Go Back   NeuroTalk Support Groups > Health Conditions M - Z > Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome

Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome For traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post concussion syndrome (PCS).

Is flying safe?

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 11-30-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
peacheysncream
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: England, GB
Posts: 181
My Mood:
Question Is flying safe?

Hi all,

I have decided to go on holiday for a while. Do you know if it's safe to fly after a TBI?
__________________
I am a 34 yr old female who has played football, as a hobby, for 13 yrs. In July 2012, during a game I was slammed to the floor by two angry guys who hit into me so hard that one of them broke their ribs.

This knocked me back onto hard ground leaving me unconscious. I awoke to chronic head and neck pain, sickness and the inability to see or balance.

The paramedics made me walk to the ambulance, instead of placing me on a spinal board, where I was taken to the ER. I was hospitalised with suspected brain hemorrhage for 1 week, then on complete bed rest for 1 month, in a wheelchair for 2 months.

I have been left with PCS, moderate constant head pain, little short term memory, no memory of the accident, balance and sight problems, depression and exhaustion.

The worst problem is collapsing regularly. This has finally been diagnosed as Hemiplegic Migraines , these cause my brain to regularly shut down when I am tired and I then feel the full effects of a stroke (without the bleed on the brain!!) of which the symptoms last 2-4 days.


I have had 6 CT's, 2 MRI's and am under 3 specialists.

I believe everyday is one more towards improvement. Mainly I believe in the power of acceptance not the weakness of complacency or resignation.
peacheysncream is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
Mark in Idaho
Elder
 
Mark in Idaho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mountains of West Central Idaho, USA
Posts: 6,287
Default

Flying is safe after a TBI. I have done lots of flying. The only problem you may have is over-stimulation from the constant low level vibration and sounds plus the visual clutter in a confined space. Plus airports can be very chaotic and over-stimulating.

I just plan for a quiet day after the travel day, especially if the flight is a long one.

Just plan to take it slow. You want to enjoy your time not spend it recovering from the stress of the travel.

My best to you.
__________________
Mark in Idaho
.


59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
Mark in Idaho is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Unread 11-30-2012, 06:24 PM   #3
Lightrail11
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 466
My Mood:
Default

I logged over 50,000 airline miles this year. I’m not claustrophobic and don’t have a fear of flying or heights so it hasn’t been a problem. Busy airports can be stressful so I always allow extra time to get through security and stuff before I have to board. I try to practice mindfulness techniques while on board. If flying didn't bother you before the injury it likely won't now.
__________________
What Happened: On November 29, 2010, I was walking across the street and was hit by a light rail commuter train. Result was traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures (pelvis, ribs, skull). Total hospital stay was two months, one in ICU followed by an additional month in neuro-rehab. Upon hospital discharge, neurological testing revealed deficits in short term memory, executive functioning, and spatial recognition.

Today: Neuropsychological examination five months post-accident indicated a return to normal cognitive functioning, and I returned to work approximately 6 months after the accident. I am grateful to be alive and am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life.
Lightrail11 is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Unread 11-30-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
Mark in Idaho
Elder
 
Mark in Idaho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mountains of West Central Idaho, USA
Posts: 6,287
Default

I never had a problem flying before my injury in 2001. Since then, the over-stimulation has made flying much different. I used to enjoy flying. Now, I need to be very disciplined with how I respond to stimuli at the airport and while in the plane. My wife would rather drive 8 to 11 hours than deal with the struggles I have getting through airports and the flight. Planning makes a big difference.

Focal injuries versus diffuse injuries may make a difference. If over-stimulation is not a problem, then flying might be less problematic. The 8,000 ft altitude does put the injured brain under mild oxygen stress.
__________________
Mark in Idaho
.


59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
Mark in Idaho is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Unread 11-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
wakey
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 110
Default

To reiterate. Flying is safe. There are at least three aspects of flying to keep in mind. First, as Mark mentioned, overstimulation can be a problem. Second, if you have vestibular issues, the motion of the plane can cause problems (trust me on this one!). Finally, the altitude can, in theory, constrict the flow of blood to the brain, which could effect your headache if you have one. Know this before you fly and you will be better off. If you feel worse, it will pass.
wakey is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Unread 11-30-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
"Starr"
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 285
Default

One other thing... do NOT whack your head on the overhead compartment as you are getting seated (or when getting up... or at all!!). It makes a 3.5 hour flight almost intolerable.

Especially when there is a toddler and an infant behind you during the flight and the toddler kicks your seat the whole time and says "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" 30,000 times and the infant screams inconsolably.

I hope your flight goes smoothly and quietly.
Starr
"Starr" is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-30-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
Mark in Idaho
Elder
 
Mark in Idaho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mountains of West Central Idaho, USA
Posts: 6,287
Default

wakey,

I have never read anything like "the altitude can, in theory, constrict the flow of blood to the brain" can you help me understand this theory.

The effect of altitude is usually based on the lower amount of oxygen available due to the lower air pressure. People with a history of brain injury often have a decrease capillary capacity leading to a reducing on oxygen perfusion to the brain tissues.

I could understand that as the brain struggles for oxygen, the increased blood flow may cause head aches. Plus, any sensitivities to lower barometric pressures can cause related inflammation discomforts.

Either way, head aches are still head aches.
__________________
Mark in Idaho
.


59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
Mark in Idaho is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Unread 12-01-2012, 10:51 AM   #8
jinga
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 179
Default flying after head injury....

my 2cents - after my accident (I was in another far away state) I flew back home a few days later and had the worst(10) head aches pain of my life. This was very soon after the accident. I flew again 4 more times about a month later and ended up in the ER due to severy headache pain. I have not flown since - mostly due to my employment situation and those flights were close to the time of the injury but I do believe it exacerbated my sysmptoms. If its been a little while you will probably be ok except for the noise\chaos factor. Drink a lot of water as plane travel in general will dehydrate you.
__________________
What happened - MVA
Multiple injuries - here for support of mtbi, chronic headache and cognitive deficits.
jinga is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Unread 12-01-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
Klaus
Member
 
Klaus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: England
Posts: 302
My Mood:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacheysncream View Post
I have decided to go on holiday for a while.
This is a good idea. On holiday all those little things you (or other people) feel that you 'should' do are not there to do anymore, so you can relax a lot more. I went to Tenerife for week when my PCS was quite bad and I was really unsure whether I would be able to enjoy anything - but I had a wonderful time because there were no expectations on me other than to relax as much as I liked and do the odd thing here or there if I fancied it.

It goes to show how many of our problems could be seen as due not to the brain injury, but rather due to failures on the part of ourselves, other people and society in general to adjust the expectations on us to levels that we can cope with whilst still having some sort of quality of life.

By the way flying was fine for me.
__________________
mTBI March 2011, spent around a year recovering.

Since recovery I have achieved a Master's degree with distinction in Neurological Occupational Therapy
Klaus is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012), Theta Z (12-01-2012)
Unread 12-01-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
wakey
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 110
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
wakey,

I have never read anything like "the altitude can, in theory, constrict the flow of blood to the brain" can you help me understand this theory.

The effect of altitude is usually based on the lower amount of oxygen available due to the lower air pressure. People with a history of brain injury often have a decrease capillary capacity leading to a reducing on oxygen perfusion to the brain tissues.

I could understand that as the brain struggles for oxygen, the increased blood flow may cause head aches. Plus, any sensitivities to lower barometric pressures can cause related inflammation discomforts.

Either way, head aches are still head aches.
Yup, I had read that as well re: oxygen. I recently read--though it may be inaccurate--that the pressure can constrict the capillaries, and many TBI headaches are vascular in nature. Hence, reduced bloodflow (in one or more capillaries) can increase a headache (by increasing pressure in another). In any case, flying does seem to enhance people's headaches (mine included).
wakey is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
peacheysncream (12-01-2012)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
flying with PCS themaidquit Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome 12 01-24-2012 10:02 AM
WOW! Got 8 GB of RAM in my 17R now, it's FLYING! Pamster Bipolar Disorder 9 01-02-2012 03:04 AM
Flying steelrat Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome 8 12-14-2011 05:50 PM
How safe is too safe when it comes to children's playgrounds? (Topix) NewsBot Health News Headlines 0 07-21-2011 08:50 PM
Flying With RSD... ali12 Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD and CRPS) 22 09-13-2009 06:06 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:51 PM.
Brought to you by the fine folks who publish mental health and psychology information at Psych Central Mental Health Forums

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.


Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.


All posts copyright their original authors Community Guidelines Terms of Use Privacy Policy
NeuroTalk Archives