Air travel and MS

Just curious, so many things that I don't expect to inflame my MS seem to aggravate it, I'm wonder in long planes rides has bothered anyone's MS symptoms? I'm in California and kids in SC. Most of the flights from here are "red-eye" flights arriving in Atlanta about 5:00am then a shorter flight to Charleston, SC. So anyone have any affects from long flights?

14 Replies

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  • I hope not I flying to Hawaii from Oregon in 3 weeks and I need this vacation. It has never bothered me flying in the past. So far so good. Good luck to you

  • Thank you and have great vacation!

  • I have flown cross country countless times since my diagnosis without any problems, maybe just a bit of normal fatigue. Kelly xx

  • Not so far. I do not travel by plane much, my husband will not get on a plane but, a few years ago I flew to Colombia South America, then out to St, Andre's Island with my brother, his wife and some friends for a couple of weeks of fun. Besides being fatigued a bit, I was fine. I did spend a couple of days just relaxing in the hotel during the trip.

  • I flew from Chile to LA on a long overnight flight last month. Just get up, stretch, and go to the potty as needed. If you want to be on SC time upon arrival, and you take ambien or such for sleep, take that (on an empty stomach). And should the walk to the concourse be a problem, ask for wheelchair assistance. Anything to conserve your energy and minimize your stress will make it an enjoyable trip once you arrive!

  • CalfeeChick Last spring I flew from Southern California to Virginia for a quick trip. Here's how and why I did it: Burbank to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to Atlanta, Atlanta to Richmond and back. I knew I couldn't deal with LA International's traffic and congestion, so I went from Burbank, which is close to my home, just over the hills. LAX, however, has the only non-stop flights to the mid-Atlantic, but even then, not to Richmond. So, I flew SouthWest and took my cane so I could board early (maybe) and use it in the airports as needed. Truthfully, even though I took the somewhat collapsible one, I found it a burden, and always in someone's way. My legs and back cramp in confined spaces, so whenever possible, I took an aisle seat so I could stretch a little bit. The times between flights permitted bathroom breaks and walks. Noisy, crowded, hectic places (think airports) cause my brain to shut down; when that happens I become easily confused. As I hadn't traveled anywhere by plane alone since 2004, I paid a friend's fare so she could help me with that. Now that I have done it with a companion, I believe I could do it again solo...but I still wouldn't want to make the whole trip non-stop if no one was meeting me at the other end. I used to be so confident, back and forth from LAX to Cairo 10 times in the early 2000s; no more. I've let my passport expire but I am thinking of getting a TSA clearance so I can avoid standing in long lines, taking off shoes, etc. whenever possible. I have read that old folks do not have to take off their shoes, but in Richmond I was pulled out of line to do so and my hands were swabbed. Guess I looked a little scary! My sister, recommends requesting a wheelchair: she has scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Even though she doesn't need a wheelchair all the time, it makes traveling much easier for/on her.

  • Like goatgal recommended, I have TSA clearance. It saves time on the security line.

    tsa.gov/precheck

    And if I had my way, I would break my flights up-as she also stated-for more walks/REAL potty breaks. My husband disagrees he likes nonstops, no matter how long the flight 😉

    I had my crutch this last flight (and will for all future ones - we leave for FL in a little over a week). I boarded early. It saves the stress of waiting in line and trying to find overhead space, etc.

    it'll be worth it all when you see your kids. 💕Dawn

  • Hi

    I fly frequently and so far I haven't had any issues. On longer flights I get up and stretch and I will sacrifice and pay the first class fee if I don't have points. I also make sure that my preferences are set to get the aisles on all flights, the bulk head seats if possible for more leg room if not in first and I speak with the booking agents so they can assist so I'm not uncomfortable when flying.

  • Thank you all for your responses.

  • I asked my pt what I could do when I had to sit for long periods of time he told me to move my legs. For i.e. Tap my feet, move my legs back n forth, march my legs. He also suggested just getting up and standing i.e. Go to the rest room, stand up in the aisle for a minute

  • I have severe cramps in my right leg on long flights. I started using an EMS pad on my leg during flights and it helped a bit but not completely.

  • I have not had any problems with MS and flying. My only suggestion is hydrate well before the flight. Have a great trip!

  • @CalfeeChick I am catching up on posts and wanted to respond to your travel question. I traveled by plane for the first time in years last April, traveling from Maine to Reno NV and back, each time with two stops in between. The travel agent recommended that she arrange a wheelchair between flights. At first I didn't think I needed it but in reality it was a God send. It saved my energy and the day! Between flights I tried to walk some which I think wals good for me. The flight back was a red-eye of course, and we all were beat, but I do not think that I was any more tired than my husband or son. Other than navigating on and especially off the plane (I was stiff after sitting so long) I do not think my MS was a real big factor. Have a wonderful trip where ever you go!

  • I haven't flown more than about 3 hours, I know that isn't "long" but that is still a few hours spent in airports with transferring flights and such. My experience is to make sure to pace yourself. Everything is super fast paced there and trying to keep up perfectly will take it out of you. My other suggestion is when you're on the plane itself, bring a comfy pillow for your next and stretch if possible, get up and walk around a bit if you can. But mostly, have fun!

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