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Traveling With Dysautonomia

Hi Everyone. I had a bit of a hiatus between October and December on the blog but that did not translate in to me being completely inactive. I was actually quite busy, just not on the internet. I had a bit of traveling to do and it was fun in hindsight but it was a bit stressful to plan logistically. As I have said before, stress is not my friend and it sends me in a tailspin so I really needed to plan properly to ensure that I had a smooth trip.

The last time I flew I had a major episode that almost prevented me from getting on the plane. I had my two children and another in my care and I almost fainted on the security line. I started sweating, getting light headed and I started to go down. I had enough presence of mind to remember to get water (security helped me out with that) and get down to the ground; albeit a bit too late. I gathered myself enough to get in a wheelchair and make it on the plane. I was still unsteady but I pulled it together to get my family back home. Oh and this all happened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Thanksgiving weekend. Yeah, I know. Turns out that it I was set off due to my inhaler that I used a hour before to fend off an allergic reaction to my friend's dog. The stimulant revved up my system and it would not stop fighting because there was no sympathetic shut off. Lesson learned.

This time I traveled during the same stress filled, manic weekend but I prepped WAY in advance to avoid triggers and stress. I needed to anticipate the unknown. I traveled to Charlotte Douglass International Airport but I would also drive another hour and forty-five minutes to Columbia, SC. Yes, there is an airport in Columbia but the layovers just to get there was not worth it. I needed to be comfortable and be in control of the comfort, if possible. I secured my flight with my children a few months in advance. I also checked the box on my itinerary that asked if I needed special assistance at the airport. I noted that I needed help to and from the gate just in case something happened. The flight would only be about 45 minutes and then there was the car rental at the airport.

Sidenote:I thought that I was doing a good thing by getting Spot Hero but MANNNNNNNNNNNNN that was a mess. That right there could have derailed the whole trip. I will take my chances next time with regular airport parking.

Ok, back to the regular blog post. I made sure that my clothing was comfortable because I was in for a long day. I scheduled my work day in such a way that I could get to the airport without any problems. (enter Spot Hero mini rant). I made it the airport in time but the real trouble is the standing in line with security. If I am moving, then I will be fine for the most part. Standing leads to pooling and pooling leads to a faint. If you even see me standing, I look fidgety because I am trying to keep the blood vessels active. I took off my jacket to slow the impending internal heat up and I just walked slowly with deep breaths. Surprisingly, the line was quick. High five to TSA. The whole time my children were aware of my movements and monitored my needs. I am thankful for that because I know that everyone does not have that type of support.

Once through security I immediately had something thing drink and just relaxed. I still felt a bit lightheaded and they did offer me a wheelchair. However, it was offered at the gate up the ramp. All types of questions were going on in my mind but it at least it was an offer. I used the free ride off the plane too and the nice young man pushed me ALL the way to the door to the rental area. I walked the rest of the way. I rented a Dodge Charger and it was a dream.

I took the necessary precautions from the last post but used it to pace myself for three days. The return trip was pretty much the same as going. SPOT HERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I went home.

There was anxiety with traveling but I has to almost plan every possible scenario in advance. There is nothing like being sick far away from home especially with conditions as complicated as mine. This year I will not travel this November but I am still waiting for a call back from Mayo Clinic for my appointment(s). The location is in Arizona and it would probably be HOT. If I ever get a call, I will let you know how the trip goes.

One day at a time.

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