Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 19: Traveling with Arthur #NHBPM

The holidays are upon us. It means long car rides, overnights in strange places, and spending all damn day cooking and cleaning and dealing with annoying people. Just hang in there - there's only like a month of this! Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas I have for getting through this stressful time.

  • The most important thing to do when traveling with a chronic illness is to not underestimate your illness or overestimate your abilities. Don't be pessimistic here, but just realistic - imagine what you'll need on the worst day and you'll be prepared for anything.
  • If you're traveling abroad for the holidays, make sure to have extra days of medication on hand in case the weather turns to crap.
  • Always make sure you have your necessary meds (NSAIDs, pain relievers, muscle relaxers, etc) where you can easily get to them in case you desperately need them. It might be a good idea to not leave them on the third floor of your great aunt Lisa's townhouse.
  • If you don't have a medical alert/ID bracelet, make sure to keep a list of your meds, allergies & reactions, emergency contacts, and doctor information handy. I have a list in my phone and a simple written list in my wallet. Make sure that the people you are with know where these things are in case of emergency.
  • If you have a disabled parking hanger, make sure to research the rules for use in the state(s) you're visiting for the holidays. Not every state has the same rules regarding parking meters and more with the hanger.
  • If you have food allergies, make sure people know it for their holiday cooking ideas. Don't put yourself in a place to have an allergic reaction if the decision comes down to eating questionable food - but make sure that your loved ones know it has nothing to do with them.
    • And if you're not visiting family, make sure to plan out restaurants where you can safely eat along your routes.
  • If you're staying at a hotel, make sure to ask if they have an elevator. If not, try to get the first floor.
  • If you're driving a long distance, make you can take little rest breaks to stop and stretch - and if you drive like me and the fiance do, these are great spots to switch drivers. Also, pillows are great in this situation.
  • Plot things out ahead of time and make sure to have alternative activities. If you like hiking, make sure you can have a more sedentary activity just in case your body decides hiking is a no-go.
  • Communicate with your traveling partners how you are feeling so that everyone is on the same page. I have been saved numerous times from the fiance noticing something I was in denial about during travels.
  • Have a mobility aid to back you up! I took a cane on our big vacation this year and ended up not needing it at all. Having it there though took a lot off my mind.
  • For heaven's sakes, NAP! Don't fight the fatigue all the time and make sure that you can do some of your planned activities on different days if need be.
  • If you're flying, don't be afraid to ask for a wheelchair. It'll make boarding go faster and people are very willing to help.
  • Plan snack breaks to keep your energy up. Cashews, while fattening, are great for this.
  • Make hand sanitizer your friend!
  • Let anyone who will be coming for thanksgiving or other holidays know how dangerous it is for you to even get a cold and ask them to stay home if they don't feel well.
If you have any more tips to share, please do so in the comments!

Happy travels!

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