How to Plan for Vacation?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 5/24/2009 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok now that my husband and I have gotten all our hours back and work plus the hubby got a really large raise, we are going on our first vacation in 5 years.  We used to go once a year until my hubby became a work-a-holic.  The the recession hit and hit very hard for us.
My questions are?
How do you plan a vacation with CP?  This will be my first one since my illness set in with the pain.
I have a wheelchair even a motorized one can't take this one for we don't have an attachment for the SUV.  I would only need this for outing to the theme parks and shopping?  What about pain meds?  What about possible ER trip?
We will be staying at my mother in laws in Cocoa Beach, FL.  So I don't have to worry about hotels.
What do I need to plan?  I know I would forget something and be 800 miles from home and be miserable.  Plus my mother in law has no clue about my health conditions.  Shes a great lady hopefully she will understand.  I don't even know how to prepare them for my illness or even bring it up without feeling selfish and wanting to talk about me.
Any help would save me such grief on planning.
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD
Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea
Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 5/24/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   

This is how I planned my vacation

The first thing I would do is go to the online yellow pages and look up medical supply stores where you are going. Then I would contact them about renting a scooter or something of the life to help you get around.

Next I would double check all RX amounts and make sure you have all you need to get through the vacation. If you are flying I would go the pharmacy and get duplicate pill bottles/labels so you have them with you in case you misplace something.

I would get a suitcase and start putting things you will need in it and makning a list ot stick on it so that as you use the things you need until the trip you have a check list created to make sure you have everything when you pack.

If you use heating pads, buy an extra one that way if it gets lost the old trusty one at home is not gone for good

If you like ice get some of the instant ice compresses from the drug store, that way you can have them on your carry on in case you get a "moment"on the plane (get one sealed in plastic and show the stewardess so no one panics over the noise they make when you activate them)

Tell your doc you are going on vaca so that if meds get lost he will know

Most of all, take it easy. Don't over plan and make sure you have down time planned each day.

Take care,


Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4



Meds - percocet  3x day : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E


In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 5/24/2009 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Good, well thought-out advice, Sarrah.

I have a motorized wheelchair and bought the attachment for the car over the internet. They vary greatly in price, but mine was not expensive at all. Next, I need to get a hitch for my car installed, though.

As for vacations, I go to Disney once a year or so with the grandkids and my daughter and her husband. We enjoy that so much. I do take my wheelchair with me though. It works out just fine. But I have rented them before too.

I have a checklist for packing on the computer. That way I never forget anything when I go to pack. It's a good idea to store it there. That way it is always available for each trip and you never lose it. Plus, you can always add to it over the years, if need be.

When I go on vacation, I always take my own pillows. That way I am always comfortable in any hotel room and even in the car on the trip. Disney is just an hour's drive from Ocala, where I live, so I don't have to worry about a long drive.

Enjoy your next trip and enjoy this holiday weekend!!

Moderator Chronic Pain
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 5/24/2009 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Sarah.... See I would of forgot my heating But I would NEVER forget my pillows..... Your post also helped me remember something else. Can you get a smaller bottle with the label on it? I get so many pills that the bottle they come in is very large...

I usually never use a wheelchair I'm just worried the family might want to go to a park or walk on the peir at any length of time. I don't want to hold them up but I know they won't mind. Its just so weird going on vacation and being alittle concerned my body will reject all the activities. Its always been me dragging my hubby and the kids around doing all the tourist stuff even though my huuby grew up in Cocoa.

Lindaloo.... I like your idea about making a packing list on the computer. My hubby and kids have NEVER had to pack a thing I always pack everyone. Yes they have the good life. I can't believe when my mother died I packed everyone when we went to bury her in Minn. Don't remember to much of it other than packing and sleeping the whole trip.

My kids are teenagers but they want to go back to Disney World. I would really have to rent a motorized chair.

But thanks for the responses I has really helped. Man I would of forgot the heating pad then my hubby would have to go out on vacation to get me another
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD
Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea
Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 5/24/2009 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
The most important thing is to relax. What good is a vacation if it stresses you out more than staying home would. Remember, you can replace almost anything you forget, they have Walmarts in Florida, LOL. Bring the things you use when at your worst, but make sure you put them in your carry on bag. Don't bring your favorite of anything if you have to check the bag.

I like the instant ice compress idea and they also have heat patches if that's more your style. I hope the airlines don't have rules about them now. Pack for comfort, not fashion.

Make sure you have enough meds for your trip. If you use a national pharmacy like Walgreens, you can get a refill in Florida. I know in my state you can get a smaller, labeled pill bottle so you can split up your pills. Make sure to bring enough for an extra day or two in case of delays.

Be ready to stay behind if you need to. Pace yourself so you can do the things you really want to do, skip the things that are not as important. Talk to your family ahead of time and let them know it is ok with you if they go off and do some activities without you. I always bring a book so I can sit and read for an hour or so while the family does their thing. Be grateful for what you can do and don't waste time feeling bad about the things you can't do.

Don't worry about your MIL, if it is stressing you out, either you or your husband should call her before the trip and fill her in. Letting her know in advance, especially if you have any special needs, will help her plan for your visit. Informing her about your health is not selfish, it would be more selfish not to tell her. This allows her to plan based on your needs so she doesn't have to scramble around at the last minute.

Enjoy your trip.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 5/25/2009 1:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes Definitely pack for comfort and get the weather reports..
weather channel has good reports or check on-line, Hurricane Season
is just about to start for us, June 1st through end of November with
August through November being the worse months...
other than that relax and enjoy like the others have said..
Hope you have a good time...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 5/25/2009 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
We are planning this for the last 12 days in July. We are driving that is another concern for me. Its only 10 - 11 hours away and we have always gotten up at 4 am to leave to be there by dinner time. But mornings are so miserable for me. I can hardly walk until my pain meds start to work. We could set the alarm and take the meds at 3 am that might work. But sitting for that long might drive me insane with discomfort. I should talk to the PM about it.

Dagger I ALWAYS have a book. Its part of my therapy for My MIL is the sweetest lady she the older lady at church that opens the door and greets you, my step FIL is an usher. My hubby grew up in this church. It will just feel so strange telling her about my illness. I've known her for 18 yrs and have never brought her into private issues. This should be interesting

Chartreux I'm usually glued to the weather channel two days before we leave. I'm so scared of Hurricanes. My husband and his family think its nothing but bad storms not a big deal. Boy to me they are a really BIG deal.

Ok so far this morning I have created an excel spreadsheet for what to pack. With each member with there own heading. My 16 yr old daughter is the one that will be the longest just her hair supplies take up one suitcase. Boy now I need to think of packing room in the SUV cuz I will have to bring the wheelchair. I haven't brought myself to even use it yet, its brand new and shiny.

Thank everyone its helping my stress level
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD
Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea
Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/25/2009 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't posted to this thread because I haven't taken a vacation in so long...

Anyway, as I read your last post I thought what about making it into a two day drive? I know when we're feeling good a 10-11 hr. drive may be nothing. But now things have changed. I remember in my 20's driving from Florida back to PA by myself, although I finally had to crash in Ohio! I used to love long drives. Now a long drive can be an hour!

I just wondered if it would take the pressure off you to stop and stay somewhere after about 5 hours? You could make it fun, and not a very expensive stop. That time of the year is not peak travel season to Florida, and you might be able to get a great deal at a hotel with a nice hot tub!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/25/2009 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Laurie, I agree with PAlady, just the thought of an 11 hour drive gives me goosebumps!!! I guess you'rd make plenty of stops for stretching? I'm facing a 3 1/2 hour flight for my parents diamond wedding anniversary and I'm dreading that! Plus the worry of being active at least staying with your Mum they will give you time out to recover. Goodluck, golitho

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 5/26/2009 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Traveling for me went fine even in my husbands pickup, was not bad for me at all. We make a trip to go hunting in Arkansas that is a yearly thing. His truck has all the bells & whistles and the heated seats were a plus for me. My seat reclined back to where I was almost laying down. We made plenty of stops for me to get out and walk around. Had my blanket & bed pillow. We took our time and did not try to rush anything. I even had one of my big oxygen tanks in the back seat. lol. Riding is one of the hardest things for me but it was ok. Try not to stress out so much-remember this is to be fun. Make an adventure out of it. You really do not have to go into alot of great detail with your MIL unless you want to. The ball is in your court on this one.

Be thankful you and the family can get away and enjoy every moment of it. You will be surprised what distraction can do for pain in this situation. Hugs, Susie

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