SFN and dealing with a 14 hour flight, Anyone have experience?
I have SFN in my toes, foot, 6" above the ankle and finger tips. I don''t have pain just numbness and stiffness. I taken short airplane flights without too much problems. In August, I must travel on a non-stop 14 hour flight and then a lay-over of 2 hours with another 6 hour flight. I will be in economy due to the current finances. I am a bit worried. Has anyone experienced long flights? How did it go?
I thought I might practice sitting in a chair for 14 hours with occasional walks done the "aisle".
Any comments are appreciated.
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Hi Steve @steveny9, I have small fiber PN but haven't taken any long international flights. I did take a long day flight from Minneapolis to Nome, Alaska. I tried to get up often to stretch and move around a little. I did have an aisle seat which helped a lot. The only downside for me was traveling with a teenage nephew sitting by the window and getting up every 10 minutes of the flight to move around 🙂. Since that flight I've learned that compression socks help. Now I have to wear them daily since being diagnosed with lymphedema in my legs. Here's an article I found on the topic that might be helpful.
"For longer flights, those with neuropathy need to be able to maneuver comfortably. Sitting in the same position for long periods may worsen symptoms. Since air pressure inside an airplane cabin may cause swelling in the feet, patients should wear compression socks during the flight."
— How to Manage Neuropathy Symptoms While Traveling: https://fapnewstoday.com/columns/travel-planes-symptoms/.
@artscaping and @denrah may also have some suggestions to share with you for going on long flights with small fiber neuropathy.
Try to get an aisle seat so you can stretch and be able to stand and flex especially your feet and toes. Walk a little too. Wear good compression socks. Be sure they are the right size for your legs. If they are too small and tight they will make your neuropathy worse. Avoid salt for a couple of days to lessen swelling.
Thank you so much. Your reply is very helpful. I was wondering if I should choose an aisle. I do have compression socks. This will be a first for me. But I ready for the challenge!
Again thanks for helping me gain some confidence.
On long flights, I wear 2 pairs of compression socks- one knee high and one ankle. I always get an aisle seat and also do ankle pumps often (20 reps each, evey half hour or so). During layovers, I walk and walk and walk- alot of airports have art installations now and great views from different areas. If it's a long wait, I like to walk over to the international gates- fun to people watch/see the uniforms of international carrier staff.
If you haven't gotten TSA Pre-check, it's really worth it (was $85 for 5 years). Standing in line causes my PN pain to ramp up, with Pre-check the line is MUCH shorter, you don't have to remove your shoes (I have balance problems too) or your coat.
Ditto on getting TSA precheck. You don't have to stand in line as long and as above you don't have to stop to take your shoes off. It is just that much less time standing in line and less stressful for you and your feet.
If possible, you might want to consider business or first
Class for the legroom that will help
I have a similar problem and stopped making the flight unless I can get the premium economy – it is more expensive than coach but a lot less than business. If you are not stuck with a certain airline shop around. The seat is wider and more leg room. I also ask for an aisle seat so it is easy to get up and walk around. Also I CAN walk and even if a wheel chair I bring a cane. People are more helpful if they can see you are handicapped, but I get a wheel chair now and spend at least 2 hours less at each end off my feet plus easier doing the lines, usually to the front of all lines. Passport control etc usually their own window. Because I have many metal parts and am old every advantage helps. No one gives you extra credit for suffering bravely so get every advantage you can.
what are ankle pumps?