I’m Liz Hamill–formerly Liz Hamill Scott–author of the Moon California, Moon Northern California, Moon Southern California, and Moon Coastal California travel guidebooks. It took me more than a year to research and write these books. Research consisted of traveling the length and breadth of what turned out to be a really muckin’ big state on weekends, while working full time from home during the week. And writing the book text, of course.
All of this while dealing with moderate and deteriorating chronic pain.
As I traveled, I learned that my chronic pain and my bladder disease make me a “special needs” traveler.
Bladder disease = embarrassingly frequent need for restrooms. Many other conditions, including “drinks a lot of water on road trips,” can also cause this need.
Chronic pain gets more complicated. Sometimes I can hike five miles and have dinner at a four-star restaurant later the same night. Other times I can stagger five feet, then collapse in a moaning heap. Can I predict which day will be which with any reliability? Of course not. Where’d be the fun in that?
If you suffer with fibromyalgia, lupus, endo, PCOS, cancer, just plain chronic pain, and all the other fun diseases that can cause this kind of unreliable health, you know just what I’m talking about.
The single most important thing I learned was that I CAN travel with pain. Even better, traveling diminishes my pain. Real science backs the theory that both bright shiny distractions and the experience of pleasure can diminish pain.
I learned many different ways to mitigate my pain while on the road. From asking for ground-floor rooms in motels to seeking out seating in museums, planning ahead for comfort and staying flexible enough to break for a nap, I’ve devised dozens of strategies to keep myself as happy and comfortable as possible while traveling. I’m always checking out my surroundings when I travel too–viewing and “reviewing” the attractions, lodgings, and dining options around me with an eye for special and unusual needs.
I hope some of my strategies work for you too! If you’ve got your own secret key to easier traveling, please comment here–I’d love to try it out, and to host you as a guest blogger.