When managing a chronic illness, a trip that most get excited about and look forward to can seem daunting. I used to feel this way myself, planning a trip and then feeling all of the uncertainties and what-ifs. There is security in routine and when eating a certain way, taking herbs and supplements at timed intervals, exercising and getting lot’s of sleep are essential to feeling okay, avoiding a trip seems like the logical choice. The mere planning can even be overwhelming!
But one day you might wake up with thoughts of crystal blue water, snow studded mountains, some amazing ethnic food, and some good old excitement. Or quality time with family or friends might be what you are after. My recommendation? Go for it and get packing; you’ve got this!
Some tips to make the most of your trip and allow for maximum enjoyment are the following:
Even if its a week out. You never know what could be in store if you are prone to occasional bad days. Organize outfits with shoes, wash necessary items etc... I remember packing for a full itinerary weekend in Manhattan with my sister and son and having severe head pain, neck pain, and dizziness the morning of our trip. When we arrived at our hotel later that day I opened my suitcase to find practically nothing in it. I barely remembered attempting to pack!
This comes in handy for clothing needs (extra layers for the sub-zero airplane or socks and sweats for when you are tired and cold) but more importantly for medications and supplements. Late night CVS runs in unknown locales to pick up probiotics is not what your adventure from home is about (my husband and I have had many of these)! Pack extra medications and supplements in case delays occur as well; at least one days worth.
Airport or rest-stop food is less than appetizing to the most adventurous eaters but for those of us on an anti-inflammatory diet, its a lose. Nuts (walnuts with cacao nibs or almonds and coconut flakes are my favorite), seeds, cut up vegetables or fruit, a gluten free muffin, some tea bags and water are easy to take along and won’t leave you with a dreaded food hangover. Powdered green superfood blends to add to water are a favorite of mine too (if you are a client of mine you know these well because I give these travel packs to you often).
..and bringing injections, IV supplies, or homeopathic herbs that cannot be scanned, always pack these in your carry on and don’t forget to bring a note from your doctor stating why these are with you. Most airlines require this. Know that your supplies might get taken out and passed around a bit which can be unsettling when it is something that you need for your health. Homeopathic formulas that cannot go through the traditional scanner are often taken away for litmus testing.
When dealing with an illness, overwhelm and stimulation can take a toll on fragile nervous systems. Recharging alone, some conscious breathing, a nap or a walk, are helpful for this. Honor your needs; if you need to rest, do it.
The inclination is often to run ragged the day before a trip with the notion of getting to catch up while you are away. Remeber the days of packing late night before a 5 a.m departure? This doesn't work. You need to rest up for the trip. Same goes for when you arrive home. A day with some extra self-care, whether it be preparing extra healthy foods, sleeping in, or detoxing, might be in order. And knowing you will have this time to regroup will take some angst out of how you might be feeling when you arrive home.
Most importantly, have fun! Be in the moment, enjoy the normalcy of traveling. If you are feeling good, take fierce note of it, celebrate, and enjoy. You made it!