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Flying

My husband is traveling to Europe in March for a work conference/collaboration, and I’m seriously considering having the baby and I tag along. It would probably be a two-week trip in 2-3 countries with most of our hotels and food covered, and we can use our airline miles for my ticket…so basically a fairly inexpensive trip.

Problem is, I haven’t flown since summer 2006, which was after my BPPV started but before my MAV started that fall. I did fine on those flights, but again, it was before the MAV. I am honestly really scared to fly now. I’ve had some issues with long car rides or train trips where I feel like I am still moving after I get out of the car (like I’m violently rocking on a boat). When that happens, I need several hours afterwards to just relax and rest.

With this trip, I’d be dealing with a long flight, a big time change, arriving in the morning with probably little sleep (and having to continue on a train that day to get to our destination), and taking care of a baby who will then be 12 months old (he has to come with…I’ll probably still be nursing and it’s just too long to be apart from him). Anyway, I’m worried that I’ll completely panic on the flight, or feel just so awful after the flight that I can’t function, or a myriad of other things. My worry too is that most “calming” drugs are not breastfeeding-friendly (need to ask my doctor about that). But dang, this is an awesome opportunity, and just like our wedding or having our baby, I really don’t want MAV to get in the way of it. I might be able to do a test run during the holidays this year…we recently moved further away from our families, and the drive is too long. It would be a shorter flight, at least, and no big time change to deal with.

So anyway, do you think this trip is manageable? I know that many of you fly, so how do you deal with flying? If you feel movement after getting out of a car, do you still feel that way after a flight? What medicine do you take, if any? How do you deal with time change and the lack of sleep? (the latter can be a big trigger for me). Thanks for any help :slight_smile:

I was scared to fly after the MAV hit and I’m a frequent flyer. I can honestly say though, even though I was feeling pretty ill and horrible in the airport, I felt 99% fine on the flight!! I couldnt believe it!! Not a jot of anything and same thing when we touched down, it was like it helped me a bit!!

Plus I take a crap load of Valium to help :mrgreen:

All I can say is if you dont try, you wont know. Maybe doing the shorter flight is a good first step, but if I had the chance to see 2 or 3 new countries on a virtually free budget MAV and dynamite wouldnt stop me! Maybe you have a friend or sibling that you could ask if they wanted to join you guys in order to help you out etc if things get tough? I bet one of your girlfriends would LOVE to tag along!!

My first thought is - Valium! But then there’s the breast feeding issue, not sure about that. If the doctor says it’s OK then definitely at least have it on stand by.

My other tip would be to try and have a sleep before you get on the flight. I recently took an overnight flight (I can’t sleep on planes) so I had a nap for a few hours the afternoon prior. It helped. On arrival I was able to keep going until about 4pm and then I just crashed out. I’ve actually just got home after my return flight (also overnight, grrr) and have to admit I am feeling pretty wonky and rocky. So, rather than try and tough it out I’ll probably have a nap today too.

Sleep, sleep, sleep as much as you can. I really think that lack of sleep (as well as the jet lag) knocks us around.

If you can get hold of melatonin (available OTC in the US) I find that really helps with jet lag. You take it at night on arrival and for the next few nights if you need to. It seems to ‘re-set’ the body clock pretty well.

And like Muppo said - you just have to go for it. If you are feeling pretty much OK right now it’s just too good an opportunity to pass up and you won’t know unless you go. Have a blast!

Vic

This Summer I flew a lot with my wife and two girls (age 2 and 4): round trip Chicago-Tokyo, round trip Tokyo-Taipei, round trip Taipei-Bangkok, and round trip Taipei-Beijing. All in all, close to 48 hours of time in the air. I flew Japan Airlines and Eva Airlines.

Like you, I was really nervous since I had not flown since coming down with this disorder. My first time getting on an airplane was stepping on the 12 hour flight to Japan. I was thinking, “Well, if I freak out at least they can drop me in Alaska.”

It went much better than I expected. I took some klonopin (not huge doses) and that was a big help. It is easier to travel in business since you get good food and better seats.

It also helps to take the travel in chunks. For example, take the plane ride and then go straight to the hotel. Then sleep. Then wait a day and take a train to the next stop. For example, instead of just changing planes in Japan, I got off the plane and spent two nights there.

I was able to fly business since it was work related and my company will pay for my business ticket plus upgradable economy tickets for my family, and I can upgrade them to business with my miles, so there is no money out of pocket.

I think that you should check with your doc about whether you can bring a benzo on the plane and breast-feed. If so, that might be the way to go. Alternatively, you could use a bottle on the flight.

Traveling with little kids is a mixed bag but I often do it because, unlike a lot of guys, I like to travel with my family (I have a 4 year old daughter who has made 5 round trips across the Pacific). On one hand they are constantly needing something; on the other hand, they can distract you from thinking too much, thereby keeping you distracted. Talk to you doctor and see if something can be worked out so that you have a back up drug; just having that option will put you at rest.

It sounds like a fun trip.

Disclaimer–I am not a doctor–but at 4 months postpartum and solely breastfeeding, I was taking Ativan when this MAV crap hit me and was advised that it was fine for my baby. Possibly a bit sedating for them, but not harmful. I took it after my last nursing of the night when I knew I’d have the longest stretch without feeding. I would imagine your baby would be fine at 12 months old if you took an anti-anxiety drug for travel.

Obviously you’ll have to check with your doctor. A great online resource is Dr. Hale’s web site. He is the author of Medications and Mothers’ Milk, which is considered the bible of prescribing care providers dealing with postpartum women. He answers questions about risks of certain medications while breastfeeding. Check under Antidepressants I believe.
infantrisk.com/forum/forumdi … ng-Mothers

Thanks everyone, great advice! I talked to my doctor and she said she was fine with prescribing meds, so that’s good. And longshort, that’s a really good point about the kids keeping you distracted so you don’t think too much…I certainly don’t want to act panicked around my son and have him pick up on it. Anne, thank you for the website, that looks helpful! Victoria, I’ll definitely have to look into melatonin. Muppo, I’m afraid it would be too long of a trip for a friend to step away from work, but we might see if my parents could tag along and help out for part of it :slight_smile:

What dose of melatonin do you take?