It is quite a challenge to learn how to live your own life and manage your daily activities when you have begun to develop a chronic medical condition.
The comfort zone, as you know it, may become considerably smaller than it has ever been before, so traveling—for work or pleasure—becomes somewhat risky, and sometimes even downright frightful.
Symptom flare-ups are unpredictable, and they tend to be aggravated by stress. And who doesn’t stress when traveling, about the itinerary, about the security of your home while you are away, about the possibility of reacting physically to the trip?
You must treat your fibromyalgia and every other chronic medical condition with respect.
You must show care for your health and always be safe, but you must also try not to miss out on some of the fun and otherwise important things in life.
Some days, that will require you to step away from the comfort of your home and routine, but there are things you can do beforehand to ensure that you travel well, even if you have fibromyalgia.
Rest, rest, rest! Be sure that you are fully rested before you begin your trip. Pace yourself and give yourself time to rest as you go.
And just as importantly, when you return home, allow yourself an adequate amount of time to recover from the trip before you resume all of your daily activities.
Any trip, great or small, calls for high energy and sufficient planning. Being unprepared in this respect puts you in danger of wearing yourself down and welcoming a flare of symptoms related to your fibromyalgia.
The duration of your trip will require from you an equal amount of rest. This means that for a one-week excursion, plan as though it were two, allowing yourself days to rest well before you leave and after your return.
Do not hesitate to pull yourself aside and give yourself as many breaks as you need along the way.
Allow yourself relaxation time. Allot for naps and enjoy an easy pace. The fact that you are away from home does not imply that every moment must be spent being busy.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Thorough planning gives you a greater ability to monitor your fibromyalgia symptoms and adjust your pace throughout the trip according to your levels of pain and fatigue.
Research well the places you will be visiting, make note of the attractions you do not want to miss, allotting sufficient time for every sight and activity at a healthy pace.
Knowing precisely where you will be and what you will be doing days in advance will help you be assured of what to expect from each day and how you should be prepared.
Thorough advanced planning can guarantee you have access to the equipment and help you need while you travel, such as a motorized cart at the airport.
Sufficient planning can also prevent you from biting off more than you can chew—signing up for more than you can reasonably handle!
Communication is Key
Do not be shy about expressing your needs when traveling with others, and don’t feel compelled to do all the things that everyone else is doing if the activities or momentum is not conducive to your state of well-being.
Put your health and happiness first and foremost every step along the way. Your spouse, family, or friends with whom you travel may sometimes need to be reminded of any limitations you have because of your condition. Be ready to communicate your needs and expectations at any time.
It is wise to take time to discuss them beforehand, in the planning stages of the trip, so that your traveling companions may also know what to expect, be prepared, and become less likely to be disappointed or unpleasantly surprised when the excursion has already begun!
Know Your Motivation
Full knowledge of your own goals and expectations is imperative to take a successful trip.
It is a fantastic milestone that you are about to achieve! Do not hesitate to take pride in your decision to tackle the trip and take joy in the excitement of this new endeavor.
Be sure that you are emotionally and physically prepared for the trip, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself so that you have the freedom to enjoy every part of the experience.
And don’t let yourself be disappointed if unforeseen circumstances arise and you are not able to meet every goal that you made concerning the trip.
Take A Little Piece of Home with You (Or as Many as You Need!)
Traveling is not a sufficient reason to go without all the support you need to make your fibromyalgia manageable.
Leave room in your suitcase for that special cushion that helps to alleviate your back pain. Pack foods that have been proven in your experience with fibromyalgia to minimize pain and adverse symptom reactions, and be sure to bring a sufficient supply to last the entire duration of the trip.
Even if there are bulky items in your routine or alternative methods of treatment that keep you comfortable at home, there are sure ways to include them on your trip and incorporate them as you travel.
You are Ready!
Now is the time to prepare yourself for your getaway and get set for a wonderful new adventure.
You have successfully learned to live and cope with fibromyalgia, and you have more than earned the opportunity to spread your wings, take some time away, and see new and fantastic things!
The most important thing you can do is approach the impending trip with a positive attitude, and be assured that you are going to have a good time regardless of any circumstances that may arise. Enjoy! You deserve it.