by blogger Lisa Helms
Travelling when you have Multiple Sclerosis can feel a little nerve-racking. I used to be absolutely petrified of travelling with this crazy disorder. Things would go through my mind like, “What if I relapse?”, “What if I can’t walk from one airport terminal to the next?”, “What if I get too tired or sick and ruin the holiday for everyone else?” Oh, we could “What
if” ourselves out of anything couldn’t we? Well that’s no way to live! You can have MS and still travel with security and self-assurance. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned when travelling:
Assume you’re going to be hot and cold
We all know how dysfunctional our internal body temps can be. Whether you are holidaying to the tropics, or to the north pole, bring clothing for both.
Don’t have cane shame
Whether you use it daily or not, bring your cane or walking stick and USE IT if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Might as well make things easier on yourself from the get go.
When available, rent a scooter
I took my kids to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL earlier this year and renting a scooter was the best investment I made on the whole trip. It kept me from being worn down and too fatigued to enjoy my time! (And my little ones loved “getting a ride” with Mum when they got tired too).
Navigating the airport
Just do yourself a huge favour and get wheelchair assistance from one gate to the next. If you let the person checking your ticket know you’ll need one, airport staff will have one available when you get off the plane. Think of it like a limo service and allow yourself the luxury. No sense in getting tired out before you even get to your destination!
Drink plenty of water
You have enough issues, don’t get dehydrated on top of it all. Travelling to different climates and being more mobile than usual can really take it out of you! Be sure to carry a water bottle and actually use it!
Whether you’re travelling alone or not, be sure that somebody knows about your medical condition. Give your travel partner, tour guide, hotel desk receptionist, or resort manager a copy of your medical conditions, allergies to medications/foods, and a list of your medications. Also give them an emergency contact.
Know your limitations
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make big plans and have huge dreams but don’t set yourself up for total failure either. Because MS varies so greatly from one person to the next, only you know your limitations. Maybe you can hike up a volcano. Good for you! I know I can’t so I wouldn’t try to plan that for a holiday!
This is the most important tip I can give you about going on Holiday. Our bodies are stubborn, unpredictable, hot messes. If you get tired, take a nap or rest. If you feel unwell, take care of you. Don’t plan too much in one day. It’s OK to have to bow out of going to an event, a scheduled dinner, etc. because your legs can’t carry you any further. Allow yourself the flexibility to enjoy your holiday without the pressure to perform for it.
The information in this blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. It is a general overview of a broad medical care topic. Blog posts are not tailored to one person’s specific medical requirements, diagnosis or treatment. If you do notice symptoms or you require medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain professional medical help. Read through our disclaimer for more information.