It’s interesting how most of the world can just plan a trip and go. When you are battling lupus, planning a trip takes a few extra measures. There needs to be plenty of thought, even for a short trip, when you are dealing with unpredictable symptoms. The stress alone of trying to get out of town can cause a flare. The preparation can be like getting a toddler ready for a day out, wipes … check, diapers … check, enough bottles to keep them happy … check. You get the point.
Lupus is like the toddler who never grows up, it acts out when you least expect it to, and usually during the times that you are looking forward to the most — potentially making it an unpleasant experience even after all of your careful planning. Here are a few suggestions to help you take a more pleasurable trip:
- Make sure you have all of your medications with you. This is paramount if you are traveling outside of the country, because of language issues and, let’s face it, your medication may not be readily available if you run out. As much as we don’t like popping pills, staying on top of your regimen will help reduce the possibility of a flare, and the stress of trying to figure out where to go if you run out or forget them.
- Have your emergency contacts readily available. Pin the names and contact numbers, and how these people are relevant to you, in a place with your travel documents (airline, train, bus tickets or with your passport). Yes, I suggest going old school her,e because many of us have our emergency contacts in our phones but we also have pass codes that emergency personnel won’t have access to. Many people travel with loved ones, but have you ever managed to get separated from them? What if you got separated and you pass out? Let’s get back to pen and paper.
- Get plenty of rest before your trip. Lupus already comes with its own built-in sleep system in the form of chronic fatigue, but there are days that seem like all is right with the world. The thought of traveling is already stressful, so to attempt to ensure that you have more high energy days, it’s important to have really restful nights. Shut off computers, the TV, and do a few deep-breathing exercises to get some extra mileage out of trying to relax.
- Look up medical care facilities near where you will be traveling and bookmark them with the GPS app on your phone. Google maps will let you create a list of places that can be accessed with one touch. Let’s face it, we can keep beating this horse but, if you are here, you already know that sometimes an unexpected trip to the hospital happens. Trying to figure out which medical place is closest if you really need it will only add to the angst of an already touchy situation. So get ready just in case.
- Remember that you deserve this! We tend to feel guilty about so much, and when our preparation requires medical planning and the possibility of a flare making the family vacation difficult, we start to worry. You deserve to be happy, to spend some great time away with your family and have some fun. Worry and guilt can trigger a flare before you even get there. Cut yourself a little slack, you’ll have more fun that way.
I am sure I missed some things, so feel free to comment and add to the list. Above all, have a fun and safe trip!
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.