Trip planned for next week & in a bad flare - do I go?

Hi guys,

I have a trip planned to California (from New York) with my husband next week that I’ve really been looking forward to… and now, unfortunately, I am not so sure it’s the best idea given the way I’ve been feeling. My symptoms are at their worst right now. I was doing better for about a month and the only things I can blame the upswing on is a) extreme stress (I’ve decided to take a leave of absence from my job, and between making that decision & trying to help them figure out how to handle the work I do while I’m gone, it’s been a lot) and b) I trialled another medication (Buspar) that I only stayed on for about a month at a low dose and got off because it was making me more anxious. In any case, my brain and body are not happy and I’ve been feeling extra rocky, disoriented, and just feeling generally unwell.

Now, in the time I’ve had MAV (or whatever this is), I have traveled by plane several times and only once when I was also at my worst do I think it might have affected how I felt in some way. In most cases, I got on the plane feeling not so hot, spent my stay there feeling not so hot, came home feeling not so hot – no significant difference. But I’m really worried about going to California now just knowing that so many of you have issues with flying, and because I’m an anxious traveler to begin with. I am not going to be okay just staying in the hotel and resting while my husband goes out and does other things… it will make me incredibly anxious. I really, really don’t want to miss this opportunity – I’ve been wanting to visit San Francisco forever & I’ve pushed through so many things with this illness that I hate to give into my anxiety and not go because of it now, but I just don’t know what I’d do if I get there and feel really awful.

If you were me in this situation, what would you do? Appreciate any ideas you have :slight_smile:


Not sure what to tell you because I don’t fly anymore. Perhaps you could increase your anti-anxiety medication while you are traveling to help with the extra anxiousness, etc? Is your fear of being ill on the flight or feeling more lousy when you get there?

Hi Adrienne
Many people actually feel better while on vacation. It’s usually less stress, and getting your mind off your illness. You could take some extra klonopin to get you through.
Since the sero meds aren’t helping, what about trailing neurontin? Also good for anxiety and generally well tolerated.

If I were you I’d go to California.

I had another migraine ‘big bang’ last year around November. By February-ish it had reduced to low level but still uncomfortable and nasty (but manageable day to day). In March I went to Bali for a week’s holiday. Guess what? I felt FINE the whole time I was there. On that basis my neurologist suggests that stress is my biggest hurdle to wellness at the moment. Last few weeks have been pretty bad. I’ve been relieving in higher duties at work and it’s been full on and very stressful. Lots of vertigo. Tomorrow I head off on a huge round the world trips with so many flights it’s not funny (about 16 I think). Luckily the longest will be only about 10 hours and not overnight.

And Valium.

Always Valium while in the air.

Have a great trip! :

Looking back trips away have always been a “net” success all thing considered. Thats not to say every second was. no no. Normally the outbound trip (flying or long travel) is the worst. Airports are too terrible for words. try those things people suggest.

Others mention about relaxation etc and the other great stuff about beaches, bali etc. My own theory (having made the same observation about miraculously feeling better from about Day 4…) is pretty practical.

“normal life” - even newly adjusted for MAV - involves busy traffic, fluro lights. Beaches and country vistas are short on these things. Also if vertigo is triggered by head movement then its 100% certain that the mad days before packing up and getting household/work act together (at least at our crazy place) involves way way more unconscious physical/head movement. So then after a few days at beach…voila!?

If I visit a city centre I just feel dizzy and drunk but nothing too bad happens. Killer migraines can happen any time. At least if we get away sometimes there might be nice memories and photos…So in short anything you can do to take it easier before the trip might be worthwhile. enjoy your trip!

Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys. Appreciate all your words so much. Sitting back and doing nothing because of this illness is not something I’m willing to accept, but to answer your question Teddy, my concern is about feeling worse once I get there. As I mentioned in my post, I have flown several times with this already – the flight itself is never really a problem unless of course there’s significant turbulence (pray that there isn’t for me!)

Kelley - I will consider neurontin when I get back from California and discuss med options again. It’s too bad the serotonin affects me this way because I also have anxiety and depression, but it’s positively clear that my brain just doesn’t like it anymore (I took Zoloft for years before this started, and it helped. Trialed again post-MAV and felt awful on it). My psych has also suggested Remeron or Welbutrin - the first is supposed to make you more lethargic, which is a major symptom for me, so being a complete zombie worries me; the latter, he says, can make people jittery at first and I’m already very anxious. What do you know about these 2 drugs? I know you had some success with Remeron before it pooped out on you, but you don’t have fatigue like I do, right?

Vic - Wow, you are really courageous! Can’t believe you do all you do after having had this so long. I guess you really live by not letting it stop you. It is an attitude I’d take more eagerly if I didn’t also have tremendous anxiety. But as you note, some time away might be exactly what I need to ease some of it. Good luck with your travels!

Hi Adrienne! I am proud of you for going! You go girl! You will have such a fun time with your hubby and rely on him to ease the travel stress.

I am taking my first flight Boston to Nashville on Sunday to visit with my fiancé. Determined to not let MAV keep me from the one I love :slight_smile: . We can do it!

I have flown a lot since being diagnosed with MAV… I have utilized many of the suggestions on this board and some of my own… Definitely use a benzo if you have… Helps with the anxiety of it all… Crowds, light, sounds, etc, all triggers for me and many of us. Try to stay on a regular sleeping pattern. Drink lots of water. Just returned from a trip to Cancun With my family and found that headphones (good ones that covered my ears entirely) and relaxing music on my iPod helped a lot!! Don’t be afraid to fly… It really does help to get away from it all!!

I had a family trip to Hawaii in February - hadnt flown since the MAV started a year ago. I was terrified just like you are but just like the other posts said, once I got there I was FINE. Absolutely no symptoms to speak of my entire vacation - it was a wonderful time! For the flight I made sure I had some Ativan - I only had to take one low dose for the trip there, more due to my anxiety of worrying something was going to happen as opposed to something actually happen. The flight was uneventful there and back. Now, when I got home it was a different story. Took me two weeks to get over the time change and going back to normal so be prepared for that. Try to not worry - I bet you will be just fine!! San Fran is beautiful! Enjoy!

Go for it! I am on vacation right now. I flew, the first time since having mav and had no problems at all. I even went on some roller coasters with my family, and survived! I didn’t feel perfect, but I ended up being okay. Took a boat cruise and have been doing lots of water sports. Surprisingly I am surviving, and making out just fine. You may find that while you are away, you will focus less on your symptoms and just enjoy your time away. It doesn’t hurt to try…