Coping with 58 hours air travel

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Yankiwi
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby Yankiwi » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:23 pm

A few weeks ago I flew from Milan to the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. After giving up trying to figure out the total time in advance, when I left the hotel I just started the stopwatch on my phone. Door to door, 58 hours. I survived but would stop overnight somewhere to sleep next time.
The flights: Milan—Miami—LA—Auckland—Christchurch—Hokitika then a shuttle ride of a little over an hour. Benefits of living in a small town: the shuttle driver stopped at the supermarket so I could get a few things after she dropped off the other passengers. I got an incredibly cheap flight so I didn't think twice about the Milan to Miami leg but thinking about it, it should have been obvious that it would be a lot longer than say Milan to JFK. (Just imagine a map.)
Things I learned
On every flight I paid extra for more leg room, not premium economy, just more leg room. On every flight I had an empty seat next to me while those in the back of the plane were crammed in. On one flight the aircraft had been changed and I ended up in the back. I politely told the flight attendant that it wasn't the same aircraft and I had paid extra for a specific seat with more leg room. She said I could move up and have an entire row of four seats and even asked if that would be okay.
I could have timed my medications better by using my phone. Upon getting seated on each flight I took a 60mg codeine tablet and another with the first twinge about an hour or two later. I took a ropinerole when I thought the time was right and once I took another when I was having symptoms. On one flight I took three codeine but since I was travelling alone I didnt' want to risk taking more. The flight into Auckland arrived around 7:00am and the Christchurch to Hokitika flight didn't leave until 5:35pm. That was a very exhausting day and in retrospect I should have taken some ropinerole during that time. I did take a few codeine but they didn't help much.
I stood a lot especially during the night portions. With in-seat entertainment, standing doesn't block anyone's view of the movie. I watched about two dozen movies in total on the outbound and inbound flights. Even with hundreds of choices it was hard to find ones I wanted to watch after the first 10 or so. Then I read novels on my phone with the night feature switched on.
On the Milan to Miami flight the man in my row slept all night but was terribly dehydrated when he woke up. I only slept for two hours at a time, max, but I drank lots of water. Every time except once when offered a beverage I chose water and also had my own water bottle. I found out there were snacks in the galley for the taking throughout the night—one of the benefits of walking around.
I survived easily and surprisingly the exhaustion was worse than the restless legs. I knew it was going to be hard and just accepted it. I had a really great trip so it was worth it.

debbluebird
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Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby debbluebird » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:43 pm

Wow

Rustsmith
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Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby Rustsmith » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:45 am

I used to do a LOT of international travel before I retired, but 58 hrs door-to-door is far more than anything that I ever tried. Glad you were able to mange it.

Since retiring, I have done a couple of trips that were probably about as far distance wise as yours, but not as long on the clock. With only one exception, I decided it was worth the extra money to break it into two segments with a day or two somewhere in the middle to allow for rest, a shower and a bit of time zone adjustment even though I am pretty immune to jet lag after 26 years of work related travel.

Many years ago before RLS because a major factor in my life, my primary concern was asthma and allergies. One time I asked my doctor what I should to to adjust my medication schedule when I was going through 9 to 12 hr time zone shifts. She just looked at me and said "I have absolutely no idea". Let me know what you did and whether it worked.
Steve

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

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.

Yankiwi
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby Yankiwi » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:29 am

First, I would never do such a long time span journey again. The 13 hour layover from arriving in Auckland and arriving home was the worst. I was asleep in the little 51 seat plane in Christchurch before it even took off. I'd have slept a night either in Miami or LA.
I take thyroid medicine once a day without food and calcium and vitamin D because of no parathyroids twice a day with food. I kept a bit of an eye on the time and they all worked out okay. My doctor said I could go at least a week without taking those medications without serious results. I asked him once after I'd been backpacking with a friend who had her thyroid meds stolen by a rat. My GP laughed and said it would have been a skinny rat after that.
As far as the RLS medication, I took as needed but I'd set up reminders on my phone next time to make it easier. As needed pretty much meant as soon as the seat belt was clicked on. Even though I wouldn't do such a long sequence in the future when you live Down Under all flights out of the country are long.
I don't think jet lag bothered me, exhaustion did at times. When I got to Italy I stayed up fairly late after arriving in the morning, and slept all night which is about a once a year occurrence for me, if I'm lucky, and had no jet lag at all. I always get right on the new time zone schedule and tough it out which seems to work. When I got home I didn't drive for two full days just to be safe. There are lots of crashes here, some fatal, where tourists hop into a rental car right off the plane and many are driving on the wrong side of the road too. And I won't mention any countries but some driver licenses have been issued the same day as the passport.

yawny
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travel & opiods

Postby yawny » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:24 pm

Yankiwi, thanks for the detailed description of your trip...it really helps one get a sense of how to travel with RLS. I haven't traveled for several years because I'm dependent on MM to sleep. I asked my neurologist for drug options and he gave me a trial of Baclofen and Vicodin. I've tried the Baclofen with success but still taking the MM. Not much of a real test, but I find every night's sleep so precious to my daily functioning that I haven't been motivated to really test it.

So I've never taken an opiod for sleep and am wondering a few things that I'm hoping to get some opinions...what can I expect from Vicodin? What can I expect from Codeine? Do they make you tired? Years ago I took Xanax only, and it knocked me out so I didn't notice the movements. Are these drugs like that?

Polar Bear
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Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby Polar Bear » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:17 pm

Codeine (cocodamol) is part of my 'cocktail' of medications and I'd be lost without it. Can't say that it makes me tired, either it or the Tramadol.
I do believe that it would take quite a lot to knock me out in any way.

Nothing appears to do much to help sleep either. And medications that my friends (not RLS Sufferers) say 'knock them for six' ..... certainly don't knock me for anything !!

My longest flight was 11 hours, UK to San Francisco, and I didn't sleep at all. I took enough extra medication that there were no RLS symptoms so from that point of view the journey was comfortable, but even with a sleeping aid I remained wide awake.
Betty
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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Yankiwi
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby Yankiwi » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:50 pm

Traveling alone this time, I didn't want to risk taking a sleeping pill but on previous flights my husband and I each took a half an Ambien. I would sleep for a few, maybe up to four, hours and he would sleep for about six. We only took a half because we had never taken a sleeping pill before. Codeine doesn't make me sleepy at all. I'm perfectly safe to drive after taking one.

Polar Bear
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Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby Polar Bear » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:58 pm

Yes, when travelling and taking medication it's nice to have a 'wing man' :)
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

ViewsAskew
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Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:19 pm

I take methadone - quite a bit by RLS standards - and it never makes me sleep. Actually makes me more awake, sadly...
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.

badnights
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Re: Coping with 58 hours air travel

Postby badnights » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:19 am

ditto, codeine and other opioids tend to wake me up, definitely don't make me sleepy.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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