Join Date: Dec 2006
More that Flying with a VP
Dear Randy and EVERYONE else interested enough in this topic,
We have a 4 year old, with a VP shunt since 4 months old, and have endured 3revisions. We own a plane, and I have had Christian up with us 4 times now, EACH with a problem. I am ready to sell the plane, and to write a very informative paper on this subject, as it seems to me, that there is not enough information on this topic. I have appreciated everyone’s input as to those of you with a VP shunt, telling us without them that there have been no problems. I am so very happy for all of you symptomatic. We have not been so fortunate.
First, I see so many uneducated writings on the issue of pressurization vs. unpressurized vessels. Without getting too deep here, and to prepare for my paper, but I have to inform you all, that just because you are on a 737 or similar jet, does NOT mean there are some significant pressure differences. I suspect, that those of you who have not experienced any problems, have flown on an aircraft that has a great system that will keep the 'cabin altitude' down as close to sea level as possible. Every aircraft has it's own regulation in PSI ( pounds per square inch ) which may differ from the exact same type sitting next to it in the gate. All of that said, to tell you that You may be experiencing 8,000 feet of air in a pressurized airplane....or more.
I fly my son at 1500 feet when possible. He has never been above 3,000 feet. So he has experienced much less of a pressure loss than those who fly on a big jet at 35,000 feet.
Just 2 days ago, we flew. In minutes, he showed the setting sun eyes, stared ahead, not moving at all, and unresponsive. He soon fell asleep. My wife sitting next to him tried to wake him up. He stirred but only to go right to sleep. This was 3-4 hours prior to his normal nap time, which he takes like clock work. This was the third time ( this one was the worst ) he has shown like symptoms.
I have a Carbon Monoxide detector. None detected.
We have driven him through WV at higher altitudes. No signs then remembered.
We climb, and descend very slowly. We have him chew and swallow to assist.
He kept blinking his eyes, when we asked him what was wrong. When we asked where it hurt, he pointed to his belly twice ( keep in mind, he only responded to these 2 questions, and he is slow developmentally, so we can not confirm the belly as of yet )
He could not lift his eyes upward, as we tried to have him look at our fingers.
It has seemed that these 3 flights, he started to stir as we were close to the ground on final, or after landing.....which seems to me that he is extremely sensitive to the altitude changes.
We landed, and he was awake and seemed 'normal' within 4 minutes of landing.
If nothing else, can someone please provide me with a link...or an avenue to get into this deeper? There has to be someone out there who is as sensitive, that can help me to put this paper together to educate us all, so we may learn through this to first keep anyone from suffering, and second, to build a better shunt. There has got to be a better way.
I am not an engineer, but understand how hydraulics and pneumatics work. I also understand that at 18,000 feet, we are at half of the earth’s atmosphere. The GREATEST change happens at the altitudes closest to sea level. There is where we will see the biggest changes...therefore the biggest issues I suspect with shunts.
If there is a doctor out there, just like my sons, who will tell us that there is NO issues flying with a shunt, then please do not reply. I am not buying it for a second. If you are so certain, put one in your own head, and lets go for a flight. If your ears pop driving up a hill on the ground...that means your body ( inner ear ) has sensed a change, and the body is adjusting. What makes anyone with any common sense think that a shunt would be any different?
Please. Give me some good info. I want to help not only my son, but also all who may benefit from this.
Merry Christmas to all,