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Old 10-27-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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grandmal seizures and flying

My daughter had an aneurysm and subsequent brain surgery in February 2006. We flew to Florida in July 2007. She had her first serious grand mal seizure 4 days after our arrival in Florida. She had her second one in the ambulance en route to the hospital. She was loaded with Dilantin on the flight home from Florida to Buffalo, and did not experience another siezure. She is convinced that there is some relationship after a brief conversation with a flight attendant today. Help. I hate to see her give up flying on the word of a flight attendant, but if there is any relationship, I would love to know. Thanks, Paulette Miller

 
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:47 PM   #2
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

hello nanpj,

I have had E for14 years and I am 29, I have to fly to get treattment I am not a doctor so I couldnt give a deffinate opinion just my personal... I havnt had surgery but will be in a week, I have take proberly 20 flights in the last 18 months with no seizures from any of those, I havnt been told not to fly home after my surgery which is a 2 stage operation where i will be in hospital 4 wks... So my nero must think that it is ok to fly as I was going to and he didnt tell me not to....

I hope that helps to have see that there are people that do not suffer an ill symptons from flying..

Take care
And best wished and good health to your daughter
Tate

 
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:49 AM   #3
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

I'm going to jump in with an opinion here. An aneurysm is a bit different than just having epilepsy. It's a blood clot in the brain. After I flew three years ago, I immediately developed 3 blood clots in my heart and needed open heart surgery. I've been put on blood thinners and I have since flown again. The only problem I experienced from that second flight is a blood vessel did burst in my eye and the white of my eye became blood red - not very pretty, but not dangerous at all. Blood clots (aneurysms) and circulatory problems are very different from epilepsy, which are more electrical (circuitry) problems - although aneurysms can and do trigger seizures.

The flight attendant that you spoke with didn't specify exactly what type of relationship she was referring to. In my completely unmedical opinion, there is definitely a correlation between an aneurysm and flying (due to clotting), but I've never heard of a correlation between epilespy and flying - but that doesn't mean that one doesn't exist). Perhaps you should ask the neurologist.

Patients with epilepsy fly all the time, I really don't think it would be a problem. In fact, I'll be flying to Florida next week and I don't anticipate any seizure-related problems.

Last edited by life_is_good; 10-28-2007 at 05:53 AM.

 
Old 10-28-2007, 10:39 AM   #4
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

There is a connection between the immobility (of sorts) with flying and the air pressure changes that increase the risk of developing clots. An aneurysm is a ballooning of the vessel, and can happen to any artery, and because of the ballooning, the walls are weaker, risking rupture. If the surgery was successful, and the doc isn't concerned about her flying, I'd just suggest she get up every hour or so, and walk the length of the plane, just to get some movement of the blood.

Since my pulmonary emboli (several embolisms) in April, I've been told not to fly, or even ride in a car unless I can get up every 45 minutes to an hour and walk for 10-15 minutes. Pain in the butt, but better than the alternative. She could also get some compression stockings (ugly but useful) and wear those during the flight to keep blood from pooling in her legs- the bigger risk with flying than in her head).

The seizures around the time of her flying could have been coincidence, or if she had some infection starting (cold, bladder, etc), her period, etc. Even if she doesn't usually have seizures with those, flying could have been stressful enough (even if she didn't realize it- all of the checking in and out, security stuff, lines to wait in, etc) to push her over her seizure threshhold. Hard to tell. If the doc knows, and feels it's safe, maybe he could give her a bit of Ativan before flying, just to help calm the neurons a bit..... just an idea

 
Old 10-28-2007, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

I'm glad you reminded me about getting up and walking around the plane.
I definitely would have forgotten about that.

 
Old 10-28-2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

It's actually important for anyone, but especially for those with chronic health conditions. Something about the altitude, air pressure, and thickening of the blood (dehydration is another result of flying); get as much water or non-alcoholic (booze dehydrates also) out of the flight attendant as you can- that will help as well

 
Old 10-28-2007, 10:51 AM   #7
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

Remember, they Do pressurize the cabin of the airplane to over 6000 ft. That may have been a contributing factor after the surgery.

As for epileptics and flying, I have not had problems even when pulling negative and positive G's in some mild aerobatics, going from about 10 feet above the water, well ice, (so roughly 950 ft MSL (sea level)) to a steep climb at full throttle maxing out the reading on my watch for climb, leveling out at 2100 MSL. And YES it was fun. I've had a lot of hours on Floats as well as wheel, even about 2 hours on a Bi-Plane (I miss that bird) that was fun.

Have you noticed if there was a major change of pressure if that trigers seizures at all? Example in the midwest we dropped to 28.65 I think it was for pressure the other week. Basicly 980MB if you convert it to MilliBar. Close to hurrican pressure. I hadn't seen that pressure in a long time, since I was on the eastern coast and there was a storm front brewing. Usually higher 29's, or mid 30's (we are at 30.40 right now) are normal up here.

--Travis

 
Old 10-28-2007, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

I don't know anything about negative and positive G's. I don't even do roller coasters. Maybe in Disney I will be able to shake some of my fears.

Last edited by life_is_good; 10-28-2007 at 01:33 PM.

 
Old 10-28-2007, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

I definitely have 'off' days when the barometric pressure changes a lot. When I lived in TX, it wasn't as bad, unless the town I was in got the leftovers of hurricanes or tropical storms.

Today is 'off'...something is brewing, and I don't feel right. It's not an aura, but a prodromal funk, and 'warning' to stick close to a safe place to get to fast if I need to. Probably need to take a prn Ativan, and maybe avoid a seizure.

 
Old 10-29-2007, 12:46 AM   #10
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

Life, The Mouse Camp in Florida is pretty low to begin with. MCO's (Orlando Intl) elevation is 96 feet above sea level, thats on the runway!

I liked the getaway from cold weather over the rides myself. It had been ages since I was down there. Keeping up with 2 overcharged nephews this last winter was a job in itself! I don't wake up at 6 AM like they do. I needed to make a round of coffee to get going before I could head out in the morning. It was fun just to be there.

--Travis

 
Old 10-29-2007, 04:47 AM   #11
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Re: grandmal seizures and flying

I'm totally a morning person - up at the crack of dawn. Leaving behind chilly weather and my husband home to work. It'll just be a mom/daughter adventure, as school is out that week. My boys are away so it'll just be the two of us. Taking lots of "firsts" this trip, should be very interesting. I HATE flying. Once the plane lands, I'll be fine, lol. Can't wait to get there and bust outta this house! Having not driven the past six months has made these four walls very claustrophobic. I sooooooo need this vacation.

Got my shades on, I'm ready to go, lol.

 
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