New Experiences: The Flight of Terror!!!

Life is full of new experiences. That’s probably why they call it life, and not just an existence.

Suffering with a chronic illness like Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) means I am used to experiencing new things, but they are normally things like; my first MRI scan, or my first Humira injection, or my first dodgy look from a stranger when I sit in the disabled seat on the tube, on the days that my AS reminds me it is both a literal and a metaphorical pain in the ass.

Image Credit:

However, soon I will be experiencing a completely new experience for myself. Flying with child! More specifically a 9 month old child. On a long haul flight…

This fills me with a whole multitude of emotions, both positive and negative.

Firstly this has given me a whole new set of problems to worry about, some realistic situations, and some just plain paranoid delusion. My old worries used to go something like:

Will the seats be comfortable enough for my sore back? I hope they are showing good movies, I hate being bored with nowhere to go. Will there be a kid behind me, kicking my chair all the way there again? Will my ipod have enough battery life to last the whole journey? Will my wife expect me to have an actual grown-up conversation with her!?….

It’s not quite a complete list, but you get the gist. Having made the same flight from London Heathrow to Washington Dulles a few times already, these are generally less of an issue now that I’m practised.

With my hands on my heart I can truly say becoming a father for the first time is both the most exciting, fulfilling, and the downright scariest thing that has ever happened to me. Hopefully you are all nodding in agreement right now.

Thankfully so far the good stuff is outweighing the scary stuff by a long way so far. But for how long……..

On the up side I am no longer worried about my AS, which has taken a welcomed back seat this time around. No longer do I have to worry about the seating, travelling with my medications, or what I do if I flare in a foreign country. This time the spotlight is on the little one. Just how he likes it!

So my current chaotic thoughts are along the lines of:

What can we take through security with us? Security is so much tighter since 9/11 and 7/7. Can we take his formula on board? Will the stewardesses help in a timely manner? Or will he be left screaming while they finish their other duties? How’s he going to cope for 8 hours in a restricted space? Will he escape and go on a rampage, terrorising the whole plane? Will there be turbulence? Will he get travel sick? What happens if he needs feeding or changing at the wrong time? How’s he going to cope with the jet-lag? Will he get through passport control OK? He is half American and half English, which passport do we use? Are we going to be accused of child trafficking? How do I prove he’s mine?  Oh I wonder if there’s a Denny’s in the airport…..

Like I said some of these are real potential problems that need some advanced planning to avoid embarrassment and anxiety. Some have the potential to be classed as a little bit crazy, depending on your point of view.

What do you think? Are these rational fears and anxieties? Have you been through the same?

I’d love to hear about your experiences, and tips are most definitely welcomed! As we wouldn’t want this to happen would we……………………………………………

Image Credit:

5 Replies to “New Experiences: The Flight of Terror!!!”

  1. Mary Ellen

    A year after I was dx’d with A.S. & PsA, I gave birth to my son and two years after that, twin daughters. I was grateful I lived in the southern state of Georgia, US so that I didn’t have to wrap my little ones in winter clothing. BUT, I did have to go back and forth cross country (south to north) a few times and when I did, I shipped the things my children would need while on holiday via UPS before I left town. That way I only had to carry a slightly smaller contingency of luggage on the actual flight. I never traveled during their “awake” times. I planned for overnight flights or times when they would be napping. God forgive me, I was also known to plain old drug the babies with a bit of pediatrician approved medicine! It was for their safety/sanity as much as mine or other passengers. New books & toys (non-noise making) were also pulled out in times of stress. Perhaps that’s why my 3 learned to color so early on! Cheerios were also a staple in my purse, whether the kiddo’s were with me or not! We’ve all survived, not been banned by an airline and have thousands of miles under their diapers. You will be surprised how clever you really can be.

  2. Charity Thomas Schofield Patterson

    My nephew was taken on a vacation to Mexico from canada when he was a wee baby … nearing toddler so around 9mos like your little one. he Loved it. The whole plain was enamoured by him. I think a small stash of something safe for babies to knock em out is good.. Just not benedryl… as it does the EXACT OPPOSITE as it would for anyone else on young kids… Aka… bounce off the ceiling hyper.

  3. Tosha of Bottled Time

    I always love the thread of humor running through your posts! I chuckled about your previous worries no longer being concerns and pictured you practicing grown-up conversations complete with flash cards so that you could visit with your wife.

    I’d recommend getting on the TSA website to find the flight guidelines. To calm your fears some however- I’ve found the security checks are very familiar with baby stuff- more so than obscure liquid and injectable medications. I’ve had people go through the line in front of me with what looked like enough formula to be stranded for a week. Just be forewarned that they will search your baby. I’ve seen some parents get freaked by that part. But, apparently there’s a ring of naughty babies smuggling things in their diapers. Tell Junior to leave the stolen goods at home. And just to make things easier on myself-I always check whatever I can so I have a minimum amount to go through security.

    P.S. You can also get on the airport websites to find out about that Denny’s ;-).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *