Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Help an anxious girl out?

So.  Okay.  I might be freaking out a little over here.  And you are so going to laugh at me when you hear why.  But here goes.

So tomorrow I have to fly.  On an airplane.  A very very long way.  All alone.  Next week I’ll be posting more about the fabulousness that awaits me on the other side.  But for now, I’m completely freaking out about the flight.

Yes, I’m one of those nervous flier types.  It’s not so much the “oh-my-gosh-I’m-way-high-up-in-the-air” thing that gets me.  It’s more the “holy-crap-I’m-sealed-in-this-little-tube” that freaks me out.  I’m extremely claustrophobic and the last time I flew across the country the seats were really small.  I didn’t even really have the space to reach into my carry-on to get my meter and test.  It was bad.

IwishIf the seats were this spacious I'd be fine.  But they aren't, are they?

If the claustrophobia isn’t enough to agonize over, there is always the hassle of traveling with diabetes.  Being stuck in a confined place for a number of hours is nerve-wracking too.  I’m less concerned about going low because I’ll be packing plenty of glucose tabs and granola bars - but it’s unlikely I’ll be needing those.  I’m more worried about going high, and I'm not talking about altitude here.  The nerves, the stress, the lack of activity - they all suggest I’ll be fighting high blood sugars all day.  And the other people in my row won’t be too pleased with me climbing over them to run to the bathroom every hour because my blood sugar is making my bladder fill up at record speed.

So, can you help a girl out?  I know what to pack so I’ll be prepared.  But those of you who stress over flying - what are your tips for staying calm and keeping yourself occupied on a long cramped flight?  I’m begging you, lay your best travel secrets on me . . . .because I’m gonna need them!

17 comments:

  1. Funny you posted this. I just posted this morning how I'm already nervous about a flight I'm taking in a month. And I'm not even the diabetic in the family.

    I get super nervous, though. I make sure I'm there way early (that's the worst part for me - fearing I'll miss my flight), I take my meds, read a book, and chew gum. Like a squirrel. Sugar free, of course.

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  2. I read too. It's a great way to escape the anxiety of reality. Although I was reading about the 9-11 attacks while high in the air and that was much more intense than if I had been reading that part on the ground!

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  3. Hi Karen! I feel so bad for you because I know this feeling all too well, and I hate it. I actually drop during flights, something my doctor said can happen with the altitude change. But after talking with other type 1 friends I've learned it doesn't happen to everyone. My advice is this: take full advantage of your iPod or iPhone or other mP3 player. Take time before you fly to choose soothing music that makes you happy and calm. (I love Carla Bruni who sings French songs that are lulling and calming, and yes, she's now the first lady of France). Also, pack a book or two or indulge your trashy magazine obsession. ;) Just keep yourself distracted with things that make you happy. If it's a long flight, I sometimes drink chamomile tea or something else that's calming. I have a few other suggestions, but I don't want to monopolize your comment wall. Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to hear more! Good luck!!

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  4. I haven't flown for quite sometime, and I don't have diabetes so I don't know what a high blood sugar feels like.

    I do know that I'll keep you in my prayers and wrap you in positive thoughts!!!

    Much love and safe travels...can't wait to hear about your adventure!

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  5. The earlier you can check in the better. Then you can get an aisle seat (saving on the crawling over to get to the bathroom). You also can try for an exit row - meaning you probably have more leg room and space to get your carry-on out. Or just spend the extra $30 to reserve an aisle and or exit row seat ahead of time. HAVE FUN!!!

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  6. I, too, was going to suggest soothing music. I'm not a fan of flying, and even without diabetes, I need to use the restroom every hour. I understand your anxiety. Music helps me. Mindless reading (People, Us Weekly) distracts me a bit, too. No new, big ideas here, but I wish you well. Safe travels! Hope the flights go easier than you fear they will! Hope you have a great time while you're away!

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  7. HI Karen!!! I'm sorry you are so worried about flying. I don't have the difficulty of anxiety really about flying, but in order to keep my blood sugars in check I take Dramamine to keep them better. The fact that I can't move and letting food just sit makes mine higher. My only problem is i fall asleep really quickly when i take it, but my BS stay pretty well controlled!! Hope that helps ! Good Luck!

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  8. As a woman, you're allowed to have a purse with you. Keep that, with all your stuff stashed under the seat in front of you. Then, if you need it, you're not disturbing anyone else. (Unless of course you have a squirter like I did this morning...) Have a laptop? Fully charge it and bring headphones a DVD! I figured this one out when I flew with the family I work with. (Except I chose the movie Amelia...not the smartest decision). Bring a movie you love, or you really want to see, and you'll be too enthralled to pay attention to anything else. Also, if you really need something that you can't get on your own, there's that magical "please flight attendant help me" button.

    Safe travels and good diabetes vibes are being sent your way!

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  9. Good luck, Karen. I'll be thinking about you.

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  10. As a former "road warrior" (which really means someone who used to fly all the time for work), its something that you get used to the more you travel. I wish I could impart something that would put you at ease, but just know the odds of you being involved in a car crash on the way to and from the airport are much higher than anything while in-flight. Try to enjoy the travel experience like a child would! It's fun, and the end result will be great! By the way, see you in L.A.!!

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  11. Good luck on your flight! I don't get nervous when I fly so I am not sure what the best advice would be, but it looks like other folks have given you some great pointers! Will be sending you calming vibes!

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  12. You need to pack some knitting.

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  13. I'm about the least nervous flier ever, but sending you an email with some suggestions... how early is your flight?

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  14. Good luck, Karen -- I hope you have a wonderful trip. I can't wait to read all about it.

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  15. Have fun Karen...I hate flying too. I like to read and sleep when I do travel.

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  16. Lol, dont worry so much, Planes are so safe now, remember you only here about the flights that go wrong, not the thousands of safe ones everyday.

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  17. Wish I had read this for you sooner sweetie!
    Part of flying is the plane noises that I Find so alarming. So I brought my ipod and blasted the music so loud in my ears, I couldnt hear the plane noises. IT helped SO did some xanax precsribed by me dear doctor.

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