Tips for Travel: Flying with PsA

Flying has never been my favorite mode of transportation.  However, it is the fastest way to get where I need to go and it isn’t always a terrible experience as long as I adhere to the following advice.

Prepare for the flight

To lower my risk of muscle spasms/cramps, I prepare my body by taking a muscle relaxant an hour before takeoff.  I also place a portable heating patch on my lower back and neck. In addition, I dress comfortably and in layers so that I can remain comfy whether I feel like I am overheating or not.  Flying often ignites my claustrophobia and/or anxiety.  To combat this I have accepted that not medicating isn’t an option.  When I medicate, I am able to remain calm, even when experiencing an increase of physical pain.  Prior to flying, I make sure to rest as much as possible; if I am run down my pain level will escalate quickly.  Making sure that I am adequately hydrated before and during my flight is also important.

Accept assistance

There is nothing wrong with accepting assistance at the airport.  I used to think that I wasn’t disabled enough to accept help. From an emotional aspect, receiving assistance served as a reminder of my limitations.  However, as I learned from my last excursion, I would rather deal with a bruised ego than to suffer from unnecessary physical pain from pushing my body beyond its limits.  Utilizing the assistance that airlines provide has bumped flying up from the bottom of how I am willing to travel.

Be flexible and understanding

Delays can occur no matter how you travel.  As much as humanly possible, I try to give myself ample time to arrive and rest before an event and for rest upon arriving home.  By allowing this extra time, I decrease the risk of showing up at an event a frazzled mess.  Whether bumped from my flight or delayed, I force myself to relax and focus on the moment.  Worrying about how much time I will have to prepare and rest or if I am going to be late does me no good until I know just how far I will be running behind.  Packing a nicer outfit in my carry on lessens my stress as I know I can be dressed and ready to roll before the plane lands if need be.

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