Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Flying Sjoggies

Interesting. I may need to get one of these. You can buy your very own here

Here's a question from Heidi on my previous post about airline travel:

Julia - did you find you got pretty dry on the plane? I have an upcoming trip and am a little nervous about it...it is work related so I will need to be in one piece when I arrive and hopefully can weather the ordeal ok. I need to do this for my job and myself - so I can see I can do it, but not looking forward to it. Thought I may need to starting medicating before although not sure and I hate taking meds...take care-

Ah. Airplanes and sicca symptoms (dry eye and dry mouth). Dumb stupid dry eyes......

I do get dry eyes on flights, and so always make sure that I have my eye drops in travel-safe amounts (in the TSA clear plastic bag) and use them frequently. I use a drop that is a bit more viscous or thick, since for me, the drops that contain higher amounts of water or saline evaporate more quickly. Be cautious using night-time ointment type drops, however, since these may blur your vision.

Seeing clearly is a very, very good thing, especially when boarding a large aircraft after maneuvering through zillions of people and shops and concourses and gates and......well, you know.

If I can, I try to turn off the fan directing air to my face or move it away from my eyes. This doesn't work always since most recently my flights have been HOT and I need the extra breeze to be cool and comfy. Sometimes putting a few damp paper towels over my closed eyes (and water-proof mascara) helps. If the towels dry too quickly, putting my glasses on over the paper towel keeps things a bit more moist.

Not particularly attractive, I agree. So what if the kids in the seats behind you snicker? WHO is going to ever see you again, anyway? And WHO would even know who's behind those soggy paper towels? Hm? An incognito sjoggie with happy eyes is also a very, very good thing. Just be sure to check your eyeliner before heading into your first work meeting...

If you find after several trips that your eyes do become seriously dry, talk to your doctor about moisture-chamber glasses.  I have no personal experience with these products, so if anyone has additional advice about these glasses,  add your comments below.

And, it goes without saying that I drink drink drink water, just to keep up my overall hydration.

The challenges for me in airplane travel do include dry eye, but the bigger problem for me is fatigue. Whenever possible, I get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, so that I can move at a comfortable pace.

Yeah. Except for the time I set the alarm clock for the time we needed to BE at the airport, instead of GETTING OUT OF BED. Good grief in a bucket. I still can't believe that we made our flight, largely due to a thankfully manic taxi driver....

Major airports are MAJOR, and usually require a serious walk at some point, which can be even more taxing while dragging carry on luggage and trying to get from gate to gate on connecting flights. When traveling alone, I usually check my bags through to avoid exerting that extra energy associated with lugging luggage. I have a travel purse that's very small and that I can wear strapped from one shoulder over the front of my body so that I don't have to worry about dropping it or balancing it on one arm. And then I carry a travel tote in which I keep only the major essentials: a few days worth of medications, and maybe a few extra small pieces of clothing. I've seen many travelers use backpacks instead of carrying a tote bag, which would probably be a smart thing to do..... I always carry some kind granola or meal replacement bars with me since sometimes stopping for food along the way from one point in an airport to another may sap too much time or energy.

I also make certain to have a good set of earplugs with me on every flight. The inevitable noise and commotion on a flight is very exhausting especially since the onset of autoimmune disease, so I try to put drops in my eyes, get my seat reclined (What a euphemism. Sheesh.) and put the plugs in my ears. If I'm really serious about conserving energy, I will try to meditate, or try to sleep.

If I know that my connection is going to be tight, I ask the flight attendant to put in a request for a seat on one of those dandy little airport train thingies. Love 'em. They can zip me from one gate to another while I just sit back and enjoy the breeze and watch the antics of the folks trying to get out of our way. Not all airports have these, but they should.

It's amazing what kind of information that I can find on my cell phone once we have landed while taxiing to the gate. If the flight attendants aren't able to give me connection information, I can usually pull it up on my iPhone complete with a map of the airport and gate locations. If I have half of a brain even close to being functional, that is.....airport departures, arrivals, and maps are a good thing to have listed on my phone bookmarks.

It seems as though every little detail that I can work out before the trip helps conserve energy, and though these pieces of energy saved may be small, together they can help me avoid a major crash and burn. Know where the baggage claim area is. If you need ground transportation once you leave the airport, find out what is available and approximately what it will cost.

Good luck on your flight! Keep us posted!

Sjoggies CAN fly. We just need to do our homework beforehand.

And double check that alarm clock......

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I use moisture chamber glasses that I purchase at TheDryEyeZone.com for about $15. They are available in clear and gray. I have both- they are a life safer for me and I always use them in cars and on planes.

Blogger Mama said...

Thanks for the tips. I'll be headed to Disney, by plane, with my husband and six year old. Taking the six year old on a plane for the first time is stressful enough without worrying about my health as well!

Gill said...

Interesting you mentioned noise, it was something I noticed a few days ago, I could not consentrate with noise around me, a year ot so ago it wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest. I put it down to old age but maybe it isn't...

Heidi Syndergaard said...

Thanks Julia!!!

Kelly said...

Wait, wait, you can still wear mascara? No stinging, no burning? AND it's WATERPROOF? What kind is it???

Julia said...

Yep, Kelly, I can still occasionally wear mascara. The kind I"m using right now is Revlon Custom Eyes. I use this brand mostly because the brush allows me to put on smaller amounts of mascara at a time: I used to go for those big monster brushes that really slobber the mascara on. But using less is far less irritating to my eyes. And I remove it when the reason for wearing it is over.

Rita said...

I carry on a nasal spray as well as eye drops. That helps a lot.

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