Flying High with Medical Conditions

We have completed over 15,000 thousands miles in the air over the last 6 months. China, Italy, NYC, and Los Angeles. Whew, it’s enough to make one sick, and it did. I don’t want to go specifically into either of our medical health conditions, but it was very serious, and it will change the way we travel in the future. Pill supplements, compression socks, changes to diet, and exercise, etc. If we want to continue our jet-setting ways, it’s imperative to understand our bodies. Even the most healthiest individual can take on a condition that is onset by frequent travel under varying circumstances (cabin pressure, altitude, etc). However, it doesn’t have to be the end-all. It’s important to know and understand your medical condition before taking an airline flight, cruise, or lengthy car/train ride. You should share with your doctor your upcoming itinerary and make adjustments as he/she sees fit. Here are a few tips that can apply to almost any circumstances, whether it’s related to travel or not.

1) Avoid crossing your legs over thigh; if need be, cross ankles.

2) Walk around every 90 min- 2 hrs. This applies to anyone who sits in a chair at work; and air/train/automobile travel. Walk to your car, break room, a co-worker’s office, etc. Walk the aisles on an airplane or train. If driving long distance more than 2 hours, switch drivers often and/or have frequent breaks to stretch legs.

3) Drink water at high altitudes; avoid alcohol and carbonates

4) Elevate feet- use foot-rest, purse, carry-on bag, etc.

5) Under your Doctor’s care, wear compression socks during long flights. Your feet should be measured and the socks fitted properly. Many CVS stores have this service. Certain medical conditions related to poor blood circulation, including anyone who suffers from anemia, may need to avoid them, as it could make the condition worse.

6) If you’re prone to motion sickness or nausea (air, train, automobile, boat, etc), wear a prescribed patch or ointment; take a prescribed tablet; or wear a nausea relief wrist-band.

Identical twins Rhonda and Sharee Washington are Owners of We Connected Productions LLC, an independent TV/Film/Web Show, and video services production company. Take A Leap is their webshow that chronicles the lives of African-American/Black expats, and their blog can be followed at


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