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Flight home


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  • Flight home

    Yesterday I flew back from Beijing and have two observations and/or questions.

    First the good part: I had been having trouble with fluid retention for about a week before we left. I knew I was overdoing with having groups of students over for parties, dinners out, shopping, and still trying to keep up a full schedule of finals and grading, so I was not too surprised. However the night before we left we went to bed at midnight and by 2 I was awake and unable to sleep because of breathing problems and coughing. Finally at 3 am I weighed myself and took a double dose of my two diuretics and in two hours I lost five pounds. The good thing is that I have continued to lose water and although my feet and legs swelled a little yesterday on the plane, they look OK today.

    So my question here regards whether it is wise for people with CHF and HCM to take diuretics before they fly or during flight. I have wondered this before and thought maybe it was a bad idea due to the possibility of dehydration. But my experience makes me wonder whether I might have been wrong. Any answers?

    The not-so-good thing is that I had a lot of trouble with somewhat severe chest pain on the Tokyo to Detroit leg of the trip. The pain was pretty much limited to the exact location of my heart, but occasionally radiated to my neck and left arm. I was fine on both the other legs, but had moderate pain about 3-4 hours out of the 11 from Tokyo to Detroit. At times this moderate pain increased to fairly severe. I feel sure the problem was low oxygen because we were cruising at a somewhat higher altitude than usual due to weather problems. Also we were having problems with turbulence. It was not very severe turbulence - not enough to cause anyone to experience anxiety as far as I heard, but I noticed that the pain seemed to worsen a minute or two before we had a turbulence and would remain until the turbulence subsided. The part of the trip where I did not notice a problem was in the middle end of the trip, which was the time with the least turbulence.

    There was a thread about low oxygen pressures that Lisa started a few weeks ago. As I said then, I usually have a brief time of heart pain during rapid pressure changes such as ascent and descent, but this was several orders of magnitude worse in both intensity and length of time. I guess I am curious as to whether the higher altitude flight and the turbulence could have reduced the oxygen pressures sufficiently to cause this or whether I should look for another explanation.

    I will see the cardiologist Tuesday to get my Guidant ICD reprogrammed and interrogated, so am trying to figure out what is important to ask him and tell him.



  • #2

    Nice to hear you made it home for the summer as far as what to tell your doc tell him everything and let him tell you what he thinks, i too notice a fluid buildup if i'm busy well more than usual i will blowup like a blow fish, i don't see how i retain as much as i sweat my thermostat is set at 70 and i'm sitting here typing to you with sweat rolling off my face

    I hope everything turns out well at Dr. Gilligans office and tell him hi for me, me myself have decided to just go to the doc when i have to these docs don't sound too interestd in me anyway, they make me feel like i'm wasting there time but you have a good day and i hope a wonderful summer

    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


    • #3
      Rhoda, I don't know, but I've theorized that changes in barometric pressure can make a person feel worse. I wonder if that occurred when you were experiencing turbulence?


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


      • #4
        Hey Reenie,

        You are right about the changes in Barometric pressure and the CHF heart. I wrote a longer post about it under another thread. But, I can't remeber the thread. It was about storms causing symptoms. But if you type in Barometric pressure I'm sure it will bring that thread up too.

        I had problems with that last year during the hurricanes.

        Mary S.


        • #5
          Flight home

          Hi Rhoda
          I am very new here. Just a few hours into reading posting of interest. I can tell you that every time I fly around the country and am over 15,000 feet I feel very short of breath and some pressure in my chest. I have only been like this since I started all my meds for HCM. I even noticed these symptoms when traveling in the high Rocky Mountains on the ground! My cardiologist say it has to do with the changing oxygen levels in the air weather it be in the plane or on the ground.
          I am so glad to have found this forum since I have had this HCM diagnosis just 2 years and have had quite a time adjusting to it. I have gone from doing 25 deep tissue Massage sessions a week to being just able to do 1every couple of weeks, now after trying to get my med doses correct. It's put a real damper on my horseback riding and any exercise for that matter

          I tend to double up on my lasix the day before I fly and hydrate really well while flying and double up on the first day on the ground again (my own titration idea) and it works for me. Check with your MD whenever you want to try something different with your meds


          • #6
            Hi, Suzie,

            I saw your introductory post a few minutes ago - so welcome to the board. We have a similar history. I am 58 and was diagnosed three summers ago after wondering why I felt the way I did most of my life. I think your idea of extra diuretics before and after flying makes sense. I am back in China now because I teach here.

            Hope to hear lots more from you!



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