Traveling Tips for Fibro Patients
Traveling is supposed to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. But that's not the case a lot of the time. Even for someone without health problems, traveling can be stressful. For someone with fibromyalgia, traveling can become something that's absolutely dreaded.
There are several things you can do to either fully prevent additional traveling stress or at least significantly reduce it.
Organization and Planning
As someone with fibromyalgia, you'll need to do a little more planning than the typical person for any type of trip. If myofascial tension is one of the fibromyalgia symptoms you experience, you can help reduce the pain that traveling will cause by getting a professional massage by someone skilled in myofascial release shortly before you begin traveling. The tensions of traveling will exacerbate any myofasical problems you have, but if you get a massage first, you might be able to reduce the severity of the problems. Many patients experience pain for as long as a couple of days after myofasical release. If you fall into this category, make sure you take massage recovery time into your travel planning.
If you can, eliminate any foods that irritate your bowels about a week before you leave.
Go through any potential problems related to your condition that you might experience, and plan accordingly. For example, perhaps you'll need to walk long distances in an airport. If this is the case, you'll need to make sure the airport offers some sort of indoor shuttle service and book it in advance if necessary. Most large airports offer this service and booking isn't often required. But it's always a good idea to know what's expected and what you need to do to get the help you need.
Make sure you have enough of all necessary medications. Pack extra if possible so that you can still receive medicated treatment if there are any unforeseen delays. Local travel doesn't require extensive medication packing. A small cosmetic bag or even a cloth pencil case is usually good enough. If you're traveling abroad, you may wish to keep your medication in its original packaging and copies of the prescriptions. Check the country's regulations to find out if there are any penalties for the types of medications you need and what you need to do to prevent these penalties.
Make sure everything you need to manage your condition is on your person or very near to you. Do not pack it in luggage that will be stored under a bus or plane.
Keep Yourself Comfortable
There are a variety of things you can do to increase your comfort while traveling. Pack on-the-go pain relief. While heating pads are a good idea to pack, they're not going to do you much good if you're unexpectedly delayed in an airport. Purchase patches that can heat up on their own so you can give yourself heat pain relief wherever you are.
Make sure the clothing you wear is unrestrictive and comfortable. There are some fashionable leisure cloths on the market, even if you have to look a little to find them. Make sure you wear layers. That way if you suddenly feel cold, you can put on a sweater. And you can just as easily remove layers if you find yourself suddenly unusually warm.
Book an aisle seat whenever possible when traveling by plane, train or bus. Keep yourself hydrated. If your trip is very long, see if your doctor will prescribe you a mild sedative to help you sleep during the trip. You need to feel comfortable with the idea of sleeping in a strange place with strange people before you consider this option. It's something to consider, especially if you're traveling for several hours in the middle of the night by plane.
Stretch regularly to reduce muscle tenseness and stiffness in the joints.