If you are preparing for an exciting and fun upcoming Holiday trip it can be a stressful, and living with chronic pain can often feel like added extra baggage to take with you.
Whether you are traveling for business, or a get a way, or going to see family or friends over the holiday, or medical reasons traveling can sometimes cause some anxiety which can lead to more anxiety and can cause you more pain.
I love traveling but in the past I found it stressful but not anymore.
When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis which left me living in a fog, often forgetful and exhausted as well as Osteonecrosis which is quite painful and challenged me and my mobility from one day to another.
But there are ways to help you relax and make your trip more relaxing.
Give Yourself Enough Time
The environment of an airport tends to be frantic – people rushing from gate to gate and the hustle bustle of removing shoes at security put coat on try make sure electronics are in a separate bin and the pace is fast…. well for some that can be really stressful
If you’re traveling with chronic pain, you understand how keeping your stress and emotions as even as possible is vital.
Allow yourself the time needed to arrive at the airport and check-in, without the added worry of getting through security and making it to the gate on time.
This simple change can set your trip up for a more enjoyable experience from the start.
Also important is water. Yep drink your water.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It’s a known fact that traveling dehydrates the body and when living with chronic pain, dehydration can make the everyday symptoms feel worse.
The lack of humidity and air flow within the airplane cabin can make you feel swollen, depleted and dried out by the time you land.
Many airports now offer filtered water from a water fountain after going through security. Consider bringing an empty water bottle with you and fill it up before getting on the plane or as tempting as it is to go for a cold soda from the flight attendant try choosing a water instead.
Water is a critical travel companion that should never be left behind.
Get Rest Before you go.
Being well rested before you go on vacation or a business trip can be a challenge, between packing and daily tasks that have to get done before you leave, but sleep is an important part of good health.
Insufficient sleep often worsens pain symptoms and ultimately affects your mood, which can precipitate a vicious cycle. Sleep runs on a two-day cycle so be sure to build in rest to your pre-travel plans; it may not take the pain away, but you’ll be much better suited to deal with the unexpected aspects that traveling throws your way.
Living with chronic pain means there are many facets of life that are out of your control. When it comes to clothing, this is a choice you’re able to make.
Traveling sometimes means going from car to plane to maybe a taxi, you’ll want to wear something that you’re comfortable spending hours in. Wearing loose clothing, dressing in layers and packing comfort items, like a travel pillow, can go a long way.
This small adjustment can be the difference between arriving at your destination and having a bumpy ride.
Check Your Bag
Although this may be an added expense for many airlines, you may get your first bag free as an added perk if you are a frequent traveler. From a practical standpoint, checking your bag means you don’t have to drag it to your terminal or deal with finding space in the overhead bin. When traveling with medication, make sure you refer to these helpful TSA tips
- Wear as Little Metal as Possible.
- Wear Socks and Choose Easily Removable Shoes.
- Put Liquids and Gels Into a One-Quart Plastic Bag.
- Keep Larger Containers of Liquid Medications, Nutrition Drinks and Medical Supplies Separate From Other Liquids and Gels.
- Don’t Count on PreCheck.
- Prepare Laptops and Cameras for Screening.
•Get there earlier if you need to be there 2 hours early go for 4 so you can take your time.
The less added baggage you have with you, the easier your traveling experience will be.
Do you have Chronic pain? What are your travel tips? I’d love to hear helpful suggestions on how you manage your chronic pain while traveling .
Happy Holidays and Safe Travels
The health care field needs to incorporate more patient wellness questions and plans of actions for patients.
What matters to you, what’s important to you and how can we help you move toward that.