Category Archives: travel

Did your chronic illness insist that you spend your vacation in bed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did your chronic illness insist that you spend your vacation in bed?

Before fibromyalgia, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and other chronic illnesses took over my body, I would return home from a vacation feeling relaxed or energized.

At first, my illnesses would require a little more rest while away. Because I pushed through pain and fatigue in hopes of keeping up with my family, I always returned home feeling like death.  It was not unusual for my body to need days, weeks, and a few times months to recover from a week away from home.

Through the years I have not only made changes to how I address and relieve my chronic pain, but I have made changes to how I vacation too!

Here are a few tips to help you better enjoy your summer vacation!

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How to plan the best summer vacation despite your chronic illness

How to plan the best summer vacation despite your chronic illness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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Twelve Ways to Improve Your Chronic Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Ways to Improve Your Chronic Life

Every year I see hundreds if not thousands of posts on social media from people with chronic illnesses wishing for a better new year.  Their wishes for less pain, more energy, and for an easier life are not unreasonable.  The problem is that they are just that, wishes……..   Today I am going to share 12 ways to make them a reality.

*Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and am NOT issuing medical advice.  I am sharing my opinions, thoughts, and experiences. You should always confer with a medical professional when considering changes to your medical or pain management plan.  This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook Groups.

1.  Identify dietary triggers

You may have heard about keto, paleo, low fodmap, and other diets, but there is not a one size fits all diet that helps reduce pain from your particular chronic illness.  You may not need to cut out an entire food group, instead you may find that it is a certain ingredient or additive that you need to avoid.  I tried and failed to experience relief from multiple diets.  What helped me find my triggers was to journal what I ate and drank and compared that information to how I was feeling.  You can find details about how I did this in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.

2. Move your body

I know being told to exercise is the last thing you want to hear, but as I have learned, lack of movement only increases chronic pain in my hips and spine.  Movement really is necessary.  Now before you close this tab, hear me out….. I am in no way suggesting that you begin with intense workouts at the gym or going for 5 mile walks every day.  What I am suggesting is that you find ways to move your body that doesn’t increase your pain.  Before I was able to walk for miles, I had to start with what I was able to do, which at that time was one or two five minute walks a day.  There is nothing wrong with having to do seated yoga, tai chi, or simple stretches.  Click here to discover another fun way to incorporate movement into your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Listen to your body

Do you feel like you spend all of your time recovering from every activity or outing?  Listening to your body could decrease that time.  Rest when your body wants to rest.  Unless you have to keep a set schedule, nap and sleep when your body demands.  Pace yourself by breaking large tasks down into sets of smaller amounts of time.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Utilize mobility aids

If walking or standing for extended periods of time are forcing you to stay home instead of going out, it is time to start using a mobility aid.  Seriously, get over yourself and do something your body will thank you for.  Click here to read about what helped me get past the stigma of using a mobility aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Ask for help

Put your pride aside and ask for assistance!!! Stop assuming that people know your needs.  Just as difficult as it is for our friends and family members to understand our complex chronic illnesses, it is just as difficult to know how to help us.  Most don’t want to insult us, while others truly have no clue, so do everyone a favor and speak up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Plan with your chronic illness/pain in mind

Always consider your chronic illness and pain when scheduling appointments, outings, and social events.  I like to think of mine as invisible traveling companions.  Click here to see how this mindset helps me plan, prepare, and enjoy traveling with my chronic illnesses.

7. Stop living your old life

If you haven’t made changes to how you live your life, it is time to do it!  I know you want to show your chronic illness who is in charge and that you are hopeful that you’ll be cured in the near future, but let’s get real, it is NOT going to happen.  I too want a cure, but not making changes to how I lived until that day comes would be a huge mistake.  The only thing living my life the way I did before becoming chronically ill only resulted in more pain and less time enjoying life.  Putting my pride aside and making changes decreased my pain level and allows me to spend most of my time seeking adventure.  Need help recognizing the changes you need to make?  Check out my eBook to figure out what they are and be challenged to made them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Stop comparing yourself to others

How often do you find yourself comparing your life to others?  STOP!!! There is no comparison.  Even if you are comparing yourself with people who have the same chronic illness, there is no comparison.  Another person you may not have realized that you are comparing yourself to is the old you….. Life changes whether you like it or not, get over it, adjust, and move on.

9. Try something new

For twelve years I did everything the same and for twelve years the quality of my life plummeted. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to try new ways to combat chronic pain that I finally experienced a lower level of pain.  By permitting myself to do things differently than I did in the past I opened the door to a new and better life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Don’t give up

I see too many people give up after they discover that they are unable to do something the same way that they did before becoming chronically ill.  Stop it!!! Don’t give up! Get creative and find new ways to do what you love.  Need help?  Click here!

11. Embrace the tools available

There are so many different tools and devices to make our lives easier.  Stop resisting them and put them to use.  Whether it be a mobility aid or assistive devices to make getting around your home safer, be thankful that they are available to use.

 

 

12. Take care of your mental health

Living with a chronic illness or in constant physical pain takes a toll on your mind as well as your body. I am no stranger to therapy and highly recommend seeing a therapist if you are struggling.  Our illnesses and pain often trigger bouts of anxiety and depression.  Let us not forget the fact that we need to mourn our old life and figure out a future that includes our illnesses/pain. The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. If pain or lack of insurance coverage is keeping you from seeing a therapist, you may be interested in Online-Therapy.comOnline-Therapy.com is a service that gives you more access to a therapist for less than what it would cost under many insurance plans.  Caring for your emotional health is the most important thing you can do to improve your life.

 

Don’t travel this holiday season if……

 

 

 

 

 

Just because everyone you know is traveling home for the holidays, it doesn’t mean you have to.  Too often I see people do things they really don’t want to do or have the emotional or physical strength to do in order to please family members or to keep up appearances.  Today I want to tell you that it is okay to not be okay with traveling during the holiday season!  And here are a few reasons why!

Don’t travel this holiday season if the pain you will experience afterwards will disrupt your life.

If traveling triggers a flare from your chronic illnesses, you should rethink packing your bags.  Pleasing family shouldn’t come at the expense of not being able to function when you return home.  Traveling during the holiday season exposes you to more people and germs than if you traveled in a less busier time of year.  Winter weather also increases your chance of becoming ill.  Having a chronic illness doesn’t mean that you can’t travel at all, but rather you should travel during seasons when you experience less pain and will be exposed to fewer germs.

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups.

Don’t travel this holiday season if family drama makes you anxious.

Those of you who suffer from anxiety, know how debilitating it can be.  In fact if not managed well, it can literally paralyze us.  If spending time with family during the holidays increases your level of anxiety or triggers attacks, do yourself a favor and stay home! Don’t look at it as letting your obnoxious or manipulative family members win, think of it as winning by valuing your mental health.  However, I do suggest that you find a therapist to help you work through your emotions and possibly prepare you for dealing with those family members in the future should you decide to visit.  Online-Therapy.com is therapy that available when you need it and there is no need to drive across town.  My readers save 20% when they register through my link.  Click here to check them out.  Instead of putting yourself through an emotional battlefield, make plans to visit the relatives that you really want to spend time with during a time that wouldn’t warrant the whole family getting together.

 

 

Don’t travel this holiday season if you don’t want to…

Seriously, do NOT travel if you do not want to.  If the cost of travel, the wear and tear on your body, and mental exhaustion have your stomach in knots and you haven’t even booked your ticket, stop!! Again, seek therapy to find out if your fears are rational or not! Do not make a bad situation worse by forcing yourself to do something that will have a negative impact on your finances, or mental/physical health.

 

On the other hand, if traveling home for the holidays is really important to you, do it! But don’t act surprised or get upset about any additional pain you may experience or the time your body will need to recover after you return home.  Unless you are newly diagnosed, you know by now that living with a chronic illness changes everything.  You also know who a disrupted emotional state can increase and trigger flares as well.  What you decide to put your body through during the holiday season is up to you and only you are can decide what it is best.  With that said, will you be traveling this holiday season?  What steps will you be taking to reduce your odds of returning home in more pain?  Not sure?  Then check out my chronic travel trips!

Whether you choose to travel or not, I wish you a happy holiday season and a pain-free new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Packing for your Invisible Traveling Companions

Packing for your Invisible Traveling Companions

I may be able to escape my everyday life by going on vacation, but there is no escaping my chronic conditions. Other than making sure I packed my medication, I rarely gave my conditions any consideration or thought. This led to some disastrous getaways. Thankfully I began viewing my illnesses differently a few years ago and it has made for some wonderfully memorable trips.

Extra passengers

Finally accepting that I couldn’t escape my illnesses, I began thinking of them as extra passengers. I even named them: Fibro Fannie, Polly PsA, and Agatha Adhesion. This trio is with me wherever I go. It is much like traveling with my children. They get antsy, irritable, and have temper tantrums. Like when my children were young it is imperative that I bring along items to comfort and calm them.

*This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission when a purchase is made from my links. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this blog and funds the giveaways in my Facebook groups. This post was originally written in 2016 and parts have been updated in 2019.

More than the bare necessities

Imagine taking a road trip with your little ones and bringing nothing with you to entertain them or to comfort them. In addition to bringing their favorite videos, coloring books, blankets, pillows, and/or stuffed animals I also brought items that they would need for accidents. I kept extra clothing and a first aid kit in an easy to access bag. Thankfully I rarely needed to open that bag, but I was prepared just in case.

When packing for a trip with my temperamental trio I go beyond the bare necessities of caring for them. Besides my medication I bring items that provide my body comfort. Having things like my heating pad or icepack in my hotel room makes getting through a surprise flare a better experience than if I hadn’t brought them. Being prepared for the worst has also made it possible to get through my flare faster than if I or my human traveling companions had to find a store to purchase what I needed after the fact.

 

Be prepared

Before you begin packing, think of all the items you use to comfort yourself throughout a flare and write them down. Next go through that list and check the items that you will be able to bring along. Even though you may not be able to bring everything, you can see if those items or services you use are available at your vacation destination. For example, you can’t bring along your masseuse, but you can book your stay at a hotel/resort that offers massages. My husband teases me about the amount of luggage I bring on our trips, but he understands the importance of packing for my conditions. Sometimes I never have to use any of the extra items packed and other times I have used them all.

Here are some of the items I bring on vacation in addition to my medication and Oska Pulse:

For my body: 

To entertain me if I end up having to spend time alone at the hotel:

These items do more than keep me occupied when awake for hours, but unable to go anywhere, they also serve as a distraction.

Instead of only focusing on all the fun things you want to do on your next getaway, take time to think of the worst tantrums that your invisible passengers could throw and plan accordingly.

Related posts: Unrealistic Vacation Expectations and Tips for Choosing a Vacation Destination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to legally try cannabis for chronic pain

Where to legally try cannabis for chronic pain

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have received many inquiries lately from people who want to see if cannabis could help relieve their chronic pain, but they either don’t live where medical marijuana is legal or it is legal for medicinal use where they live, but they don’t want to sink a fortune into entering their state’s program only to discover it doesn’t help them.  Today I am going to share a legal and safe way to find out if adding cannabis to your pain management plan is for you.

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Save 40% on the best Keto snack bar available!

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Promo code KETOBARS40 saves you 40% but only until Nov 9th 11:59pm

The Perfect Keto bar is now available!!!

Finally a snack bar has arrived where I actually trust the ingredients.

This might not sound like much, but it’s actually ground-breaking.

The snack bar marketplace is overwhelming, and like most aspects of the food industry… it’s a mess. We should be talking about this more as a health community, and this is the product to spark the conversation.

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KETOBARS40 for 40% off from Now till Nov 9th at 11:59pm

Perfect Keto Bars

Perfect Keto made this product because all the other bars on the market either have high sugar content, high net carbs, lots of sugar alcohols, use pro inflammatory fillers and stabilizers, and do not support a ketogenic diet.

It took Dr. Anthony Gustin 14 iterations of testing the bars’ impact on his own blood glucose levels to ensure Keto Bars would minimize the glycemic effect after consumption.

Why do I love these bars? The ingredients.

Almond and cacao butter (not peanuts)
Coconut oil (MCT’s)
Collagen (soft-tissue recovery)
And a touch of sea salt and stevia. The taste is incredible.

Did I mention the taste? It’s insane! Sometimes, less is more, and real food just tastes better. Am I right??!!!

Are these Keto Bars for you? I’d highly recommend them if you:

Eat a Ketogenic Diet
Like to avoid unnecessary blood sugar spikes
Insist on eating real food, even on-the-go
Are busy but want a clean ingredient snack option.
Try to eat a low carbohydrate load
Would like a decadent treat that is guilt-free

As you may know, I’m close with the founders of Perfect Keto and I got the scoop on a screaming discount for these Keto Bars

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

KETOBARS40 for 40% off from Now till Nov 9th at 11:59pm

Perfect Keto is notorious for being in high-demand and occasionally stocking out. I’d recommend loading up with this discount for the holiday months and to be fully loaded to rock it in the new year!

Again, KETOBARS40 for 40% off from Now till Nov 9th at 11:59pm

I hope this is a huge step forward for your healthy snack game!

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KETOBARS40 for 40% off from Now till Nov 9th at 11:59pm

 

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