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cynthiaG Find out more about cynthiaG
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  • Travel to Hawaii

    I'm in a dilemna over this....my husband (and son) are pushing me to take a trip to Hawaii this summer (my brother lives there). I am hesitant to travel. period. I am afraid I might have another afib episode (with my luck, I would get it on the 13 hr. flight over!!). Also, I never had a fear of flying before 9/11. I do now. I'm thinking of asking my doctor for a medication that will "relax" me on the plane ride, seriously! One of my doctors in Boston had told me a year ago, live your life -- no physical restrictions (except for mountain climbing!!). For the most part, I feel good, the heat and humidity slow me down but other than that I do pretty well. I have an appointment July 16th at NEMC and plan on asking him for a doctor's name in Honolulu just in case I do get an episode. It would probably be a good idea to bring copies of recent records with me on the trip, if I do decide to go. I know I should just GO. My 10yr. old is the one that will ultimately convince me...he keeps saying he wants to go (he adores my brother and his wife)...Please, someone convince me to go!
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: Travel to Hawaii

    I told myself before my surgery that know matter what I wasn't going to live in an egg shell for the rest of my life. I am going on a trip in Nov to upper Saskatchewan Canada. If something goes wrong up there, I will be about 4 hours away from a small hospital. I am not going to let a little heart surgery keep me from doing something I've wanted to do my whole life. If your Dr. says OK then go for it, just remember to send a postcard. Good luck on what ever you decide...

    Tigger1
    " Real Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling-Up Anyway "

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Travel to Hawaii

      1. have an emergency plan - talk to the docs about what meds you may want to bring and what doses you may need to take IF you have an episode of AF.

      2. Keep a copy of your recent med. records and doctors names and numbers with you at all times.

      3. Get on with LIVING and YES that includes HAWAII

      Have a great time and send me a post card!

      Lisa
      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
      Currently not obstructed
      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Travel to Hawaii

        Cynthia

        cover your tracks and go for it, you only live once and so make the most of it and have fun, i wish i could go to hawaii i would go in a minute even the condition i'm in today Take care

        Shirley
        Diagnosed 2003
        Myectomy 2-23-2004
        Husband: Ken
        Son: John diagnosed 2004
        Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

        Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Travel to Hawaii

          I am a little afraid to address this one since many people seem to think that my being in China is foolish. But I can say that in spite of all the problems and limitations, I am not sorry I have been here this semester. I went out with my husband and about a dozen students for supper tonight for my birthday and the love and fun we have together just is too good to miss! Be sure to drink lots of water while flying, get up and hike the aisles every half an hour, do the exercise video that they show, ask for the disabled seats so you can stretch your legs out and keep the circulation going, etc. and love Hawaii!!!

          Rhoda

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          • #6
            Re: Travel to Hawaii

            Hi Cynthia
            By all means "GO". The first trip I ever made on an airplane was to Hawaii. My nephew was stationed there and we wanted so much to be together for Christmas. I am afraid to look out of a second story window, but the thought of my husband, son, sister, nephew (which I hadn't seen for about 5 years) and myself was so exciting, I had to go. I remember asking my cardiologist for a copy of my ekg. He suggested that I take along a list of meds I was on. I do remember that it was humid there, which bothered me somewhat, but not enough to stay indoors in a/c. Hawaii is very beautiful, but expensive. I'm sure you'll love seeing the palm trees (a variety), the scenary is spectacular, and you must go to a laual (? spelling). We went to one and they had a very wide selection of tropical food and the music and dancers were great. Most of all, it gave me confidence that I could do whatever I wanted to even though I have HCM and fear of heights. I will always remember my "first flight".
            Esther

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            • #7
              Re: Travel to Hawaii

              Cynthia-

              How can you say "No" to Life? You have a good plan, regarding talking with your Dr etc. You should always carry a list of your Meds & diagnosis with you. You cannot spend your life, looking out & wishing, not to mention what this will do to your son (guilt is such a great motivator!)
              Seriously, if your Doctor thinks you should not travel, he will tell you, then you can consider your options.
              Hey, I've had a Myectomy & Double Bypass, in less than 12 months (I took a cruise to Mexico in between my surgeries) & I have 4 trips planned betwwen now & January & I'll be flying to 2 of the locations
              Life may be short (it's relative), but do see, & be all you can!
              BE WELL
              RONNIE

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Travel to Hawaii

                Cynthia, I agree with everyone else. Go. As for flying after 9/11, many here have flown since then. In my experience, it isn't much different than flying pre-attack. The main difference is that it might take you longer to get through security. Remember to wear slip-on shoes since you might be asked to remove them for inspection.

                Reenie
                Reenie

                ****************
                Husband has HCM.
                3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Travel to Hawaii

                  Cynthia,

                  You GO, girl! That sounds like way too much fun to pass up. I like what Esther said regarding her own trip to Hawaii... that it gave her confidence that she could do anything she wanted to, despite her HCM. You'll just need to take a few extra steps in advance to insure that you'll be comfortable during the trip, that's all

                  These are just a few things that popped into my head:

                  By all means, ask for extra accomodations on the plane (your doctor can write orders for that) so that you can stretch out and get those feet up if necessary.

                  If shortness of breath has been an issue for you, your doctor might consider prescribing oxygen, even if you haven't had problems on shorter flights. Better to have it on hand and not use it than find out you need it later on. Remember, you're originating at sea level here, so you'll be getting about 25% less oxygen during your flight than you're body is accustomed to.

                  Tell the airline in advance that you are on a low-sodium diet and will require special meals. Even if you're not on a restricted diet at home, you'll want to do everything you can to keep your fluid issues to a minimum in-flight.

                  Watch for dehydration and drink plenty of water on the plane.

                  Allow plenty of time to get anywhere, even if it means extra lay-over time or a night in a hotel between travel segments. You don't want to be exhausted and out of breath before you even board the plane.

                  Lastly, try not to over-plan your trip. Better to see a handful of sights and really enjoy them, than spend your entire vacation running around trying to see everything. That's no fun for an HCM'er. Give yourself plenty of time to rest as needed, and you'll enjoy your trip that much more.

                  Above all... have fun! I envy you!

                  Jim
                  "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Travel to Hawaii

                    You guys are wonderful!! I never expected so many responses! I really needed advice and reassurance. I have an appt. on July 16 at NEMC and will have a list of things to ask the doctor. I never knew they had special seats for "disabled" people. I don't think of myself as "disabled" and just recently sent an application to my doctor for a disabled placard for my car just to use in the hot & humid weather when trying to find a spot in a parking lot so I don't have to walk too far as (I could have used it today!). I have been to Hawaii years ago before I got married..but my husband and son have never been. Seeing my brother and sister in law is enough reason to go. They are just the best...funny, nice and adore my son. I'll let you guys know what the verdict is...again, thanks...you are all so nice ...P.S. I'm getting my adjustable bed delivered tomorrow. I really think it is going to help my nightime heart thumps and be able to relax in a better upright position.
                    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

                    Ralph Waldo Emerson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Travel to Hawaii

                      If you recall we went to the greater DC area / Maryland just a couple of months ago for over two weeks. I am reduced to shopping in supermarkets and department stores that have power carts because I am so inhibited by the short distances I am able to walk. Correction, I just went shopping in Kohl’s and they only have wheelchairs – my wife pushed me around – in more ways then one. By the way, I used wheelchairs at the airports – attendants push you around – it was a simple and very pleasant experience.

                      Now we have been restricted from going to museums and other venues of that nature simply because I can’t do the walking. I’m currently at a Mensa convention in town and it involves minimal walking, but at only day two of five days my legs are cramped and sore, minimizing today’s activities.

                      My shoulders are bad, which eliminates maneuvering around in a wheelchair, so we are now seriously considering getting a power scooter, to run around with. I am considering renting a little one to try out, and see where it leads.

                      If you’re capable of going and doing something, by all means go do it. Take prudent precautions, but go live your life. If it takes a scooter for me to get around, then I will get one – but I plan on LIVING every day the Good Lord gives me. You do the same.
                      Burt

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Travel to Hawaii

                        Dear Cynthia,

                        Brave people are just people who are afraid, but go ahead and do it anyway!

                        I went to SOUTH AFRICA while in Afib and I just about kissed the ground when I landed. It was the first trip I ever took by myself (I stayed with family, but I traveled to and and fro alone). It was the best thing I ever did.

                        I wore 45 sunblock all day, every day. I wore a hat every day and I carried a bottle of water every where, every day. And I was fine!

                        I took a copy of my ECG, a copy of my latest echo report, a copy of my medical history summary, my health insurance card, and my doctor's name and contact info.

                        You may want to get traveler's health insurance in case your policy won't cover flying you back home should you need to say, use three seats because you have to keep your feet up or you need a medivac.

                        Plan for the worst, hope for the best and you'll have an awesome time!!!

                        Take care,

                        S

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Travel to Hawaii

                          I was in Hawaii (Honolulu) a year ago last week. I went into AFIB while trying to help an inexperienced swimmer overcome some anxiety while snorkeling in Hanamau Bay. I went to the nearest Kasier clinic which transfered me to the local Kaiser Hospital. The nurses were wonderful, the residents were excited and the cardiologist was annoyed.

                          The cardiologist asked why I was there. I said I am in AFIB and symptomatic. I added my cardiologist cardioverts me back home. I asked if this was uneccesary to which he said it was not his practice to cardiovert unless it was necessary (being symptomatic wasn't necessary in his mind). But since I was there they should do "something" with me. I am used to better care as my local ER and I are on a first name basis, I know the nursing rotations and most of the doc's. They speak to me, inquire about my comfort and explain what is happening; even though I know the routine (milk of amensia and 50 joules).

                          The doc's spoke around me as if I wasn't there, reluctantly answered my questions about what they were doing, placed the defribrillator pad directly over my heart and quote "I don't follow the directions I blast it out", put me to sleep without telling me even after I asked could you please let me know, and could we wait for my wife to arrive. I even overheard one of the young doc's on the phone excitedly calling other young docs to come watch the cardioversion...

                          It was an unpleasent experience that lead to a bit of confusion and discomfort for me (and a complaint). This is only one experience but I take this from it. 1)I will ask my doctor for orders regarding treating AF, 2)I will know where the hospital is, 3)I will arrive with my spouse (they transported me without my spouse), 4) I will insist that I be informed about each step of the procedure.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Travel to Hawaii

                            Quinn,

                            That is a frustrating story. As a general point to anyone who has recieve care that they feel was 'less than appropriate" please do the following.
                            1. Document the event - try to be factual not emotional
                            2. Submit the docmentation to the administrator of the Hospital
                            3. Submit the documentation to the Risk management department of the hospital.
                            4. Submit the documentation to the State lic. board.

                            What will you gain from this effort? At the very least the doctor / team will be spoken to about your concerns. You letter may alert the hospital of needed training and they will act on that. If the doctor/team has had may complaints he may not be retained by that hospital.

                            Further, Quinn you are 100% right - get documentation to bring with you on vacation and discuss you plans with your doctor. Do not be afraid to call your doctor directly and tell them where you are and what is happening - they can call the ER and talk to your ER doc to help them help you.

                            Take care!

                            Lisa
                            Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                            YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                            Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                            lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                            Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                            Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                            Currently not obstructed
                            Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Travel to Hawaii

                              Soooo did you decide to go????? I sure hope so! If you have faith of any kind than you'd know that what's meant to be will be no matter what. Worrying won't stop the inevitable so why worry? (easier said than done I know) but why waste your time worrying over something out of your control, you're wasting precious time. Live life for today and believe that you ARE being looked after by whatever God you believe in. I'm sure you will have an amazing time and when you get back you'll probably wonder what you ever worried for! My dream vacation is Hawaii but I'm sure I'll NEVER be able to afford it..........Have a great time. Remember there are people out there who would love to have your problem and people who wouldn't even ever be able to have the choice. I consider you very, very lucky......Take Care.
                              Tammy

                              Comment

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