Wednesday 17 July 2019

Dealing with chronic pain and flying

I've had chronic neck pain for 24 years years, since an assault in the workplace.

My chronic pain is constant, it is 24/7. I am aware of the pain every waking minute of my life.

My chronic pain is no worse than anyone else's and probably better than a lot of other peoples.

My chronic pain can't be alleviated with meds or a few stretches.

Some days my chronic pain is just there, other days it's flare up and is worse, these I call 'bad days' restricting my movements and actions. Most days are just NOT bad days.

As a result of chronic pain, I sit, walk and move with purpose. I'm constantly changing position, stretching my neck, slouching my back to take the pressure off my shoulders, I end up with a bad lower back and in turn hip pain. I can exercise, I can take meds for that, I can improve the pain levels. I can make it manageable, but there's not a day when I'm not aware of it.

I get cramps in my wrists and pins and needles in my hands and fingers, making fine motor skills difficult such as writing and taking lids off jars etc. Repetitive strain from ironing, hoovering, sweeping and mopping are getting worse and I often can't pick things up or find myself just dropping items such as tea cups.

I have a 14 hour flight ahead of me next week. I recently took a 7 hour flight in business class, I was able to lie down, not flat, and stretch my legs, but I was still in tears after 5 hours, rather than the usual 2 hours. The only time my pain doesn't flare up is when I'm either walking or lying down flat. Neither of which I can do on a 14 hour flight and I doubt I'd bag an upgrade to 1st class.

The most I can hope for is a row of seats all to myself. It happens fairly often to me. Even 3 seats means I can lie flat on my back, legs bent and can curl up on either side. Plus sleeping does help to pass the time.

I've had numerous surgeries, treatments (physio, acupuncture, chiropractic) and tried various medications, but only ever get short term relief and the more meds I take, the more I need and the side effects of some of them such as Gabapentin have been horrendous.

The 14 hour flight and time difference will wipe we out regardless of the added pain on top, so my plan when I arrive in Australia is to check into the hotel, have a deep hot bath and go to bed. I will merge from my room when I return to normal, of which my normal is chronic pain, just without the tears.


  1. I have a very similar story with chronic neck pain, and I wish I could make it all better for us both xox #abitofeverything xoxo

    1. I've been taking valium ahead of flights and it's really made a difference

  2. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you must experience on a daily basis but I do wish you the best of luck for the flight and I hope you enjoy your trip x

  3. That doesn't sound great, and now I realise the significance of your post about there being no baths. Hope it went as well as it could, thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

  4. Wow, that doesn't sound very good. Hope you managed to find some comfort on the plane.
    Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

    1. the last 3 flights weren't as bad as i thought it would be