KANKLES, GAS, & ANXIETY

It’s no secret that flying comes with problems that none of us want to deal with. I’m here with a few solutions to those BIG problems we face when it comes to flying – especially on those long, red-eyes! – and I hope you’ll come along with me!

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  1. Swollen ankles/legs

This, I believe, is the chief complaint of traveling by air!! To solve this problem, I never travel without my Dr. Scholl’s compression socks!

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 4.15.46 PM

When I do forget – like I did on last month’s 14 hour flight…oops. – I make sure to walk around a good bit, or change into leggings, or just anything that can somewhat mimic compression socks. These can be found at Walgreens for about $20, depending on your need.

CLICK TO SAVE YO ANKLES

2. Gas/#2

I’m going to be straightforward with y’all. This is almost my top complaint. If you don’t plan well you could be in trouble! but luckily I have a few tips for when the food just doesn’t sit right.

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Gas-X saves lives. Trapped gas happens when you stay seated for too long, and though walking helps sometimes the best thing (and quickest) is this stuff. I should say that I only take this when what I have done so far to avoid trapped gas doesn’t work.

Here’s my system:

a) Only drink water or Ginger Ale. If you really need a cup of coffee, limit yourself to just one. Coffee might sound good, but remember it’s the go-go juice, so don’t get yourself in trouble! Cokes, Alcohol, etc. will also back you up. Also, when a meal comes around, I try to pick the least cheesiest option, or if I feel full/not hungry I simply say “No, thank you.” You don’t always have the luxury of getting “cheese free” meals, so I recommend eating everything else on your plate besides the entree if that happens, but it’s up to you and how badly cheese/dairy affects your own system. Me: No-go.

b) Timed bathroom breaks. The most common times the lines outside the restrooms get long is after meals, when the plane levels out, and right before landing. Try to go as you see the flight attendants preparing to feed you or serve you (not when they’re heading down the aisles unless they’ve passed your row!), and at random moments when people are falling asleep. Oh, & try not to get stuck needing to be in the bathroom during turbulence! Comfort is one thing, safety is another and I’ve experienced some very uncomfortable turbulence. Don’t be the person the flight attendant needs to ask to get to your seat as quickly as possible. *awkward soft smile*

Now, if the system does not work for you and you still end up with trapped gas, take the medication, then drape the blanket over your legs and let it rip! The medicine eliminates gas, yes, but on the off chance you just need to let it go remember that it’s a normal bodily function AND your plane blanket + the noise of the plane will hide anything that might make you feel the slightest embarrassment. Most likely, others are in the same boat as you!

If you’re stuck with making frequent trips to the bathroom out of nervousness, or just bad food that did not sit well with you I always try to have my Cipro in my carry-on or backpack.

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When I fly to Africa, I ALWAYS get a prescription on the slim chance that I get Malaria/typhoid fever (all things I’m vaccinated for before leaving!). It counteracts the runs, plus other things like UTI’s and can come in handy when flying.

If you feel uneasy taking Ciprofloxacin, try am over the counter anti-diarrheal medicine and drink lots of water. You could just be dehydrated! 🙂

However, I HAVE to put this disclaimer here: please don’t go taking Cipro all willy-nilly! Talk to your doctor before you leave and discuss risks. You should do this with any antibiotic. Also something important to include is this little notice I just found posted as of 12/20/2018:

AUDIENCE: Health Professional, Infectious Disease, Cardiology, Patient

ISSUE: FDA review found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of rare but serious events of ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta. These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death. They can occur with fluoroquinolones for systemic use given by mouth or through an injection.

BACKGROUND: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are approved to treat certain bacterial infections and have been used for more than 30 years. They work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause illness. Without treatment, some infections can spread and lead to serious health problems (see List of Currently Available FDA-Approved Systemic Fluoroquinolones, available at http://bit.ly/2LN7Omq).

RECOMMENDATION:

Patients should:

  • Not stop the antibiotic without first talking to your health care professional.

I don’t always trust the FDA, but if this worries you I insist on speaking with your doctor or a doctor before departing.

Another necessary disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. 🙂

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

3. Anxiety

I personally still get anxious and I’ve been flying since I was born, practically (post coming on that soon!). Turbulence, flying over the ocean, crashing – all of it. Sometimes it just wigs me out! So I started doing these three things to keep my mind at ease.

a) 10 % Happier

This is an app that I have had for a little over a year and I am obsessed with it. It’s a mindfulness app that is so creative for any and every need you could think of. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. I like “fear of flying” right after I’ve boarded.

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 5.28.03 PM

10% HAPPIER

10% Happier is also available in iOS + Google Play Store.

By the way, they also have a youtube channel!

10% HAPPIER YOUTUBE CHANNEL

b) Deep breathing. Just introduced to the app I mentioned above, is deep breathing. If yo don’t want to get the app, no problem! Breathe in for 4, breathe out for 6. I do this as many times as I need to during take-off. Also, it’s something you can do that no one will realize you’re doing. I’ve even spoken with people while doing this exercise in breathing.

c) Choose to sleep over the ocean. For the longer flights over H2O you will likely forget that you are over the water after waking up. And know this: Car passengers are at a higher risk of untimely death with the odds placed at one in 5,000 (taken from http://www.fearofflyinganxiety.com/plane-crash-statistics/).

From a Christian perspective, did you know that “Do Not Fear” is in the Bible 365 times? Once for everyday. Rest easy, little Kennie, you’re safe no matter what.

If you want a whole other post on flight anxiety/travelers anxiety, let me know in the comments!

Safari Njema ~

Ken

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