How to travel with a chronic illness

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After my Lessons your children learn or miss on vacation post, I was asked how I can travel with a chronic illness.  Not easily, is my answer.

As always, I prepare….

I saw 3 doctors the week before I left.  I was on a 20 day antibiotic, taking sinus meds, was treated by an acupuncturist, got a massage, made trips to the pharmacy and had a follow up the week I returned home.  I was able to make it until day 4 before my migraine spiked.  Typically, I get a migraine on day 2 so this was good for me.

I had a suitcase and carryon filled with natural products that I use.  I didn’t take a picture but check out my reviews and it will give you a good idea of some things in my purse.

I had a few days of migraine but only my evenings were consumed with pain.  I was able to stop a level 7/8 from going to a 10 and was able to enjoy the next day at a reasonable level.  These are all victories for me!!

As for returning home….

I have now had a migraine for 12 days straight with no relief.  My pain fluctuates between a 4 and 7 most days but mostly is a constant never ending full body fatigue and heightened stimulus sensitivity with brain pains. My cravings have been out of control and I’ve been packing on weight that makes me even more uncomfortable. 

It’s hard to describe to a non-sufferer, but I’ll just say it’s tough mentally as much as physically when I am in a cycle that isn’t being broken at all. It’s just this wet blanket over me that I really only feel in my down time.  I’m a busy teacher and mom and have been able to do these well but the second I need to do anything other than childcare, I just don’t have it in me. 

my spoons

Priorities of my spoons is the best way I can describe it.  I had to cancel plans this week, was like a rag doll this weekend and generally just felt crappy since I’ve been home.

Traveling comes at a huge cost for me but one I’m willing to pay.  When I live with a migraine daily, traveling and spiking it seems bad but I’d rather get a few days of glory than a week missed in my hole.

Here’s some good examples on how I feel this week: 

 

Oh the joys of traveling

One step forward two steps back

When everything stops working

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How do you get through traveling, before or after? 

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14 thoughts on “How to travel with a chronic illness

  1. Good on you for getting out there. I feel like I’m slowly becoming a hermit because the social imposte on my adrenaline levels, headaches and fatigue are just getting too much currently. So I’m in complete admiration of you. Hopefully when I get things a bit more under control I will be joining you (metaphorically speaking!). You probably wouldnt want me in your luggage 😊

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    • A vacation doesn’t have to be someplace far. I’m sorry you are struggling right now. Maybe think of a place you can go locally just to feel like you’ve gotten away. I’ve been in hermit mode since I got home so you aren’t alone. It takes small slow steps to feel better. I hope you get you vacation soon! Health and hugs your way 🙂

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  2. I am the same – I just bear the pain and am thankful for the experience. I also only travel to places that I really, really want to see.

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  3. Pingback: Traveling when having a chronic Illness – 3 Sisters Abroad

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