Even though it was over two decades ago, I can vividly remember when I didn’t have chronic illness and pain. I could travel anywhere I wanted and do anything I pleased. I was active and had plenty of energy. But now, those things are no longer possible due to my chronic illnesses.
It’s so frustrating! Just the thought of getting on an airplane makes my pain flare up. And even when I do travel, I know that I won’t be able to do much once I arrive at my destination because symptoms and pain will prevent me from being active.
This week’s chronic illness journal prompt takes you down memory lane to a time when life wasn’t so painful to possibly help you make an easy return!
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Travel With Chronic Illness Journal Prompts
Think back to the places you loved visiting. What made them so special?
Have you been able to return since your chronic illness diagnosis? If not, why? If you have visited those places, was it as special as you remember?
Were accommodations for your pain and illness provided or used? What would make them more accessible to you?
Accessibility Begins With Acceptance
Certain places hold such special memories for me—places that I loved visiting and have a lot of sentimental value. After receiving four chronic illness diagnoses, I didn’t think I would be able to return to any of those places. It made me really sad.
It meant so much to revisit some of those places. I wanted to relive old memories while creating new ones with my family and friends. So I tried. And I failed.
I failed at travel with chronic illness at first because I tried to do it the way I had before, without considering my illness. But once I learned to travel differently – to accept my limitations and plan accordingly – I found that I could still enjoy some fantastic trips, even with my chronic illnesses. Now, I make sure to always consider my needs and create a journey that is both accessible and enjoyable.
Accommodations To Consider When Traveling With A Chronic Illness
Travel accommodations for those with chronic illness and pain to consider include but are not limited to the following:
- A room near the elevator or close to the pool for physical therapy can be extremely helpful.
- A shower chair is also something to consider if needed and can be requested even if an accessible room isn’t needed.
- Mobility aid – I cannot bring all of my assistive devices on vacation, so I bring the one that can be used at my worst.
- Hotel near hospital or pharmacy.
- Onsite or nearby restaurant.
Share your stories of traveling with chronic illness in the comments below!