Posted by: painreliefcoach | December 18, 2007

5 TIPS ON HOW TO TRAVEL WITH CHRONIC PAIN

Traveling can be fun if you are going on vacation or to visit family.  There may also be times when travel is a necessity due to a job/business or to attend a wedding or funeral.

Some people love to travel and others are “homebodies”.  Whatever your personal preference, your chronic pain doesn’t have to be the deciding factor.  Here are 5 tips to help make your travels more enjoyable.

 

  1. Feel your best before you leave.  Many people rush around trying to maintain regular activities and prepare for the trip the day or 2 beforehand.  Make a decision regarding what you can delegate or put on the backburner until you return.  Maintain your usual health routine, which may consist of exercise, yoga or meditation.  Add extra time to your healing activities to give yourself a little boost.
  2. Start your trip early, by having a massage or pedicure before you leave.  This will help you to relax and get into your vacation mode early or if it’s business you will feel more refreshed and calm to tackle whatever lies ahead.
  3. Under schedule the day before, so you have time to pick up needed toiletries or do an extra load of laundry without stress.  Make sure you have enough of all of your medications including over the counter and herbal.  Depending on where you are it can be stressful to find and/or obtain once you are there. Also under schedule activities during your trip.  Remember to always pace yourself.  If you find out you are in over your head, it’s okay to take a break.  If you are with a group that’s hiking, wait for them on a bench in the shade or go into an air-conditioned building to wait.
  4. Do not pack a heavy suitcase or carry ons.  Even if it is on rollers, there are times it will have to be lifted on a curb, there may or may not be someone there. If you do need help, ask for it!  Don’t worry if it appears you should be able to manage it yourself.  It’s not worth aggravating your pain to avoid 2 minutes of embarrassment.  The more you ask for help when you need it, the less self-conscious you will become.
  5. Set your own priorities.  You know what makes you feel better or worse.  Advocate for yourself to do what is in your own best interest. Stop the car to stretch before your pain is severe, likewise get up and walk the aisles in a plane. Bring whatever you need to facilitate feeling your best, whether it’s a pillow or an eggshell mattress.  Stay on your diet even if it requires saying “no” to a place others want to eat.  If you need a massage mid-week, be flexible to cancel other plans to get one.  Better yet, anticipate and schedule it in advance whether you think you need it or not, it will feel good.

 

This is your life.  It is possible to travel with chronic pain and still feel good.  The memories you will have will enhance your life and you’ll be glad you’re enjoying life and not sitting on the sidelines.  You can do it, if you do it your way.

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Responses

  1. I’d like to add something from my experience. If you take medication that needs to be refrigerated and you’re staying at a hotel, call and make sure the room has a refrigerator before you check-in.

    Many hotels have been cutting back on refrigerators in the rooms, and you can only get one by requesting it ahead of time. If you wait until you get to the hotel, you may be put on a waiting list. And don’t store your medicine in the mini-bar – sometimes you’ll get charged for even opening it and moving things around.

  2. Great list! I appreciate your insights into how to face just one of the difficulties associated with chronic pain.

    Thanks again!
    -Brad


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