Dear Crabby, What if I am afraid of air travel?

Dear Crabby,

My wife really wants to go to Europe and see the sights, but I am afraid of airplanes. I guess I am not afraid of airplanes as much as I am that one will crash with me on it! What can I do?

Sincerely, Scared E. Cat

Dear Scared E. Cat,

I can relate to what you are saying. I have done a great bit of flying in my life and all of the sudden in my latter years I have found myself having phobias about it. I hate the fact that it bothers me, but I just can’t seem to overpower it when I want to. I look at all the facts. Millions of people take off and land successfully every day across the world. There are fewer fatalities with air travel than with car travel. Airplanes are safer than boats in most cases, too. However, none of these seem to matter when it comes to my panic attacks before going somewhere in an airplane. Friends of ours suggested a trip to Alaska to watch the whales jump, so I immediately started looking into driving there. Looks like it would take me about 12 days to drive there if I really get moving! Then I started suggesting that my wife take her sister or one of her other friends and go without me instead. I really thought that would be fun to see those whales myself though, so I am looking at taking the little blueDearCrabby “chill pills” and just going anyway. However, as soon as I speak those words, my body starts reacting to my anxiety. I guess we are all wired differently. We need to look beyond ourselves sometimes and ask for help. I can’t believe I just said those words! I guess in my old age, I am finally starting to loosen up a bit. I also have anxiety about having my blood drawn. When I was just 10 years old, I went with my father to a blood drive. There was a young boy about my age that had a rare disease, so they were looking for a match. My father told me that I did not have to give blood because I was too young. After he gave his blood, the nurse asked if I was ready, too. She said there is no age limit for just checking the blood type. Well, I went ahead and did it, but my arms swelled up for a week after that and I have never wanted to give blood since. And then a few years ago, the missus and I needed to be checked for chronic fatigue syndrome so we went in to have our blood drawn. Mrs. Crabby was very supportive of me because she knew I was anxious. After we were all done and I was heading to the parking lot in my mind already, Mrs. Crabby asked the doctor if those tests would also check for iron in my blood. After replying “No,” they said they needed to stick me again to find that out. I was so upset! I let them go ahead, but I have not let Mrs. Crabby forget about that one! So go for it, and good luck! You only live once anyway.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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