I know how you feel about hawaii… it eas our fourth trip and i was going to do it …damnit! And i did with a little pharmacological help! Best of luck my friend

Excellent story.

After flying 6.5 hours to Abu Dhabi - by myself - and taking some Valium, I was totally fine. The flight did not bother me one single bit. And I was in cattle class!!!

I also used Ear Planes (same as Longshort) and I thought they were very good and didnt cause me any problems.

May everyone continue to fly around our beautiful planet and see all the wonders of the world… that is certainly my life’s dream and this MAV sh*t is NOT going to stop me… 53 countries and counting…

Peace out xx

— Begin quote from “Deekon”

Thanks Dee, I currently do not have nor tried any meds and I think I can handle it without. I don’t have many triggers, but the big one is stress and anxiety. So if I can stay calm on the plane I should be fine. I am visiting Maui this year. It will be my third year in a row for this trip. My brain issues started when I got back from Hawaii last year which I why I am a bit nervous, but dammit I don’t care.

— End quote

Hey Deekon, you should get a script for some benzos just in case, under Murphy’s Law: if you bring them you won’t need them, but if you don’t bring them you might need them!

— Begin quote from “longshort”

— Begin quote from “Deekon”

Thanks Dee, I currently do not have nor tried any meds and I think I can handle it without. I don’t have many triggers, but the big one is stress and anxiety. So if I can stay calm on the plane I should be fine. I am visiting Maui this year. It will be my third year in a row for this trip. My brain issues started when I got back from Hawaii last year which I why I am a bit nervous, but dammit I don’t care.

— End quote

Hey Deekon, you should get a script for some benzos just in case, under Murphy’s Law: if you bring them you won’t need them, but if you don’t bring them you might need them!

— End quote

Thanks Longshort, I plan to. I am seeing a new psych tomorrow and I am going to ask for them. I hope she will give them to me because a lot of docs look at me and say " I don’t look sick or don’t look anxious" and won’t prescribe me anything. I do have a friend who can give me some if i need to. I agree though, I think knowing I have it will keep me calm for the flight.