Surviving overnight plane trips

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MLW
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Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby MLW » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:00 pm

I am headed overseas next October and am already fretting about the plane ride. Last time I ended up physically ill from being awake all night, worried I was disturbing others, impossible to sit in my seat for any length of time, pacing etc. For me it is the inability to elevate my legs that creates my problems. At home by 4 pm I either have to be sitting with my legs elevated or moving around. Grateful to hear of any coping mechanisms I can try. Sleeping pills, anti anxiety meds don’t do the trick. I have had RLS since my 20s (now approaching 70) and cope pretty well at home but traveling is always a nightmare.

Rustsmith
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Re: Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby Rustsmith » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:18 pm

The first step is to immediately go to the airlines website with your reservation number and reserve an aisle seat. That gives you the option of getting up and walking around during the flight without bothering anyone and also allows you to stretch your legs by putting them in the aisle while you are seated. Next, ask your doctor for a small prescription of Carbidopa/Levodopa. This is a short acting dopamine med that you can take once you are on the plane and maybe mid-flight. You cannot use this med regularly because it is guaranteed to quickly cause augmentation, but you can use it occasionally without that happening. Also, many flight attendants are familiar with the issues that those of us with RLS face. If you need to go stand in the galley for a while, just let them know. The Foundation even has a Medic Alert card that you can use for this. Finally, prepare something that you really enjoy doing that requires mental concentration. An engrossing movie on your computer/phone, games like Sudoku, bridge or crosswords, etc. If you keep your mind engaged, the flight goes faster and your RLS will be less likely to cause a problem.

These are tricks that I learned after many years of overseas travel. At the end of my career, I was usually on one of these trips two weekends out of every month.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

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ViewsAskew
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Re: Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:17 am

There is a push pedal foot rest thingee that some people use on planes. I have not, but have heard of others who say it lets them exercise while seated and keeps them from having to walk.

I take it that you have no medications that work? If you have not tried Sinemet (called that in the US, it is carbidopa/levadopa), it may be perfect for the flight. Oh! I see Steve said the same thing - great minds and all that!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:41 am

When booking a seat for a flight I always book the very back seats if possible, these are at the toilets.
It means there is a little bit of an area available.
Also if up to do a bit of stretching or pacing (in a little circle) it means you are near your seat but not blocking the aisle which can become difficult when there are always trolleys going up and down and people heading for the bathrooms.
Being near the back makes it much easier even if they are considered the worse seats because of being near the toilets and because the seat backs don't move. Worth it even though I was on an 11 hour flight.

Also, I double up on my medications starting about an hour before the flight boarding time.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

MLW
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Re: Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby MLW » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:46 pm

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I always reserve an aisle seat but had not thought of Levadopa. Will talk to my doctor about getting a short term prescription!

badnights
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Re: Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby badnights » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:40 am

Just be careful to only take the Sinemet for flights, or similar "emergencies", and not to slip into the habit of taking it daily. It works so well you might be tempted to, and it will almost certainly lead to augmentation if you do. I've been taking it for years without problems because I only take it a couple times a week at most.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Yankiwi
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Re: Surviving overnight plane trips

Postby Yankiwi » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:24 am

Beth, do you take any other DAs? Sinemet was my first, about 20 years ago and it was great until I augmented on it. Now I take .25 ropinerole and some low doses of opioids but thinking about plane trips still freak me out. From New Zealand all flights are long.


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