Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How To Travel With Lupus

Holidays are coming up and many of you will probably be traveling to visit family. This is a huge stress for most people, and add a chronic disease on top of that and you have near disaster. Luckily I have some experience (I myself traveled a mere 3 days ago).

Packing

The hardest part about packing is working around fatigue and joint pain. Learning to pace yourself is a big part of the process.

Visualization

When I hear visualization, it's usually from people telling me to "visualize what your future will be". That is not what I will be telling you to do. To limit my running around I use visualization to figure out what I am going to bring and where those items are in the house. I then plan what I am going to do in my mind so that I have the most efficient plan for getting things together. In my closet was the backpack I was using to pack. I also had a few shirts and jackets that would be perfect for my trip, so I grabbed those all at once.

Five feet away was my clothing drawer and a basket full of clean clothes I hadn't put away yet. I grabbed all the clothes I had visualized wearing on my trip and packed them right then and there. I left the backpack right where it was. I wouldn't move it until I was putting it in the car. I took a quick break and then did laundry so the dirty clothes I wanted to bring would be clean.

Stuff You Might Forget About

My method of transportation on this trip was a car. And I was spending most of the time in the passenger seat. With the direction we were going, this meant I was going to get the brunt of the sunlight. When you're in a car, it's hard to hide from the uv light. So sunscreen and protective clothing (like a hat, long sleeve shirt, and sunglasses) were important. I didn't want to give myself a flare right when vacation starts! 

And whatever you do, don't forget your list of medications and allergies list. And just as important as this list, make sure you have your medications. Buying those week-sized pill cases was the best decision I ever made. I mean the last thing you want is to be away from your favorite pharmacist. My pharmacist is so delightful, getting medicine from anyone else would feel like cheating.

Really comfortable pajamas. Do not forget these. Sleeping in an unfamiliar place is difficult for almost everyone. Add difficulty sleeping due to pain and it makes it almost impossible. And now that the weather is getting colder, slippers or socks are a must. Why? When you are most comfortable, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. And if you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, your cold feet are going to make falling back asleep even more difficult. If you're warm and comfortable, it's easier to stay in that semi-asleep state so as soon as your head hits the pillow, you're conked out.

What is your secret to "spoonie" travel?

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