Ahh Chronic Pain…. a massive burden to the people suffering from it, it can be hard to manage when you are in your own home and even harder while travelling. I noticed that I get less flares with my nerve pain due to being distracted with new things I haven’t seen before but sadly I get more flares with my muscokeletal pain as I’m constantly using my upper body. I know Chronic Pain is different for everyone but here is a list of things that help me, hopefully they give people some ideas;
1.Flying long distances can cause the biggest flare, sitting in one position for 20 hours is my worst nightmare! So whenever I’m booking a long flight I’ll break it up into at least one stop over. Ill stay in that place for 1-3 nights or even more especially if it is a country on my list of countries to see, so it works out to be a positive! Ill have a day of stretching, rest and recharge so I’m not worn out when I get to my destination. If you find a flight that allows you extend your stop over duration, then thats great and it usually doesn’t cost anymore.
2.When booking Hotels for any traveller location is key, it needs to be close to public transport and be the hub of the area to; 1.Save money, 2.Be Convenient. For people with Chronic Pain there is one more: Be with close proximity to major amenities such as food, groceries and attraction this helps with fatigue and hopefully will cut the amount of miles that needs to be done during the day.
3.Book a Hotel that has room service, I know this sounds like luxury to most but for people with Chronic Pain it really just helps us fuel ourselves. If you’ve had a big day getting around and you are in to much pain to go out again then room service would keep you sustained until morning.
4. My body is usually aching by day 2 of exploring, my arms, back,neck, really hurt so I always get at least one massage while travelling, I find somewhere that at least looks half professional and book in half way through my trip, its literally a life saver!
5. I use a Manual Wheelchair which is great to get into shops, restaurants and anywhere that is a small space. What my wheelchair isn’t good for is travelling long distances especially up hills, pushing more than 3km is tiring and causes extreme pain flares. I invested money into a Power Assist called a Batec, it attaches to the front of my chair and provides me enough power to be able to get around for 30km without charging it. It goes over rough terrain which allows me to explore everywhere without stressing to much about accessibility. I know a lot of people with Chronic Illness don’t use a wheelchair but I’ve noticed at the bigger Attractions around the world you can hire scooters, this may be an option to save energy. You could also hire a scooter for the whole holiday through reputable medial suppliers, this would give so much freedom if a flare comes on!
Here is a photo of my Batec and i going for a 3km Roll, it gives me so much freedom!