So to all my darling warriors that are fretting about their first long trip in a plane…here a a few tips to keep in mind.
Layovers: Do you have a layover? If not, make sure that you stretch your legs periodically to prevent leg cramps. When booking, I always recommend at least one layover for sickle cell warriors. Remember, high altitudes=less oxygen concentration=the possibility of a crises. So heading to the ground for even 20 minutes and getting some normal atmospheric air and pressure helps immensely.
Stretch: I usually walk 5-10 minutes for every hour of my flight, from one side of the plane to the other. This helps to reduce the possibility of getting clots or your legs cramping up. If it’s a short flight (less than 2 hours), you might be okay, but anything longer than that…stretching is the key.
Accessibility: Have your pain meds easily accesibile in case you need them. It’s very frustrating trying to direct a flight attendant where your pain meds are as you are writhing about in pain. Pack your pain meds in your purse or laptop. Have them with you at all times.
Hydrate: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You can never have too much water. Skip the caffenated drinks and alcohol, both of them are known to dehydrate you.
Snacks: Some flights don’t feed you at all, and it’s always good to have something in your stomach before you take some pain medication. That way you won’t have to fight nausea on top of everything else.
Oxygen: Make sure that your airline has onboard oxygen, they usually do for emergencies, but sometimes, esp if it’s a long flight, it’s nice to know ahead of time if they have it.
Read my tale of flying here. I must say I learned my lesson after that.