Journal

Migraine: BTW – Air Travel

by | Jun 9, 2014 | Editorial

June is Migraine Awareness Month. Throughout the month, I’m sharing parts of my journey and some things I’ve learned along the way.
There is something about the altitude and/or the cabin pressure on airplanes that seems to trigger migraines. It is sheer misery to go on a four-day trip and walk off the plane with a migraine that you know will last three days.

I bless the friend who gave me the tip that has worked beautifully for me – about 30 minutes before take-off I take an Actifed. (As I never take medications, this is very radical for me but, thank G-d, effective.) It makes me drowsy so I can no longer work in-flight as I used to, bit it’s well-worth the trade-off.

If the flight is longer than six hours, I take another pill in the fifth hour. Once on a cross-country flight, I took the pill at boarding time as usual, but then we sat on the tarmac for almost two hours. About four hours into the flight, sure enough, I felt that horrible roiling, sick feeling that signals the start of a migraine attack for me. In a panic I fumbled for water and my humble Actifed and, thank goodness, saved myself.

There is something about the altitude and/or the cabin pressure on airplanes that seems to trigger migraines. It is sheer misery to go on a four-day trip and walk off the plane with a migraine that you know will last three days.

I bless the friend who gave me the tip that has worked beautifully for me – about 30 minutes before take-off I take an Actifed. (As I never take medications, this is very radical for me but, thank G-d, effective.) It makes me drowsy so I can no longer work in-flight as I used to, bit it’s well-worth the trade-off.

If the flight is longer than six hours, I take another pill in the fifth hour. Once on a cross-country flight, I took the pill at boarding time as usual, but then we sat on the tarmac for almost two hours. About four hours into the flight, sure enough, I felt that horrible roiling, sick feeling that signals the start of a migraine attack for me. In a panic I fumbled for water and my humble Actifed and, thank goodness, saved myself.

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