3. Pack All Necessities
So this may seem obvious, but it’s the obvious things that usually fall through the cracks. Make sure you have all of your medications, vitamins, and supplements. Bring extra pain medicine in case it is needed. Remember to have all of these where you can get to them quickly and easily.
Pack your heating pad/bottle. Pack any creams, ointments, or lotions you normally use to help with pain or to relax. If there is a special pillow or blanket that makes you comfortable, bring it. Bring music that relaxes you or makes you happy. If you like to read bring a good book that you can enjoy during your travels.
The goal is to enjoy yourself as much as possible, so if there is anything that will make that happen, bring it! It’s also good to pack a few healthy snacks and bottled water, you never know when they may be needed.
4. Stick to Your Normal Schedule as Much as Possible
This is a can be difficult to do, but if you stick somewhat close to your normal schedule of sleep and medication this will help you to enjoy your travel experience more. Eat when you need to and drink plenty of water. If you normally drink herbal tea, then make sure you continue to do that throughout your travels.
One of the fun things about traveling is eating things you might not normally, but use caution. Eating too much of trigger foods can lead to a flare, as can alcoholic beverages, so make sure to take a balanced approach to what you eat and drink.
5. Be Flexible
Does this contradict number 4? No. When I say be flexible I am referring to your expectations as to what all you will do during your trip. Don’t try to plan activities for all day every day. Pick a few things you would like to do and then do them as you can. Make time to rest at regular intervals, even if you feel you don’t need to at the time. Doing this can help to prevent a flare from occurring.
If you are traveling with other people, it is best to make sure they know what to expect from you well in advance. I can speak with personal experience – when the person you are with wants to go, go, go and you can’t, and they are obviously disappointed, it can be frustrating for everyone involved.
It would be wise to sit down and discuss what you need and want to do, and make sure they are okay with taking things slowly or occasionally doing things without you. It may even be a good idea to make a list of what you want to do together and then be sure to plan these things early in the trip or for a time you will be more likely to feel well. This will benefit you as well as them and will go a long way toward everyone having a good time.
Traveling is supposed to be relaxing. It is a good time to try new things, learn about different areas and people. It can be an opportunity to get away from a monotonous routine. For those of us with a chronic illness it may not be as easy, and it may require more forethought than the average person, but having fibromyalgia does not automatically rule us out from getting away for a while.
Being ill should not stop us from enjoying life!