Some of the details in this post might frighten some readers who are “early” in their work on their fear of flying. It’s OK, it’s just a truthful story of someone else’s experience. It could be your’s or mine one day, so I think it’s useful to know how to understand it and not let stories like this negatively affect your fears. Finding out facts and understanding how they support flight safety is important. All I know is that with my sensitivity to motion sickness, I may have been even more uncomfortable (but not frightened) than my patient (who has given me permission to tell the story).
A new patient whom I’d seen for several sessions was asked to fly with little notice to Sydney for a particular event in late November, 2015. We still had some clinical work to do, but the importance of the task in Sydney meant she needed to go, and indeed it was to be alone. The previous flights had been with colleagues or her husband. She thought about seeing me for a “top up” or pre-flight pep talk, but with too little time, decided to brave the flight on her own, with perhaps a little help from some meds. (By the way, it’s not at all unusual for patients to schedule flights during the course of our work. Many are regular flyers, but find their flying is becoming worse, and not flying is not an option.)
The first assist: Flightaware.com
Deducing and Understanding what happened
Actions I took to help my patient
Using Webtrack.com from AirServices Australia