May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!!! Travel Tips with Fibro

As you know if you have been following my blog for any amount of time, I write about traveling with disabilities. One of my medical issues is fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes pain among other issues.

It can be very difficult to live a life in pain. Fibromyalgia causes me pain pretty much all day, every day. I also have pain from things touching my skin like clothing. Sometimes it even hurts to take a shower because of the water hitting my skin.

I also itch. But it's not an itch exactly. It is like my skin is on fire. If I scratch it, it actually gets worse. The best thing I have found to help it is just to have nothing touching my skin and have someone go over the area (normally my back) with a flat hand and just kinda massage it away. This can be difficult to deal with when traveling but if you have a plan in place to deal with it, the battle is half won! I will find a quiet space like a companion restroom to have my daughter or hubby use the technique I mentioned.

I also have IBS with diarrhea. This can make traveling very difficult. I have to take an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication when I am traveling so the irritation and subsequent diarrhea is not as bad or hopefully gone for a few hours.

I also use a variety of things to make travel more comfortable for me with fibromyalgia. I use Tylenol for my pain. I can't take NSAIDS anymore like ibuprofen. I also use topical analgesics like pain patches, creams and gels. My favorites are the Biofreeze gel and the Icy-Hot with Lidocaine patches.

I also always need some calming music on my phone to get me through. I also have some movies from my Netflix downloaded to watch so when I don't have a signal or am on a plane where I can't have my phone one I have something to help get my mind off it.

If you are on a long drive, I suggest stopping every 2 hours to get up and move. If you are on a plane I suggest you get up every few hours to go to the restroom just so you can stretch a little.

No matter your transportation method, bring things that will make the journey easier for you, a pillow, a blanket, a sleep mask, or whatever you need to be comfortable.

Remember to wear comfortable clothing. Loose stuff that will not restrict movement. I have found with flying wearing a loose dress helps me a lot. It is less restrictive and when I need to use the lavatory it’s just plain easier.

Don’t be afraid to use a wheelchair or mobility scooter. If you don’t have one you can normally rent one for a vacation. I have some resources for renting these on my resources page. It did take me a while to be comfortable using these tools. That is what they are tools. It’s a tool so you can have that experience.

Use special assistance at the airport if you are flying. It is super easy to do and they are such sweet people!

I have pretty bad anxiety as well and that affects my fibro. As a last resort, I get a small amount of valium from my doctor to help me with the anxiety. It does help with my fibro because it relaxes me and makes the journey seem to pass quicker.

I always take some water and snacks with me as well. It is important to stay hydrated when traveling and having a snack can help you with your mood and distraction.

Do whatever you need to do to relax and feel comfortable when traveling is the bottom line. Keep in mind that travel is part of your journey and you just need to make it work for you. You can make travel work for you!

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