Travelling with a chronic condition…and a toddler.

Holiday…travelling…everybody enjoy going away; I used to love to get on a plane and go in a different country, even since I became a mom it hasn’t really been an issue to travel with my daughter, we have been going away since she was six months old and very often just me and her. But everything changed since I have been dealing with chronic conditions. Now I start stressing about it weeks before I even leave, and of course I know it’s the worst thing I can possibly do with my conditions but there is no way of controlling it. I stress because of past memory, I had bad experiences before while travelling so everytime my mind goes there.

The only thing I can rationally do is to prepare myself, as much as I can. Before I leave I try to think of all the scenario I could possibly go through, to tell you a few that happened in the past : I fell sick at the airport on my way back, I experienced chronic pain while away on holiday, I had to go to hospital, I had to stay longer,… Next is preparing little kits that could be helpful in certain situations, for example my airport kit; I bring it in my carry on bag, normally a backpack and it contains: a change of clothes (including underwear), wipes, my “emergency medications”, a hot water bottle (empty), some kind of hospital paperwork that explains my conditions ( in case I have to explain it to staff at the airport, it actually happened!!), Rescue spray ( it’s a mix of Bach flowers that helps during stressful moments), lavander roll on, antisickness wrist bands, orange essential oil ( it helps with sickness). Also I bring in the carry on bag all my medicines in case my luggages get lost, stolen or flight are delayed so I don’t have to worry about missing them; and I bring an extra week woth of medicine on top of the days I’m travelling for in case I have to stay for longer. For my little one a lot and I mean a lot of entertainment and snacks, which obviously changed through her different stages but for example right now that she is two I brought for her: a colouring book with crayons, a few of her favourite character (right now the Trolls), a couple of books (if possible new ones so she is more into it), stickers, a magic board and of course an Ipad with a few games app for her age and some her favourite videos. It sounds a lot but kids get bored really easily, at least mine, so I rather have extras.

Things can still go very wrong, like they did in our current holiday, yep we are on holidays at the moment and let’s just say it hasn’t been the most lucky one but I’m trying my best to enjoy the positives. I think it’s very important to become realistic and know that chronic conditions are 24/7 and din’t take any holiday, ironically, so they can come anytime. Once more I had to visit the hospital while I’m away and I have been spending the past couple of days in bed while my family goes out and fun. Don’t take this wrong ,I’m extremely happy that at least they can have fun but ,of course I’m going to be upset about ruining my vacation time. Accepting that I will get upset when things go wrong and it’s ok if I do was one of the turning point about my journey living with a chronic condition. I had three amazing days of beach time with my daughter and enjoy every little thing, playing in the water, the warmth of the sun, a swim in the sea, her laugh and yes a bit of a tan!! This is all I want to remember! And the holiday is not finish yet so I might be able to enjoy a few more days.

A few other things I prefer now when I travel are:

*stay in houses rather than hotels. I fell like I have more freedom there if I’m not feeling well and also my daughter has more space to move. We can do what we want about food, eat in or out, whenever we want. I have a kettle for my hot water bottle or I can boil water on a stove. And other little things.

*know in advance where are the hospitals and which one have ER. Unfortunately I need them very often so once again I rather be prapered.

*Have netflix installed on my phone or Ipad. Seams silly but if I have to spend a few days in bed that’s one he things I do to distract myself.

*Document myself on what kind of food I can find there and if it’s necessary bring with me a few essentials. Seams silly but when I’m not well I can eat a very few things so once again better prepared than starved.

Even though I have to face a few extra challenges when I travel, I will not stop. It’s one of my biggest passions and something I love doing with my family.

Don’t stop doing something just because it’s a little hard, always look at the bright side of things; is it realistic to be like this everyday ? No , but that’s ok, as long as you try your best to live the life you want to live.

” Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in you sail. Explore. Dream. Discover. ”

Mark Twain