Traveling With Fibromyalgia: What to Know Before You Go
Live your life, see the world. Pack your suitcase, book your ticket and do not let anything hold you back. Is your dream of wanderlust complicated due to fibromyalgia? Aside from finding somebody to mind your home, take care of your pet, or check your mail, there are some medical circumstances to consider before you board that flight, boat, train, or car.
How to Travel Smart With Fibromyalgia
Unfortunately, the whimsy of impulsive travel might be a thing of the past. With a diagnosis like fibromyalgia, you need to be responsible and plan the heck out of your trip.
Keep a list of your prescriptions handy along with the phone numbers for your physician in case of an emergency. Be sure to check the number of medications you have on hand; if you are going to run out or be low upon return, it is a good idea to refill your prescription before you go.
Get on the computer and do a little research about where you are going, and make a list of pharmacies or physicians near your destination that you can contact in case of emergency.
Before You Fly With Fibromyalgia, Contact the Airline
With all the restrictions on things you can or cannot travel with, it may be worth contacting your airline to ensure you will not run into any issues traveling with some of your medication or medical equipment.
It’s better to take some time before you leave to make sure there will not be any hiccups come your travel date. If you need to make any special arrangements for mobility aids during travel or at your destination, do so before departure to ease your stress on vacation.
Things to Consider While Traveling With Fibromyalgia
1. Stay Hydrated and Don't Forget to Relax
Staying hydrated will ease pain levels, fatigue and also help with your memory. Travel can be stressful, even for those in the best of health; be sure to relax and find downtime. Meditate, stretch, walk, breathe and exercise.
Don’t rush the journey. Break it up into manageable portions so you can take breaks and recharge to minimize your fibromyalgia pain.
2. Pack a Care Kit
Pack yourself a care kit, and fill it with things that ease your fibromyalgia symptoms. For example, pack your pillows, hot water bottles, or other supplies that make you more comfortable during travel or in your accommodation.
Your care kit may also include food or medicine that helps relieve nausea, supplies for muscle pain, or anything else that may soften the pain/discomfort when your fibromyalgia symptoms occur.
There is no cure or magic pill for fibromyalgia, but here are healthy habits for fibromyalgia that patients can adopt to help manage symptoms.
3. Travel With a Friend or a Loved One
Travel with someone (like a loved one or a friend) who is informed of your condition – they will help make sure you do not overexert yourself or push yourself through anything you shouldn’t. It’s nice to have a companion to share the journey with, after all. They can assist you with any heavy lifting, or help you get comfortable when you need some downtime.
4. Start With a Small Vacation First
When you first start traveling after being diagnosed, start small. Keep your first trip near home and always move at your own pace.
One suggestion is to avoid tour groups, and if you are at the mercy of traveling on the schedule of others, a fibromyalgia flare-up may make the trip more memorable for the wrong reason.
You may need to scale back your adventurous ambitions. This isn’t to say that you cannot still see the sights, but keep your expectations and schedule realistic and plan excursions around your fibromyalgia fatigue.
5. Stay Well-Rested
Relaxing on vacation is also a great way to spend your time, and it is how a lot of folks enjoy their time away from home. Spoil yourself and try to utilize any relaxation services that are available near your accommodation.
A few other things you can do: be sure to stay well-rested, so you do not lose sleep. Make sure you are eating wisely, so you do not upset your digestive system and remember to stretch or exercise to boost your energy levels.
6. Don't Do Something If You're Not Feeling Up to It
Don’t force an activity if you are not feeling up to it; your traveling companions will understand.
One last thing you may want to do when you breeze back into town is to schedule some buffer time before jumping back into your daily routines. Take some time to recuperate from your vacation before filling your schedule.
Don’t Limit Your Opportunity to Travel Because of Fibromyalgia
The world is a big, beautiful place and you should seize every opportunity to explore. Enjoy your journey, but be sure to consider your fibromyalgia symptoms and plan ahead first.