It’s often difficult, when you have a chronic condition, to know when to take chances. Should you go away on a vacation with the chance of having a flare in symptoms? If you don’t do it now, when will you decide that it’s a better time to do so? It’s very important, when you are dealing with fibromyalgia, or any chronic condition, to take care of yourself. It’s also important to try to live as full and rich a life as possible. Here are five tips that may help you to have a more successful travel experience with fibromyalgia.
Get plenty of rest before, during and after your trip. Travel requires a good deal of planning and energy. You can put yourself at risk for a flare up in symptoms if you do too much and wear your body down. If you are going on a one week trip, consider it a two week trip in total. Rest extra for the few days before and after the trip. During the actual trip, give yourself breaks throughout the day and pace yourself. Just because you’ve gone away doesn’t mean that you have to use every second of every day. You can give yourself time to relax, nap and enjoy your time as well. If you are travelling with others, you may need to opt out of some of the activities they have planned and you may need to pace yourself. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing for you to do at that hour.
Plan, Plan, Plan
The more that you plan the trip, the better able you’ll be to monitor your fatigue and pain and to pace yourself. Do research beforehand about the place where you are going, the things that you want to see, and the amount of time that you’ll need to see each item. This can help you to schedule your days ahead of time and to know what to expect each day. Planning may also involve getting motorized carts, wheelchairs and other items for the airport. If you’ve planned ahead, it may help you to resist the temptation to do too much while you are away.
If you are going on your trip with a spouse, with other family or with friends, they may not realize your limitations. Be open and honest about your needs with fibromyalgia and make it clear what you are expecting from the trip and from them. By discussing these things ahead of time, you will reduce the chance that they will be surprised or disappointed during the trip. You will also reduce the chance that you will do more than you can handle out of pressure from others.
Evaluate Your Expectations
It’s very important to evaluate your goals for the trip before going. Just the fact that you are going on this trip is a wonderful thing. You should pat yourself on the back for your efforts and be excited if you can enjoy this interesting place. You may need to work with yourself emotionally in order to see your trip from this vantage point. Every thing that you are able to see and every experience that you have on the trip is a gift. Seeing it this way, rather than being disappointed if you don’t end up accomplishing all of your goals, will lessen the pressure you put on yourself and give you the freedom to enjoy whatever happens on the trip.
Use Comfort Tools
There is no reason to be without things that will make you comfortable when you travel with fibromyalgia. If you need a certain cushion for back support, find a way to bring it. If there is a certain food that helps you to relax or keeps your pain in check, then make sure that you have enough of it with you to keep yourself comfortable. If there are certain comfort items or alternative treatments that will help you with your travel and make you more comfortable, make sure that you bring them, even if they are bulky.
Enjoy your vacation and get ready for a great adventure! You deserve this time off and this chance to see something new. Have fun to the best of your ability.