Are vacations worth it?

Are vacations worth it?

Vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing. Traveling with fibromyalgia has become a process. It is stressful and exhausting. It is just trying to get from point A to Point B – and back again without having a flare.
Every article I have read regarding “helpful tips” when travelling with Fibromyalgia lists most of the things that I already do when getting ready to go some where.
All the recomendations say to Plan ahead – I’ve always been a planner – that part is easy.
Maybe the fact that I am an over – organizer and that my Mom taught me to create lists and pre-plan the trip helps me when dealing with Fibromyalgia. A trip for me includes packing, making getting there as comfortable as possible, scheduling activities including resting, and the return trip. It may not sound any different than planning a trip before Fibromyalgia but it really does take more time, energy and effort.
Rest (Before, During and after the trip)
You need to rest before the trip. Save your spoons for the trip. This especially means resting the day of travel when you arrive at your destination. Try to keep your bedtime the same as when home and allow yourself rest time during your visit. If possible, plan at least one day of rest after you return home before going back to work or resuming other activities. I didn’t plan a day off – learned that lesson the hard way.
Transportation
A lot of thought needs to be put into getting to my destination now. If I am travelling by car – I need to continue to drink as much water as I would do during the normal work day. I need to get out and stretch – move around. If I am not driving – I need to change my sitting positions as much as possible. Bring pillows, ice packs etc.. anything that makes it less painful.
If going by airplane – Use the online check in system. I found using a luggage with wheels and checking most of the bags helpful. I carry all of my medication in the original prescription bottles with me so that if my luggage gets lost I will have my meds. Other articles I have read; suggest calling ahead telling them you are disabled, request a bulkhead aisle seat (easiest to get in and out of and more leg room) Even if you don’t use a wheelchair – request one.
Packing
I have always had a list of things to pack. Now, my list is much longer then before. I have added medicine, heating pads, ice pads, comfortable loose fitting clothes and good walking shoes (UGH – I hate that one).
Routine
It makes sense that you should stick to your routine as much as possible including excercising and most importantly medication.
So do these helpful tips really work? They do.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we returned from our vacation. I managed to make it through without an entire flare up. I planned our daily schedule including plenty of down times for me to rest. I sat while they went on rides. In the past it would have bothered me to miss out on the fun. Now, I know that if I want to enjoy the vacation – I need to sit out sometimes.
I rested before the trip – I had a few opportunities to go with a GF and I turned them down. Why? Because I didn’t want to push myself before the vacation.
I packed light, packed comfortable shoes (YUCK) and I even ditched my purse (THIS IS UNHEARD OF – ME? No Purse!- UGH) .
I made sure we were early to every where we needed to be so that I would not need to hurry or rush to get there. Once we were there and unpacked – we had down time.
During the day, we were going constantly but I still tried to keep to my routine(Drinking water, medications, and rest time). It is important to keep up excercising. I try to get some walking and look for a pool to do my water therapy.
At the end of each day – it was hard to even walk. I was stiff, sore, and exhausted. Praying that I would sleep.
The thought had crossed my mind a million times – the fear of getting there and being in such a flare that I would ruin the entire time. I truly believe that because I prepared myself – stuck to my routine as much as possible and allowed myself to take time out to rest that I made it through without a flare up.
Despite the fact that I am still worn down (exhaustion) after two weeks. I have memories that will last forever. The weather was amazing – the sights so colorful. I sat on a beach surrounded by water, sand and palm trees sipping my “Mom” drink. Soaking in the sun – the best medication ever.
I experienced so many firsts – I went to Florida, an amazing theme park, snorkeled and I swam with a dolphin.
Was it worth it? The month of pre-planning, the pain, the exhaustion, the recovery – Was it worth it?
Yes!
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