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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long distance travel and Chronic Illness

Long distance travel
Chronic Illness

We all dread it. Those of us who suffer from any type of Chronic Illness dread travelling for the holidays. While flying is considerably faster than driving, it can be as taxing on the body and mind for a Chronic Illness sufferer. 

Anxiety, cramped spaces, limited bathroom availability (let alone space), motion sickness, and above all pain; makes travelling at times virtually impossible. Even quick drives can be problematic. 

So imagine, what it would be like for someone who suffers from chronic pain (like Fibromyalgia, Chrons, MS) to sit in one seat for an hour, two, three. Even a 'normal' person starts to have body aches after sitting for a long period of time. For us, it's like a nouveau torture chamber. 

The idea of hoping in a plane for ten or twelve hours scares the hell out of me. Yet, it is something I want to do in order to facilitate a life long dream. Of course, the short 4 hr 50 min flight to the East Coast still poses a certain amount of fear and trepidation for me. While I want to fly, I don't want the complications that will arise from it.

Travelling also means packing medications, accessories and making sure that all documentation is ready to go (extra health insurance, vaccines, allergies, emergency contacts etc). This time of year is tough enough to travel in as a healthy person. When you compile everything extra that Chronic Illness sufferers have to contend with; it really doesn't make it look all that appealing. 

Making sure you are prepared for any situation that might come up will help make travelling a little less worrisome. (Airport  security not included here, that's a whole different blog all to itself )

Travel smartly, safely and happily this holiday season while remembering that a Chronic Illness sufferer is travelling too and could be sitting next to you, so be patient, tolerant and show compassion. One day it could be you. 

*quick tip* print off a copy of all your medication and dosages just in case you run out or they get lost (damn luggage handlers). Give a copy to a trusted person at home and carry one copy with you. This way, if you do have an emergency, there is someone at home that will be able to assist .

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