Mile-high club....(and international travel tip)...

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Posted by Q ( on February 21, 2000 at 02:20:35:

In Reply to: Re: air travel posted by Carroll on February 20, 2000 at 20:34:21:

Late this past summer while flying in a non-pressurized private airplane (Piper Cherokee to be exact) I had several CH attacks, on different days, under different conditions -- above and below 10,000 feet, with and without supplemental oxygen.

My last attack under the private plane scenario was at 14,000 feet VFR, nothing unusual. Could not stand for the O2 mask to be on my face. Just the two of us in the plane. No where to run, no where to hide. Just reach in back for my med-kit and stab myself with the Imitrex gun. Just sort of checked out for about 20 minutes while the CH attack ran its course. Right after that, I surrendered my FAA medical and stoped flying for a while. There is just no way I could command an aircraft while in the midst of an attack. I do hope to readdress this issue at the end of this year, however.

My feeling was that I was just going to have the attacks on their own time and the flying had nothing to do with it.

I've had attacks on commercial flights as well. Same thing, no particular ryhme or reason.

As far as the air quality thing goes, the air on commercial jet liners is filtered, correct, but the filters are often nasty-nasty. It is not so bad since they banned smoking on flights, but a friend who works on aircraft maintenance is always remarking how bad the air filters on the jets are allowed to become before they are maintained. It is not something that you as a passenger have any control over, nor will the flight crew know off-hand the condition of the filters.

The trick to flying with CH is to never have my meds out of my reach. They can loose my baggage but I'm not going to be trapped in anywhere, as long as I can help it, and go through an untreated CH attack. That would be my advice to any of you that are considering travelling.

As an aside, I often travel to Central America. The insurance company will provide an "advance" on my prescriptions when I tell them that I am going on a trip out of the country. My guess is that even though I could get the meds cheaper in CA (Belize) than here in the US, I feel better having them with me before I leave.

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