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Avoiding Triggers While Flying

I am going to be traveling by airplane in a couple of months. I am very concerned about people wearing fragrance on the plane. Any suggestions? Maybe there is some kind of mask that will filter out those awful chemicals? I can't take my 02 on the plane because it is in a tank, not a concentrator.

Has anyone else had experience with this dilemma?

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  • Kathy P

    I've flown several times lately and encountered a variety of scents that I needed avoid. It can definitely be a challenge!

    The worst was a full flight, I was at the window and I was gasping over the guy next to me! I don't carry a mask, but I always have a scarf with me. It's a wrap, blanket, whatever I need. This time I had a lightweight, gauzy scarf and made a perfect mask. I just pulled it around my face to where I wasn't getting any air leaks and it was filtering the odors well enough for me. 

    I know @Pljohns is currently flying for vacation, I'm sure she can add some ideas too. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Gloria, hugs … do you know which carrier you'll be using? I might call the airline and ask what masks are allowed or if there are any restrictions to a portable air filter device or a personal battery operated fan. 

    In this day and age, with people being so nervous about air flight, it might be a good idea to ask about what masks are okay. 

    Other options — planes do carry oxygen, so you may be able to call the airline ahead, explain that you require oxygen but that you do not have a portable concentrator. Ask if they have a way to provide you oxygen on the plane.

    And this might be a perfect opportunity to hit your doctor and insurance up for that portable concentrator!

  • K8sMom2002

    Another possibility — I just realized you can — here's one website, but I would talk to the company who supplies your oxygen and see what they recommend.

  • Pljohns

    I got very lucky-going and coming-not one single person with strong anything on!  Although going out, I had an obnoxious lady with a dog on her lap next to me and I just kept thinking about those of you that have pet allergies and how inconsiderate it is of her to bring her rather large (mini schnauzer) on the plane-no carrier or anything-and keep it half in her lap and half in mine.    We flew Delta and I called them and talked to them about flying with resp. Issues and they told me yes, if there were issues, I could request a seat change.  I definitely would call them and make sure what masks are OK-they are REALLY spookie about people with masks-and then let your flight attendants know what you have and why.

  • K8sMom2002

    @Gloria, have you made any more plans for your trip? I really like @Pljohns' advice … it's recent AND relevant!

  • K8sMom2002

    It's good that you have plenty of time to plan and prepare. And maybe you can even talk your insurance company into providing you with a portable concentrator in the meantime!

  • Gloria

    That"s a good idea, K8SMOM. Ill try it and see how far I get with that.  Right now I am very discouraged because my disability claim was denied. I called 13 law offices and non would take my case. Here are the reasons (1) I'm over 61. (2) I am working more than 10 hours a week. (3) I could work from home.

     

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, bummer. Were those the reasons that SSA gave you or the lawyers gave you?

    The SSA has almost a reflexive "no" for the first claim … you don't necessarily have to have an attorney to appeal the claim. . 

    And you can go back over the medical records and your initial claim and see how they match up to the . If you meet those requirements and you can show medical documentation in your medical records, that may be the clincher. 

    I would also reach out to the Member of the US House that represents your congressional district. They have people on their staff whose job it is to follow up and get more information about your claim. Here's a link to help you  (It's in the upper right hand corner — you type in your zip code.)

  • Gloria

     Thank you for the advice. I used to file medical appeals up to third level appeal  and administrative hearing when I worked in medical; and usually I won, so although I know nothing about this type of thing, it is not unsurmountable.

    The reason SSA denied my claim was: they said that I do have disability for what I am now doing, but that I should return to medical collections. I have been away from it for 13 years; and a lot has changed. Who would hire me after a 13 year absence when I am 64 years old? Thirteen years ago when I looked for work in my field I hit the "gray ceiling". I sent out a three inch stack of resumes back then, to no avail. So 13 years later??? I live in a small town, pretty far from the city and with my Antiphospholipid syndrome, I cannot put myself under a lot of stress. Already had one life changing stroke like event.

  • K8sMom2002

    That stinks. Yes, that's what I heard a lot when I was assisting people with their claims: if they could do ANY "substantial work," whether or not it was in their chosen or trained field, they were not eligible for disability. And back then their definition of substantial work was part time Wal-Mart greeter or the equivalent. It didn't matter that the person would be underemployed. 

    Have you thought about whether you could be something like an independent contractor for a collections firm or a remote worker for a call center? A lot HAS changed, and more and more call center jobs are being moved to remote work. With VOIP phone systems, a company can have workers anywhere. 

    The pay might not be great, but you COULD stay at home. I might research national call center firms or collections agencies and see if they do use remote workers.

  • Ann123

    Check out Vogmask.com or Cambridge Mask Co. Many people with Cystic Fibrosis or lowered immunity travel with these masks to protect lung infection or lung irritation.

  • Jen

    Hi @Ann123,

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.    Thanks for the suggestion.  Have you tried those masks before?

  • Gloria

    Ann, I checked them out online. I agree with the comment above regarding masks on an airplane…it might freak them out.  But I do like the idea; and, like Jen, my question is…have you used them?

  • K8sMom2002

    @Ann123, welcome! And what a great suggestion! 

    Gloria, I might call the airline carrier and ask them if either of these masks would be okay. 

  • Gloria

    I called my 02 company. They have a travel program. So all I have to do is call them 2 weeks in advance & they will deliver a loaner portsble concentrator. That's a liad iff my mind!

  • K8sMom2002

    Gloria, what other plans will you need to make for your trip? I thought about you as I was thinking about our prep for DD's beach trip this weekend. We don't have to fly, but trying to remember everything … sheesh. Plus, I have to leave and come back home Sunday evening, since I have jury duty on Monday morning, so I need to make sure everything's easy and simple for my sis, who's manning the fort in my absence.

  • Pljohns

    Way to go Gloria-I wouldn't have even thought about checking with them.  Glad they have a program and glad it took a load off your mind!

  • Gloria

    I will be in Yellowstone for the eclipse. Supposed to be one of the best places to view it. Already have plane tickets and all the reservations as well as ride to and from airport.

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, wow! I'm very envious! I'll bet it will be fabulous. 

    There's one spot in Georgia (very northern part of Georgia) that will have a total eclipse, but it's on a weekday and DD will be in classes. Here we're supposed to have a pretty good partial eclipse … 

  • Gloria

    Yellowstone, by the way, is very hard on the lungs, with all those sulfuric gasses. But I already know to stay away from those fumes.

  • Gloria

    I just ordered a Vog Mask. I sent a message to the company asking if the mask was effective at blocking perfume. They said yes. They also gave me a 10% off code, first, which made my order of a mask $28.00 shipping included.

    I figured having one might be helpful in various circumstances. I'll let you know…

  • Gloria

    I will have plenty of opportunity to find out, since I have asthma attacks almost every day when I am at work.

  • Pljohns

    Now THAT'S a good idea-I hadn't thought about keeping it at work just in case.  I'm lucky-my new clinical director doesn't wear cologne or anything but sometimes the patients do and I pay for it.  I'll have to look at the ones you bought-if I wear mine, they might die laughing at me and I'm not ready to have that happen.

  • Gloria

    When I worked in medical, 15 years ago, the reps would give everyone little bottles of lotion with that horrible baby shampoo scent. Lucky for me, I had been there longer than anyone else, so I got the office personnel to take them home so that they would' bother me. And that was well before I had asthma!

  • Gloria

    It works pretty well. It actually keeps out most of the "scent" from fragrance. Not too comfortable, but worthwhile. Also, with the choice of fabrics, they don't look intimidating. A little weird, bot not intimidating.  They also have a valve that opens for exhaling only, which is good.

  • K8sMom2002

    That's great that it works — not so great that it's not comfortable. What could be improved about it?

  • Gloria

    Just wearing a mask is uncomfortable. For short periods it's okay, but I wouldn't like doing it for hours. I know docs do during surgeries, but still…

  • Shea

    I really like the vog mask styles… I just impulse- ordered one!  

  • K8sMom2002

    Gloria, what other preparations will you be making for your trip? Could you call the airline to double-check on whether you could get early boarding? Sometimes they do that with folks who are using oxygen concentrators. 

  • Gloria

    I have a bulkhead seat both ways, so that will add a bit to co fort level. Also, I will call the 02 company about a week before I go to get a concentrator. I did buy a Vog mask, which I can also use in a pinch.

  • Gloria

    Where I am going is the same place that I went last time I got really sick on the plane and they had an ambulance waiting for me when we landed. Don't want a repeat of that!

  • K8sMom2002

    No, no repeats of that — we don't want you starting out on your vacay in an ambulance! 

    The bulkhead seat ought to give you more room for your concentrator, and the Vog mask maybe will help keep perfumes and fragrances and scents at bay. It sounds like you're planned and ready! Will you the concentrator a bit early in order to be able check out how it works and be familiar with it?

  • Gloria

    They told me to call my them 2 1/2 weeks ahead of my plane trip, so I will make arrangements in a few days.

  • Gloria

    Thank you, Jen. I will be doing a little road trip with my kids  to eastern Washington when I am there. We are all excited!

  • K8sMom2002

    @Gloria, I saw a special advertised on TV about live coverage of the eclipse, and I thought of you. I am SO excited for you! I'm hoping you have a good trip. 

    Are you all packed and ready to go?

  • Gloria

    I was glad I had the Vog Mask. Used it tge whole flight.

    on the bright side, i went to an area in eastern Oregon to see the eclipse in totatlity.