So this past week I went to doTERRA’S annual convention. I absolutely loved it and fell in love with doTERRA even more!
It was in Salt Lake City, Utah, and y’all, I miss seeing those Mountains everyday!
I live in New York and this was actually my first time flying in an airplane. I have been in a helicopter, but not an airplane. There also isn’t any straight through flights from Buffalo to Salt Lake so we had to get connecting flights.
On the 10th, we flew from Buffalo to Atlanta (big mistake, don’t every fly into Atlanta if you don’t need to), then Atlanta to Salt Lake.
On the 14th when we flew home, we flew from Salt Lake to Detroit, then Detroit to Buffalo.
I learned a ton through this experience! I was honestly really nervous about how it would affect my POTS, but it’s actually doable. So, if you are thinking about flying, or have a flight planned and you have POT Syndrome, don’t stress too much, just follow these tips about flying with POT Syndrome.
1. Wheelchair Assistant
I flew threw Delta airlines, and they were honestly really good. We called and asked what the procedures are for flying with a wheelchair, and they were super helpful and took care of everything for me.
If you don’t have a wheelchair, you can request to use one of theirs.
So we checked in online before hand, so when we walked in, we just had to check our bags. Then we waited for the wheelchair assistant, and he was super nice! He knew exactly where we were going, easily helped me get through TSA, filled my water bottle, put my shoes back on for me (and even my sisters), and was just the best!
The next wheelchair guy at Atlanta was literally the reason that we didn’t miss our flight (more to come on that). We had to go down an elevator, in a subway (in the airport), then up another elevator to our gate. We got there literally 2 minutes before we boarded!
I don’t have to use a wheelchair all the time, but it definitely saved on energy while flying because that would have been a lot of walking, and they got us to where we need to be.
2. Get Seats In The Front Of The Plane
Okay, so here is the first mistake that we made. We got seats near the middle to back of the plane. Not a great idea. When you have the wheelchair assistance, you board first, which is super helpful. However, we were on our own for getting off the plane.
So, when we sit in the middle to back, we had to wait a long time to get off. I even got really tachy in one line because we had to stand for so long.
So, next time, we will get seats near the front so we can leave sooner and not have to wait in those long lines.
3. Compression Socks
One of the things that really helped with me with the long day was my compressions. I actually used compression leggings instead of the socks because those hurt my toes.
But on the one flight where I almost passed out, I knew they were the reason that I did stay conscious. I squeezed all my muscles from my abs down to my calves, lowered my head below my heart, and drank water. Super glad I didn’t pass out!
Which brings me to my next point. Drink tons of water. Drink more starting at least a few days before you fly, then drink as much as you can while you travel. And take water every time they offer it to you on the planes.
This will help with blood pressure and energy and your immune system.
I sat in the isle seat so I could get up and use the bathroom when I needed to, but just stay as hydrated as you can because that airplane air is dry and thin!
5. Balance, Magnolia, Adaptiv For Nerves and Anxious Feelings
So I actually wasn’t really nervous. I have learned how to control my nerves for the most part through all of the medical tests I have had done. Most, if not all, were zero fun. Some were even painful, and I knew they would be beforehand. So, I would control my nerves by telling myself that I was only allowed to be nervous about it WHILE it was happening. This actually saved me a lot of worry, and I use this now during non-medical settings too, like flying for the first time.
Using this philosophy, I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to be nervous until the plane was taking off, and I found that I wasn’t nervous once it did (until I started passing out, but then I went into reaction mode and just did what I needed to to stay conscious, and still wasn’t nervous because I was focused).
Anyways, the people I traveled with were nervous so I gave them all the oils. Balance, Magnolia, the new calming essential oil blend Adaptiv, and Serenity Softgels. They are honestly a God send!
Definitely find something to keep you distracted or busy on the flight. It helps with nerves, which wasn’t my issue, but I did get really stiff and was in a bit of pain sometimes because it’s cramped sometimes. So I would find that distracting myself would help take my mind off of the stiffness.
I listened to Audiobooks and Podcasts, and watched their tv’s.
I watched John Wick 3, which was actually pretty disappointing, and the HBO Series Chernobyl. However, I watched all of Chernobyl except the last half hour of the last episode….. Kind of stinks but I am not paying for an HBO series for 30 minutes.
7. Fly Bigger Planes
If you can do this, fly bigger planes! Not only is there more room so you aren’t as stiff, but I almost passed out on the first one because it was small. I literally didn’t have any issues with the other 3 planes, because they were all nice and big. I think it’s because the bigger planes are more pressurized, but I can’t be 100% sure. All I know is that I won’t fly a small plane again if I can avoid it.
Like, I literally lost feelings in my hands in the small plane for the whole flight and everything. So, bigger planes is where it’s at!
8. Map Out Gates Beforehand
If it is possible, look to see what gate you are landing at, and where your connecting one is if you have a connecting flight. I know that sometimes they don’t know until the last minute, but if you can find out where your gate is, then look up a map of the airport and find where you will land and where you will need to be!
This takes a lot of stress off your mind.
When we were flying out of Salt Lake, we looked on the departures and found the flight to Detroit was scheduled at F12. So, we ate, then sat at F12 for 30 minutes. We decided to use the bathroom one last time, and just happened to stop and double check our flight. Turns out they moved it to F3!
So, we booked it over to F3 and boarded just in time. Because I had a wheelchair they let me skip in line, even though they were already boarding.
When we got off that flight though, we already knew where we were getting off, and where we had to go for the next flight because we mapped it out. Much less stressful that way!
9. 2 Hour Layovers
Okay, this was really stupid on my part, but to be fair, I have never flown before, and now I know better. Leave at least 2 hours for a layover!!!!
I only left 1 hour for each layover because I didn’t want to sit around and travel all day long. Huge mistake. This caused a lot more stress and could have been really really bad.
You have to give yourself a bigger window then that, because there can be unexpected delays like having to circle the airport, redirect around weather, or sit on the runway for a bit which can all affect that time. The plane might be at the airport at 3pm, but that does not mean you will be getting off that plane at 3pm.
Oh, and not to mention it takes like 30 minutes to get off of airplanes! So, we literally had 15-20 minutes to be at our next flight in airports we didn’t know.
Remember when I mentioned the Atlanta airport earlier? Yeah, we 100% would have missed that flight if we didn’t have wheelchair assistance.
So next time, we will do 2 hour layovers and not chance anything like that again!
10. Peppermint Beadlets/DigestZen
So I usually get really motion sick in cars, and slightly expected it to be the same in the airplane. However, I did fairly well! I only felt a little motion sick on the way there. It was nothing that peppermint beadlets didn’t handle.
Then on the way back, I was a bit nauseous just because of my POTS and being exhausted, but DigestZen helped to calm things.
Even though it wasn’t bad, I still wouldn’t have wanted to be without them just in case!
11. Medical Paperwork/Identification
So, I didn’t have to use this, thankfully, but if I would have lost consciousness on that first flight, they would have turned that plane right around and had lots of questions.
When you pass out or are so sick with POTS that someone is asking questions, you usually don’t have the energy to try and explain things to them. That’s why I carry a description of POTS from the Mayo Clinic, along with my symptoms, medications, doctors, allergies, and previous surgeries. This way if I need to go to the hospital or something unfortunate like that, I can hand them this paperwork, my insurance card, and don’t have to answer any questions.
This also makes them realize that you aren’t drunk or pregnant, which is usually the first assumption.
I have also seen people with medical bracelets, which are super cute and awesome, but for me this works better so there is no explaining at all.
But thankfully, I didn’t have to use it, but you never know, so I just always carry it with me, and you probably should too!
So I definitely learned more of what to do and what not to do while flying with POT Syndrome! It was quite the experience but 10/10 am going to the doTERRA convention again next year!
You should come with me!