Does the thought of taking a summer vacation get you excited or does it send chills down your spine? I loved traveling before I became chronically ill. In addition to yearly Disneyland vacations, I loved exploring new areas in other states or within the ones that I lived in. Weekend road trips without a destination were my favorites.
Soon after chronic pain became a part of my daily life I began to loathe traveling. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go exploring, instead it became too painful. Not only did my excursions increase my pain while away, it would take weeks and sometimes months to recover from them once I returned home. Not wanting to spend most of my time recovering I opted to stop traveling.
The reason traveling was such a horrible experience for my during those early years of my chronic life was because I had attempted to travel just like I did before my illnesses. Do you enjoy traveling? Why or why not? Have you changed the way you plan, prepare, and go forth with your getaways? By changing how I plan, prepare, and execute my trips I have fallen back in love with traveling.
What am I doing differently? The most important thing I do is I plan with my illnesses in mind; I like to think of them as my invisible traveling buddies. In my post Packing for your Invisible Traveling Companions I share how I pack for each condition and how I prepare to keep them as happy as possible while away from home. I also adjusted my expectations. My posts Unrealistic Expectations and Realistic Expectations both offer advice on making vacation choices that work best for my body and its limitations. Planning for and accepting that I had to pad my schedule with Vacation Downtime is another reason my traveling experiences have improved. For even more tips be sure to check out The Disabled Diva’s Top Ten Travel Tips and listen in as Shane and I discuss these topics and more in episode #3 Vacationing with a Chronic Illness on my podcast Dish’n with The Disabled Diva. And last but not least find out why I recommend Disneyland over Disney World for people with chronic conditions and where service animals are not permitted in each park.
No matter what your illness or where you are planning to go, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to have your most important medical information on hand. I am giving away a downloadable Emergency Medical Information Wallet Card. By keeping this card near your identification your traveling mates and/or emergency personnel will find your information quickly. With a quick glance a paramedic or doctor will know what medications I am allergic to, what medications I am currently taking, my surgical history, blood type, and more. Don’t expect your loved ones or traveling mates to remember all of your medical information during a crisis, help them out by downloading your free copy today!
Where will you go this summer? Planning a Disneyland vacation? If so be sure to check out my Disneyland Accessible Guide and you too will have a magical experience!
Tagged: abdominal adhesions, advice, arthritis, California Adventure, chronic blogger, chronic illness, chronic pain, degenerative disc disease, Disney, Disneyland, emergency medical information, endometriosis, expectations, fibromyalgia, getaway, handicapped accessible, health, invisible disabilities, mental-health, planning, prepare, psoriatic arthritis, service dog, special needs, spoonie, summer fun, vacation, vacation tips