How do you travel - any tips?

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Littleneck
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 6/14/2009 11:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Two weeks from today, I'm leaving for my first vacation since I was diagnosed, and actually first trip since I knew something was wrong. I grew up where it's really hot and humid in summer, which I have always loved. I live where it is cool and dry. I notice that I *am* a little more sensitive to the sun, but have just stopped to think about what my beach vacation is going to mean. I am dreading the 12-hour trip to New England and, though I'm wildly excited to see some beloved friends, this will be the first trip when something is different with me and I have pain. I'm just nervous I guess!
 
I am a seasoned traveler but have never traveled with fibro before. What I was wondering is, can anyone share tips to make traveling with fibromyalgia easier? Are there things I should bring that I may not have considered before? I'm not checking any luggage but have one wheeled carryon and a purse. Also, I am traveling alone.
 
Thanks!

Statgeek
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 6/15/2009 12:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Littleneck, I have traveled to two out of state conferences and two short vacations since diagnosis.  Had fibro on my last trip to Italy but did not know it, so was not prepared.

If the rules allow, put your meds in one of those little daily pill thingies and write on the bottom on a little sticker what they all are so you don't get mixed up.  Then take extras of the pain pills.  Wear soft comfy clothing for the plane.  Wear slip on shoes and take soft socks.  Take a butt pillow or cushion.  I got one with a little handle that hooked to my suitcase.  Take a blow up neck pillow that you can use in the small of your back or a head pillow.  Sit on the aisle if you can.  Take comfy shoes and a couple of extra pairs.  Take your heating pad.  I've had to buy one when out because I didn't take mine.  A small purse with minimal stuff inside is a good idea.  Wear layers.  Take your cane if you use one.  I used to not use my cane, but found out that I can walk further without pain if I use it.  I get a lot of perks with the cane (that's not why I use it, though)  wink    But it makes things a lot easier.  At the ball game, they let us in at a short cut rather than make us walk all the way around.  We got in a shorter line at a show in vegas.  I can take the seat in the bus or the waiting area when I need to and people don't look at me funny.    If possible, attach your purse to your carryon for walking thru the airport so you can use your other hand for the cane.   Lots of sunscreen and have fun!! 

This is kind of boring but important.  Be careful with pain pills when you are away from the place you usually take them cuz of how your body responds to meds.  (some or all meds, I am not sure)   Remember Pavlov and his dogs.  He got the dog to salivate to the sound of the metronome (commonly thought a bell) because the dog knew the sound meant meat powder was coming.   It is kind of like that, but a little more complex.  Your body wants to stay in balance.  Some pain meds put brain chemicals out of balance.  Your body responds by compensating.  So, if you take your meds in the bathroom at night, or whatever, your body knows to respond.  It will start compensating before you take the meds.  (just like Pavlov's dogs' bodies knew the meat powder was coming and the body prepared for the food by salivating).   If you take pain meds in a diff location, your body doesn't know what is coming and will not compensate as much.  Less meds might do the same thing on vacation  that more meds do at home. 

So be careful and take less at first and see if they help.  I took too much meds at the grand canyon and the smoke detector was crawling all over the wall spying on me!! 

Have a wonderful time!!!!!   smilewinkgrin

Sue


Sherrine
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 6/15/2009 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   

I have traveled for many years, even to Europe.  I really don't change my routine as far as meds goes.  I do have a back booster pillow that I take.  It is an inflatable pillow and it is wonderful.  When the air is out of it, it fits in a small pouch and this fits nicely in my purse.  It only take four big puffs of air to blow it up.  (This comes in handy when I'm at home, too.)  Here is a link to it that shows it and explains it.

http://www.amazon.com/Back-Booster-1001-Inflatable-Support/dp/B000P41RK8

I also get some $1.00 bills and get help from the skycaps or porters with my luggage.  They are happy for the little bit of money and your muscles will thank you!

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids.  That has helped me.  Actually, I think you will do just fine.  The fibromyalgia never caused me a problem on trips so just go and enjoy your friends and vacation!

Sherrine

 



Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Binki
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 6/15/2009 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Vacation tongue !!! 
 
I just took a vaction, via 4hr plane ride plus driving.  I have problems with my hips and tend to get to exhausted walking long distances.  So, I used a wheelchair to and from the gate.  The airline was very accomodating.   It doesn't cost anything extra, just call the airlines and tell them you need one with the flight your on.  When you check in your luggage tell them your needing one and they will direct you on how/where you can get one.  They will have a rep from the airlines wheel you around.  I gave the gal a tip, thought it appropriate.  I got through the security check point so much faster, scooted right past the line. smilewinkgrin
 
I agree with Sue and Sherrine on the pillows.  I did that as well.  I took my meds in my weekly pill holder, and kept my pain pills close, in my purse.  I did some tourist'y' stuff while I was gone and brought a purse that with a long enough strap to drape over my body, from opposite shoulder to opposite hip.  Helped with my shoulders and it was on me at all times, especially when I was using my cane and need my other hand for the camera or something(holding my dh hand turn ).
 
Anyways my dear, have a blast!  Enjoy the beach (be careful of sun and meds combo) and make many memories, as Sherrine told me.
 
Hugs and be safe..... :-)
Lori  
 
Dx Fibro 1/2008, gastritis
 
300mg Gabapentin, 50mg Pristiq, Vitamin D3, Menopausal Support Multi-vitamin, Ultracet and/or Fentanyl patch as needed


Statgeek
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 6/15/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   

I guess the med info was kind of confusing.  This does not apply to taking your normal amount of meds.  We might be tempted to take extra when traveling because we hurt more.  But we might not need more because of how the body works. 

Remember your heating pad!  And those heating thingies you can wear, like Sherrine said.

I am always forgetting $1s for tips!  That should go on my list next time.

Happy beaches,

Sue


WhiteChocChip
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 6/15/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Definitely get a squishy pillow for your neck.
You can also take a hard train case as your carry on and use it to put your feet on if you're really short.
umm if you can swing it, fly first class :)

Statgeek
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 6/15/2009 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
OOOh first class! That would be awesome. During the 15 hour (was it 15?) flight back from Italy I was stuck between my husband, who is a big man and another man. I was literally squished in my seat. First class is so expensive though!
Sue

WhiteChocChip
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 6/15/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I randomly got upgraded once ... it was very nice.
At least one of the people squishing you was your hubby though ... I HATE it when two people I don't know are practically in my lap.

lost in philly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 6/16/2009 4:57 AM (GMT -7)   
My body is very dependent on being on schedule with everything but especially eating, so when I am away from home I put a granola bar or a piece of fruit in my bag. It helps when my blood sugar drops and everyone else I am with arent hungry yet. Always good to forgo an emergency attack of grouchyness! :-)
lost in philly

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Migraines, Asthma, Chronic Fatigue

Savella, Topamax, Morphine, Percocet, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Crestor, Resoril, Loestrin, Imitrex

B12, Magnesium, Melatonin, Omega3
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"Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."


Bella Scarlett
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/16/2009 5:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Good tips, here. I will be traveling alone in July to CA for my grandson's first birthday. It's a tough trip: three flights out, three flights back with the middle leg return being a red eye. I have a neck pillow and try to get one of those airline pillows for my back, but I think I'll get my own - the airlines are not so accommodating anymore.

My tips: dress in layers. I always have a hooded sweatshirt with me because invaribly, the air conditioning is up and I freeze. I usually find I even need that hood - I cocoon in it. Wear comfy shoes and socks, long pants that I can easily get up and down in those small airplane potties. Don't carry too much on board as I will have to drag it through three airports and stuff gets heavy, pulling on neck and shoulders. Sit in an aisle seat if the flight is over three hours or an overnight flight. I hate to bother sleeping people on my way to the potty. Drink lots of water and keep well hydrated. Eat as nutritiously as possible. Bring healthy snacks for those long travel days. Keep meds with me - TAKE THEM. Take an ipod with relaxation music and/or an audio book. Take earplugs and an eye mask if I want to sleep. Finally, take a sense of humor. Things sometimes go wrong anymore when traveling. It's stressful.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 29867
   Posted 6/16/2009 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Well,
I didn't notice anyone say "be sure to rest lots" , so that's "my" one little tip!! Since I have the distinct 'priviledge" of having several auto-immune issues, so I don't know for sure which one causes the most exhaustion.

AND ...have fun!!!
- Traveler


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 6/16/2009 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone, I've been all around the world but not with fibro!! I sure appreciate your tips. You know, I have been drinking twice as much as water as I have been, and do notice it in my joints. I wanted to make sure and get into a water routine (and it was HARD, I used to hate water!). I have my big sunhat and bathing suit - and LOVED the part about the wheelchair. I have trouble lately with distances too, my hip and knees start hurting. I am going to request it if I need it!
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