Really, this whole blog is about how to make travel easier and less painful for us travelers with chronic pain and hidden disabilities. But everybody loves a good roundup. And what I’m thinking here is specifically how I diminish physical pain caused by travel.
1. Take painkillers.
The road is not the place to try to bull through a pain flare without medication. I bring plenty of prescription and non-prescription painkillers when I travel. If I find myself starting to hurt, I try to medicate before the pain really gets its claws into me. It’s much, much harder to kill pain that’s ramped to a scream than it is to head it off early.
2. Lie down during the day.
Even when I’m on a business trip, I try to find a way to lie down for at least an hour in the afternoon. I don’t usually sleep–naps screw up my nighttime sleep cycle. So I read or watch tv or admire the view from my motel room window.
3. Eat regularly and healthfully.
However tempting it is to eat badly when I’m traveling, it’s not a good idea to give in to that temptation. I feel far less pain when I eat fruits and veggies every day, don’t overdo the red meat or the desserts, and eschew fast food.
4. Meditate and visualize.
This sort of thing works for me, and nowhere is it more necessary than on the road and in the air. When stuffed into a coach seat on a commercial jet, I close my eyes, control my breathing, and use my mind to control my pain.
5. Get into hot water.
Literally. Whether it’s a hot tub near the pool, a day spa’s upscale digs, or just a tub-shower combo in my motel room, a bath a day helps keep my pain at bay.