Anyone else scared to fly? What do you do when you have to fly...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    besides take drugs? :redface:
    I have to fly to Las Vegas next weekend and am already getting scared in advance. Any tricks? I'll have a friend with me who isn't afraid at all so that will help. I always get his giant wave of terror just as I'm boarding the plane and I want this trip to be better. Then, of course, I have to fly back too. I can't back out either! And for those of you who are going to say, "Oh! Las Vegas is so much fun!" lol I know it is, but I'm a writer and I'm going to a writing conference so I won't see much of Las Vegas.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I heard once that the most risky time in flying is takeoff and landing... about the first and last three minutes of any flight. It sounds stupid but I count out 300 seconds (in my head) when we first takeoff and are getting ready to land. That's five minutes so I know if I make it all the way to 300 then I'm statistically safe! I've also been known to simultaneously gently squeeze each wrist with the opposite hand... it tends to relax me.

    I hope you're able to fit in a little fun. Enjoy the warmer weather!
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    I'm not good at flying. My last plane trip back I learned to notify the poor person who was seated next to me that I grab anything around me at the slightest turbulance. Fortunately, she was understanding.

    My daughter, on the other hand, has a HUGE problem and takes massive medications about 30 minutes before takeoff. She's a peach when she gets off the plane. She can barely walk.

    Benadryl is the magic pill for me. I fall asleep for most of the flight, but the downside is I'm very drowsy when I arise.

    Good luck on your flight and take some time to enjoy Vegas!

  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I get anxious at takeoff and landing, which are, like TM said, the most critical times. My anxiety isn't too bad that way. I try to occupy my mind with other things and practice deep breathing. Or say some prayers silently in my head. I remind myself that statistically speaking, flying is safer than driving (especially when you consider the numbers of people who fly each day and the relatively low rate of problems). And I remind myself that the pilot has a vested interest in a safe and successful flight, too :)

    Some people immerse themselves in a book during the flight. Others use music, like an iPod, to escape their anxious thoughts.

    I hope you at least get a chance to have some nice meals out while you're there, even if you don't get to see too much of the town. Maybe you can go out one night to enjoy the lights and scenery :) The fountain show outside Bellagio is quite spectacular to watch (and free). Or if you get a chance to go downtown to the older section, there's a free outdoor multimedia show called the Freemont Street Experience (or something like that).

    Whatever you decide to do to help you cope with the flight, I hope you find something that works well for you and that it's a good weekend!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My hub was in the Air Force. He is baffled by my fear :tongue:

    I will probably not know my name when I'm done drugging up. My GP is giving me a prescription. I don't care if I can walk off the plane straight or not as long as I don't remember the flight ;)
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    We just went throught this with difficult child. He was terrified. Ended up in ER last Tuesday night because he was having trouble breathing, tingly all over..scared.
    I was at work. husband tried just driving around for fresh air. He said it would come and go and difficult child looked like a zombie. ER said anxiety attack. Gave him xanax, low dose. Told him to take it 30 minutes prior to flight. Pharmacy said it is pretty fast acting, 4 - 6 hours. However difficult child wouldn't take it. Said it might kill him if he takes drugs....sigh!!! But I think just knowing he had them made him much better.

    What therapist told him was to take his ipod. You can listen to music when you first get on. They tell you when to put away your electronics. Then once you are up you can put it back on. Listen to relaxing music and do some breathing excersices. therapist taught difficult child some breathing exersices.

    difficult child said the flight was "very bad". husband said he had his moments. Like saying, "I can't stand this, I have to get out of here". LOL.. But they landed safely. They are set to fly home tomorrow night. husband said difficult child has not mentioned the flight back yet. They are awfully busy.

    There is also something you can buy at walgreens. No drugs. I can't remember the name right now. I bought some for difficult child. Little elastic bands you put on each wrist. Has a little plastic ball that goes over the inner part of your wrist. Suppose to prevent motion sickness, any sickness, morning sickness too. A co-worker said his wife swore by it when she was pregnant. I don't know if it works, but just knowing that he has it on would probably just do the trick for difficult child.

    Music - breathe - drugs! You will be just fine.

    I also used Actifed once so my ears would stay open. It totally knocked me out. I slept. However, I would try any drugs before going so you will know how it effects you and for how long. I wouldn't want to try something and end up having a bad reaction or being sick on the plane.

    You will be just fine. Where are you flying out of? My boys flew from Ohare. We are closer to Milwaukee, but cheaper from Ohare. Just look around at all the people and see that they are all fine too.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry flying is such an ordeal for you. I have always loved to fly. But I bet some aromatherapy (done subtly so you don't bother others) might help. Maybe an eye cover with lavendar flowers in it? Or whatever other smells relax you. I always find vanilla and cinnamon relaxing, so when I face something stressful I dab on some vanilla extract like you would perfume. Then when I sweat or get hot I can smell the vanilla and it is calming. Just a thought. (In college I actually kept a tiny bottle of vodka with a vanilla bean and a cinnamon stick in it. I used it as perfume - and not only did it relax me it also seemed to really attract guys (LOL!)).

    I hope you get through the flight with minimum stress.
  8. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Well, I don't really like flying, but I don't like taking drugs...... I play games in my mind..... as the plane is building up speed I pretend I am running along and once he lifts off I lift my feet up....... yeah, I only do this if I am alone or flying with husband...... I then rate the takeoff 1 for bumpy 10 for smoothest........... with my mind occupied it eases my fear...... if given the choice I would drive......
  9. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am petrified to fly!!! I haven't been on a plane since I was 12. I won't go on vacation if I have to fly. We usually plan driving trips. My sister is always nagging me to go away with her but I am a big chicken!!! She wants to go to Florida, I said I would go if we drove or took a train. Not happening though. The kids would drive us nuts. I guess one day I will conquer my fear, although I will probably need a few Valium to do so! LOL :)
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Heh, thanks guys. I already take medications, so I just double the dose. That is usually enough to make me numb enough to get on. I'm feeling less anxious because Midwest Airlines, which is what we are flying, has some REALLY good consumer ratings. Yes, I Also, I like the idea of a conforting scent or even maybe carrying something on with me that makes me feel safe. Do they make you take a pacifyer out of your mouth when you take off? KIDDING! :p
  11. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    There is a therapy to help with unreasonable fear of flying. I think you have to visualize what it's like and what you do on the plane. You do it over and over and talk yourself through it.
    Ask yourself which part is causing the anxiety?
    Do one step at a time.
    Can you walk down the ramp?
    Can you sit in a seat and put a seatbelt on?
    Can you put earplugs or phones on to listen to music or book on tape as long as you can?

    They helped my easy child to break it down to small manageable steps.
    husband flies all the time. I worry about the odds but that is his work. My baby brother is an air marshall so flying is his life every single day.

    I know this doesn't help and it is an unreasonable fear but you will be safe.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    MWM, sounds like you've got enough medications. :)
    I like cognitive therapy. I used to freak out at night, right b4 a trip, and couldn't sleep. Then I'd remind myself I was at home, in my warm bed, safe, and there was no point to any of my worries. If I was still worried in the a.m., I could simply cancel the flt.
    Of course, I'd be so busy with-the activities of last min. packing and taking care of the kids that I didn't have time to worry about the flt itself. And b4 I knew it, I was on the plane.
    My easy child used to stroke my arm during flts, and say, "Mommy, are you okay?"

    I've been on a flt where we were hit by lightning, and on a flt where we waiting in line so long to take off that when we finally got to the #1 spot, the pilot took off like a bat out of h*ll and we were all slammed into the back of our seats with-major league G-forces. (I turned to the stranger next to me and said, "I guess the pilot doesn't want to be put back in line again!")

    Those incidents taught me some of the things that you can safely do in a plane and not only survive, but enjoy telling people about them!

    I also recommend that you read AIRFRAME by Michael Crichton. It is a fast-paced espionage type book about a plane crash and the investigation. It details exactly how a plane works, but it's fiction, so you're drawn into the drama. If someone were to show me an engineering manual of a Boeing frame, I'd zone out. But reading fiction is the perfect remedy because it's cut up into bite-sized pcs.

    Also, I used to drink wine on some flts and that was fun. But then they changed to horrid, cheap wines and I quit. I tried a margarita once, but it was the worst thing I've ever tasted in my life. I remember thinking, "I ordered this expensive s%^&, because I thought it would relax me in case we crashed? HA!"

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Xanax and junk magazines or a really good book I'm already engrossed in. If it's an evening flight, I will splurge on a glass of wine as well.

    I hate flying, but it's a necessary evil in my life (work) so I make do. Good luck!
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I used to love to fly. My dad worked for an airlines for 41 years. As a kid it was great to fly. As an adult I absolutely dread it. It was so bad for awhile that I would drink a glass of wine to calm down before flying. I don't have to fly often and now mostly try to talk myself into the fact that it will be o.k.

    I know it's an irrational fear but I still can't completely get over it but the few times I have to fly I can do it.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    When I was much younger, I would ask for a glass of wine...worked every time.
    Can't do that now...I get headaches and it's too expensive.
    What I do think about it differently.
    I say a little prayer and then repeat that flying is much safer than driving. I am not afraid to drive. Therefore, it is not logical to be afraid of flying.
    I repeat this to myself many times.
    It is comforting to me.
    Wishing you well with this. Find what thought or thoughts bring you comfort and repeat them to yourself.
    Also, bring a book or two. (2)
    Perhaps a favorite and a new one.
    It works for me every time.
    Have fun!
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I also make a point of loudly saying, "Thank you!" to the pilot and co-pilot as I walk by the cockpit on my way out. Because I am thankful! :) They got me somewhere safely.
  17. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I love to fly! I have flown forever, starting when I was about 9 years old.

    Bring crossword puzzles, Lifesavers and gum. Take off is cool - landing is sickening. You'll want the Lifesavers and gum for something to help you swallow to open up your ears. Read. Once you're in the air, things are usually very smooth. Sit out in the aisle if you're worried - stay away from the window. Don't look out or down.

    I know alot of people make themselves sick over flying, but honestly, there's so many idiots on the roads, I would prefer to fly over driving.