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British Heart Foundation
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Travel question

I have AF and heart failure. Before diagnosis a few years ago I was a frequent traveller both on sole journeys and with family/friends

Over the past year I’ve noticed that I book trips , then get “ill” and have to cancel, genuinely.

I’m booked to visit a daughter a couple of train journeys and an air trip away tomorrow and have realised that I’m ridiculously nervous about the travel to the extent that I’m considering cancelling this one too.

Anyone else experience this? And more importantly, how did you overcome it?

3 Replies

Hi, do you have a heart failure nurse? He/she will be able to give travel advice. My husband has HF & has been poorly a couple of times when we've been abroad. We've booked to go to Gibraltar & whilst my husband takes it all in his stride I'm having a complete meltdown over it. I've recently asked his nurse for advice & she's been great with things to do & not too do. And to put this in perspective, we're not going till December a whole 10 months away!! Xx


Hiya. Not sure how relevant this is but I had my heart attack 4 years ago. I can't run or sing and I certainly can't exercise for anything more than minutes.

So I lived like a priest for a long time after, treading on eggshells with everything I did. After a few years I realised I wasn't living my life to the fullest and that in itself was a downward spiral that was doing me more harm than good.

Don't get me wrong I do understand the fine llne between looking after yourself and living life to the full or like everyday is your last. However, mentally the benefits of forgetting all about my limitations and just getting on with doing my life in a more cavalier manner as if what happened never happened, has been as life changing to me as the heart attack was.

Do something daft and completely stupid now and then. Spontaneously book a flight on a Friday and travel on the Saturday. Talk your way through a song on the karaoke. Run up the stairs then lie on the bed for an hour to recover. Have a greasy fry up. Drink a pint of gin. Well maybe not a pint. Secretly eat a full Tesco trifle.

We are only here once afterall.

Hope the smile on your daughters face when you see it is wonderful.

All the very best P0rtnahapp1e.

1 like

My husband , who had severe heart failure, was determined to carry on with life and do all the things he had always wanted to. I was the one who was really anxious and wanted to wrap him in cotton wool, but I realised he was right and I had to overcome my anxiety. If disaster struck, people would help wherever he was.

Just as you can find yourself gradually withdrawing from travel through fear, it gets better by simply doing it - starting small with a journey that doesn't cause you too much anxiety, and carrying on from there. I think recognising the problem and wanting to overcome it is half the battle.

You are visiting your daughter , so you will be looked after when you arrive. I would recommend booking special assistance at the airport ( there will be info on the web about how to book this ). It means no check-in queues, priority boarding, being transported round the airport - really useful. Concentrate on how you will enjoy seeing her.

I get very anxious about flying if I haven't flown for some time - invariably it's not as bad as I thought, and the answer is of course to fly more! It's the same with anything that causes anxiety - we withdraw from it when the answer is do it more!

I didn't want to stop my husband living his life, so despite his heart failure we travelled independently all over - including Greenland. He has a heart transplant now and fancies Armenia this year!


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