Traveling with chronic pain has never been easy. Not only are there many precautions to take but there is a lot more packing and preparing before you take your trip. In particular, flying is something that most people with chronic pain do not look forward to. Sitting for long periods of time can make your pain worse. There are a few things you could do to prepare for your flight.
Chronic illnesses shouldn’t prevent anyone from traveling. People with chronic diseases should visit their healthcare practitioner as soon as possible before traveling, just like people with other medical issues.
An individual should give the airline or flight crew a doctor-signed medical note outlining their chronic pain condition. This may make it easier for someone who experiences chronic pain to get specific accommodations, such a business-class upgrade, more blankets, head pillows or cushions. let the crew know if you need to get up a lot and stretch your legs.
In addition, if you visit the bathroom, let airline staff know that you may be limited in movement and they can watch out for you in case there is an issue with you getting on and off the toilet. If they think you are in there longer than necessary they can tap on the door to make sure you are OK.
Carrying extra medications when you have chronic pain has always been a bit debilitating for many people. Getting organized before your trip is a good idea. Make sure you have enough medication to last you beyond your trip in case there are any delays in flights on your return. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pharmacy is also located in that area where you are traveling if you need a refill. In an emergency you can always call your doctor and they should be able to call anything into any pharmacy that is local to where you are.
Let the airline know in advance if you need any wheelchair access and special boarding accommodations. You may also need additional help with your luggage and access to special elevator platforms and shuttles that specifically helps people either with a disability or those that are in a lot of pain. You want to let the airline know in advance if you need a friend or relative to help you get to the gate so they can be approved to get past security and boarding. Once aboard your flight, a steward or stewardess will always be able to help you with your luggage.
On its website transportation.gov, the U.S. Department of Transportation lists the additional services that airlines must offer people with impairments. Other necessary medical assistive devices, such as oxygen or other battery-powered or electronic gadgets, should also be made known to airlines. To learn more about foreign travel with a disability, people should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov.
Packing for your trip can be more of a task as you have to bring certain items that make you feel as comfortable as possible once you arrive at your destination. Why not think about having your luggage shipped to your destination instead of requiring a lot of additional assistance to get it from the plane to the place you are staying in.
Planes have less oxygen levels in the cabin. When traveling by air, healthy people hardly ever notice this drop in oxygen levels. However, this could be hazardous for those who have specific heart and lung diseases.
Patients with these disorders are advised to travel with a companion who is knowledgeable with their condition, according to experts. Additionally, they can help with luggage and ground transportation. When traveling, it’s also crucial to not to drink alcohol.
Invest in a piece of luggage that rolls and that has an upright handle. Make sure the luggage has additional pockets on top so you don’t have to constantly reach down and open zippers in order to reach things in your suitcase. Usually between the base and the top of the luggage and the handle is an area where you can lay a small bag on top and a good piece of luggage will have a strap that it can be secured. Make sure to keep all the things that you would normally grab every couple of hours or need is in that space. If the bag is small enough you can keep it on your lap while you are flying. It’s a convenient way to access your items without having to get up and down or needing additional assistance to open the cupboard above your seat.
Lastly, if you can go the extra mile financially it’s worth to upgrade your seat. You’ll get more leg room and be more comfortable throughout the entire flight. When you arrive at your destination you should have have less discomfort and be able to enjoy your trip.
These tips are not limited to airline flights. Long drives can make it extremely uncomfortable when someone is traveling because it is hard to move around and you are sitting in the same position for hours on end. The good news is, with driving you can pull over and walk around and stretch your legs. All packing protocols mentioned above should still be adhered to in order to make your travel as smooth as possible and become more pain free.
Once you arrive at your destination it doesn’t mean that your pain is going to disappear. The best thing you can do is to wear the most comfortable clothing and good shoes because you’re probably going to be walking a little bit more than usual- especially if you were on vacation sightseeing. If you have access to a pool at a hotel or wherever you’re staying make sure to make the best of it. Swimming is one of the best exercises that you can do without any strain on your body.
Make sure to get adequate rest on your trip and don’t overdo it you want to be able to enjoy yourself.
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