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Hollywood48 06-14-2012 12:16 AM

Flying Overseas After Brostrom
Hey guys! I am flying overseas next week and it will be a 9 hour flight followed by a couple hours layover and then another 2.5 hour flight. On the way back it's 2.5 hours and 10 hours. I tend to swell some anyway from high blood pressure even though I get up and walk around a pretty good bit and I do ankle pumps (well on previous trips I did) too. My question is have any of you been on long flights after recent ankle surgery where you're still in the swelling and pain phase? If so, what did you do (if anything) to keep it from swelling on the plane. I'm thinking of wrapping an ACE on it or using a compression sock, maybe using one of those instant ice packs if they're allowed in my carry-on (but I don't think they are), or bringing my own ziplocks and asking flight attendants for ice. Any tips for that and anything else to make these flights anymore comfortable? This a long time to be that swollen and in pain! Thanks!!

janewhite1 06-14-2012 11:48 AM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
Compression sock is a good idea, or you could ask your doctor for a letter stating that you need ice and bring an instant one. That might or might not work with security.

Or, you can bring several ziplock bags, then go to a food service place past the security checkpoint and buy an extra-large cup of ice. They probably won't charge too much.

Hollywood48 06-15-2012 01:01 AM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
Yeah I had mentioned bringing my own ziplocks and asking the flight attendant for ice in my post so Im glad you think it's a good idea too, or at least not a strange one! :) I know I can't be the first person to fly overseas with a newly repaired ankle that still swells and hurts. I thought about the instant ones too, but I'm just about 100% certain that will not work with security. But I can put a couple of them and a small gel pack to put in the freezer and use over there. Today I found a REALLY cool product and I'm hoping it works. It's a cooling wrap! It's a blue ACE looking 3" wrap that self sticks and automatically cools-no need for freezer. It's reusable too and you have to store it in its resealable bag. I thought that might be good for compression and cold without the hassle or mess? I would use it on the plane and still use a gel pack in the apt all week. I have to figure out something because just a half day on my ankle in the brace produced a grapefruit on my ankle again and my PT had to spend extra time ding retrograde massage to get enough of it out that I could do my stretches and exercises! So painful!

keri15 06-15-2012 11:12 PM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
What airline are you using? The reason I ask is some of them are a lot better about helping out than others. I lived in Germany for 6 years and flew all the time. Luftansa was the best to me after I fell (off a tower in the Army) and broke my right leg, hip, back and foot. It was a significant fall. They were awesome about getting me ice throughout the flight (and alcohol). If no one is sitting next to you you can probably put your foot up too. otherwise see if you can put your foot up on your bag in the floor to elevate it a little bit.

I would do the compression sock though for sure!!!

Hollywood48 06-15-2012 11:31 PM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
Thanks for the info! I'm flying Delta so hopefully they will be accommodating. There is someone next to me I know. It's one of my teammates. Thankfully the set up on the plane is a 2-3-2 so just 2 seats where I am instead of 3 which means more leg room and I had already thought about propping my foot up on my bag some. Hoping the new cooling ace type wrap I got will help although I've yet to try it out. Wow, your accident sounded horrible! Flying with basically your entire right lower side broken must have been agonizing! I gues this surgery isn't so bad to you comparatively? And you said Army so I must say thank you for your service!!! Did your injuries cause you to have to get out?

planemark 06-27-2012 08:23 PM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
Hollywood, how did you do on your long flight to Spain?? Did the cooling ace bandage help, or did you have to use ice bags on it? I hope all went well & you were abl to enjoy your vacation!

Hollywood48 06-29-2012 06:17 PM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
Thanks! I've stayed swollen most of the time. The cool ace wrap does help some, but it isn't good for walking or a lot of movement but I wear my brace then anyway. Just very hard on it, but being here is worth it, but I've had a lot of pain and had to take pain meds a good bit. Thanks for asking! How are you doing?

planemark 06-30-2012 11:08 AM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
I'm sorry to hear that you are still having allot of pain and swelling. I was hoping that, that would have eased up by now for you. I wonder if you could wear compression socks, or if that would be too painful. Glad you are having a nice time on vacation at least. Spain is on my list of places I want to visit. So far London has been my only European visit and that was a day trip.
I am doing good. I finally got cleared for FWB a week ago and down to one crutch. I also got approved for aqua therapy and I had my first pool session yesterday. It was so amazing to be able to walk again in the pool! I also learned how to walk up stairs w/ one crutch last weekend, no more crawling!! It is so incredible to get peices of my life back! Pain and swelling are easing up. I mostly have swelling at end of day & ice takes it down. I only get pain if I over do it. I have my sis & small kids (all under 4) living with me so it's easy to over do it. I saved my Norco for the worst days because they won't give me any more & want me to rely on Tylenol.

Hollywood48 06-30-2012 06:01 PM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
So glad you are doing so much better!! Woohoo! Yes isn't it great to get your life back slowly in bits and pieces??!??! Mostly I deal with swelling at the end of the day with pain mostly when overdoing it too. This week with the flights and camp, there's been a lot of overdoing it! We do a camp for kids in Spain every year teaching them English so not exactly a vacation, but we love it!! Definitely a place you need to see! Hope you continue to improve! I have 2 days of flying coming up starting tomorrow o the swelling will be worse! Ugh!

planemark 07-01-2012 08:55 AM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
I know how much walking and waiting is involved in flying, and I don't envy you right now. It is almost impossible to not overdo it. I hope all goes well on your flight back and the flight crew is acomidating with your needs. Have your husband go to the rear galley, or mid galley if they are there, and ask for ice. They should help you out especially if you explain your situation. Just remember that the later in the flight you ask, the less ice they have. We put a limited supply of ice on the planes, but I have never de catered an international flight that didn't still have leftover ice. I do catering for the Worlds largest airline so I know.

Hollywood48 07-03-2012 01:01 AM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
That's really cool! What airline if you don't mind me asking? It was a very difficult flight home in terms of connecting and how far we had to go in the airport. 24+ hours of traveling. I wrapped my ankle and foot in an ACE to help keep swelling out. It didn't work. My ankle was huge after the first flight and I had 3 more to go!! The pain was pretty bad after we got into Paris CDG late and had to change terminals. They are forever apart and that airport is by far the worst organized EVER! We had to exit and then go through passport control and security and we just did make the flight! At 15 min till takeoff we were just leaving security! A lot of other stuff happened, but the gist is by the time we got checked in in Madrid, hauled it in Paris, and then hauled if in ATL (where our bags didn't show up, but they have been located) and then flew home, etc...My ankle was killing me. I didn't ask for ice because I was talking to the flight attendants while stretching my legs and trying to avoid blood clots especially since I had recent surgery. Right before we started talking I heard one of them say they were low on ice so I didn't ask. I will say traveling internationally 4 months after reconstructive ankle surgery is a bit difficult! Thanks for asking! How are you?

planemark 07-08-2012 09:39 AM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
I can't believe how adventurous and brave you were to travel internationally so soon after surgery. I know how stressful it is to fly domestically, and I don't think I could do it right now. It is so cool to see how dedicated and caring you are to make such a trip to help out and teach English. I'm sorry to hear how much pain and swelling that you had, but at least that is behind you. As for the ice, you should have asked anyways all they could say is no. From my experience the flight crews always exaggerate their needs, and they always request way more than they can ever use. The airline sets up certain specs for the amount of ice, water and other supplies that the catering station boards because of weights and balances. I work for Continental which is now united since I've been out on medical leave.
I have a wedding to attend this Saturday in Cincinatti, it's a 4 hour drive. I dread the trip because I know it will be painful. Im going to have to get a new ace wrap to help with swelling, and I saved some pain meds for times like this. I'm also taking my dad who is 6 months post op from quintuplet bypass surgery. It will be the first long trip he has taken in 3 years. I dread it for both of us, but I plan to stop frequently and take our time. Let me know if you have any advice or long road trips after foot surgery. I'm also just starting to ditch my crutches around the house, but I plan to take both for the trip. No room in the car for my knee scooter, but I don't think I can tolerate using it any more because it wears me out!

Hollywood48 07-09-2012 09:54 PM

Re: Flying Overseas After Brostrom
It was an adventure I must say! I asked my doctor if I'd be able to go without huge issues before I had the surgery done because if I wasn't going to be able to then I would've postponed the surgery because I do this trip every year. It wasn't easy though!!! Good luck on your upcoming road trip. Definitely gets new ace wrap. It should work better for you because you can make frequent stops and it's a 4 hour trip. I was on a 10 hour flight with nowhere to go except to stand up which didn't help. Oh! To help with swelling and pain since you can't take narcotics while driving, go to a sporting goods store and get the instant ice packs that you squeeze to activate and use those. I think I got a couple for 99 cents a piece. Smart to take your crutches and that you saved pain meds. I think those things are about all you can do! Hope it goes well and you'll have to let me know! I hope my ankle reacts better to my next trip coming up. It's longer and about as far away just the other direction. Family vacation starting in OR and ending up in Fairbanks, Alaska!

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