Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cholesteatoma and Airplane Travel

I recently went on a trip to Mexico for a couple weeks. As I've had more ear surgeries I am more and more prone to motion sickness, so I got a prescription from my ear doctor for Transderm Scop, which is a patch I put behind my ear a few hours before an airplane flight. The medicine works wonderfully in preventing motion sickness, but has some annoying side affects: a VERY dry mouth, drowsiness and sometimes blurred vision. I need to put the patch behind my ear about four hours before take-off, and a few hours after take-off is when I start to get the driest throat in the world--it's so dry that I need to always suck on hard candy or a cough drop. I make sure to ALWAYS bring along a bottle of water, but in spite of all I try, my throat is aching. I've just gotten used to be uncomfortable because I would rather have this symptom than get motion sickness.

Well, on this last trip, the flight to Mexico went really well, and besides the sore throat, which I totally prepared for and expected anyway, it was a pretty smooth ride. Then for the ride home, I needed to get up really early in the morning to catch the flight, and slept really poorly that night before, so I just felt like "blah" when I put the patch on in the a.m. Then, it was a full day of travel when you take into consideration all the time needed at the airport prior to take-off, customs when we reached the United States, and then another flight to our home state.

Maybe it was just because I was excited to get home that it seemed like the trip took FOREVER, but I noticed that because I had less patience, it seemed like my irritating patch side effects were even more irritating. Sometimes I wonder if I should just try the next flight I take without the medicine?

Noooo! The fear of getting sick is far too great to take the chance! Instead, I will continue to prepare by bringing plenty of throat lozenges, bottles of water, and try to get a better night's sleep the night before take-off. It is simply the price I pay as someone who is prone to getting sick on airplane flights. Much better to do the preparation and go anyway than to not go at all right?

Note: This blog is intended to educate readers about cholesteatoma by explaining how it has impacted my life. Any questions can be directed to me at any time!

7 comments:

  1. Dear Lisa,

    Thank you so much for all the valuable information. I'm 23, and am about to get a surgery for two cholesteatomas in my left ear. I'm tensed and worried, this blog gives me great comfort.

    Thanks,
    Arnold

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  2. This blog is great. I am having a canal wall down mastoidectomy in 2 weeks with possible cholesteatoma. How was your recovery? What is having a CWD like? Are you still dizzy most of the time? My email address is wsn104@hotmail.com.

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  3. Dear Lisa,


    Do you know if there is any risk to flying with cholesteatomas before surgery? I recently found out that I may have a cyst in my left ear and I'm concerned that flying might make the condition worse. Thank you for any advice you can give.

    Holly

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  4. Just found your blog. My son, who is 7 years old, will undergo his 7th surgery for removal of cholesteatoma/tympanoplasty, on Thursday. The reoccurring surgeries are really starting to weigh on him. Were your 8 surgeries close together or over a long period of time? The Dr.s determined that my son's cholesteatoma was also congenital. They had originally told us that with him being born with it, there was less of a chance of it reoccurring, however that has not been the case. I would love to hear more about your situation and anything you have found helpful in dealing with your situation. Feel free to email me. Thanks for sharing your story. AngieMoulton76@gmail.com

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  5. Hi. I work as flight attendant,..so I fly a lot, and I have cholesteatoma. Surgery will be in May, I have pain in my ear, but dont see other way. Is it very bad to fly with it?

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  6. i have been diagnosed this week and need it operation to remove it can i fly in august to england so am worried about risking it as my ear feels like it will exlode behind it

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  7. have been diagnosed , waiting appointment to see surgeon , have lot of pressure in left ear feels like it is going to explode , have to fly in august to england so am worried if it will be ok ? to fly

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