OKAY MY AMAZING READERS!!! I NEED YOUR HELP!!!!
There is something that keeps making my heart beat fast… I get sweaty palms even thinking about it…. I am already losing sleep over it, and I need you all to share your experiences with me to put my mind to rest…. HELP!
As some of you might now, traveling and being a Chronic Pain Patient don’t really go well together. If any of you have had to endure a long road trip while suffering a flare then you will know what I mean. The thought of having to drive across the city is hard enough to wrap my head around – but traveling across states, or even to a different country can be OVERWHELMING!! Heck, these days going from room to room can be quite a task!
Before 2010 ends I will have the JOY of going on an AMAZING trip with my family. This means the absolute world to me, and not just because I get to go away and enjoy a little R&R… This trip is something that is so much more than that to me. I get to spend 8… EIGHT uninterrupted days with my family, and I cannot think of a better gift than THAT!! When life gets in the way, and pain gets in the way, and you are a ‘single’ (not to offend my honey, because really I am NOT a ‘single’) parent of a very LIVELY 9-year old boy – that is ENOUGH to deserve a holiday… right?
It is way more than that to me though. My son has always come first in my life, and parenting him has always been a joy, but I don’t get to experience a lot of ‘fun’ time or ‘down’ time with him. He is with his Dad on the weekends… after the homework is done, the laundry has been put away, the banana bread has come out of the oven… After my little dude has been scrubbed behind the ears, his teeth checked for cleanliness (GO FLOSS!), and the latest Grade 4 crisis has been averted… He goes to spend the weekend with his Dad, and I spend my downtime alone. I CANNOT WAIT TO EXPERIENCE EIGHT DAYS OF FUN WITH MY BOY!!! It isn’t a chore, it is MY reward for being the best Mom I can be, and the BEST gift that my little dude could give…Make sense?
Also, this is the FIRST holiday my honey and I have been able to take together… minus the 3 day getaway to the mountains last year. It will be the first time that I get to wake up to him, drink my coffee, hold hands all day, kiss him sweetly before bed -AND- have nothing pressing to do other than appreciate each other with nothing getting in the way. Oh yes, the honeymoon isn’t over yet 😉 We actually LOVE to spend every waking moment with one another… maybe it is because we have NEVER spent every waking moment with each other HA HA HA! All kidding aside, he is my best friend, and I couldn’t think of anyone I would want to take this trip with. The few months after we became a couple I went on holiday without him…. And I felt like a part of me had been amputated… THAT is when I knew that this relationship was different from anything I had ever experienced before. I remember watching the sunrise one morning on the balcony of my cabin (we were on a cruise), and I prayed that the next time I was fortunate enough to see another sunrise over the ocean that it would be WITH my honey. And my prayers have come true!! THIS is my gift to HIM for being the most wonderful man I know, and for being my care-taker, my friend, the best step-dad my boy could have AND all the while fighting for me and AGAINST my pain everyday.
And last but certainly not least, this holiday is giving me the opportunity to spend EIGHT DAYS with my awesome parents (My sister and my niece too!). I am sure there are some who would roll their eyes at the notion of going on holiday with their folks, but I can only think of how LUCKY I am to have them in my life, and be sharing this with them….. For many reasons. Both my Mom and Dad are miracles – and I will save that for another post, but believe me they are.
We grow up, move out, have families of our own… and the phone calls and the visits with our parents tend to wane. As a child my MOST favorite memories were when we went on holiday. I don’t know if I fully appreciated the experiences then. I mean I did, but I don’t think I had the maturity to realize the true impact those days had on my life. My parents gave me an education that no school could have given me. They let me see the world. They let me experiences foods, and sounds, and cultures completely foreign to me, and all of that became a part of me as I got older. To be able to create MORE memories like that with my family means everything. THAT is THEIR GIFT TO ME…
So why do I need your help? It all sounds close to perfect doesn’t it? So why would I be losing sleep?
I AM SCARED. The last time I traveled I was MUCH more stable health-wise than I am now. I really don’t want to ruin this holiday by having my pain become the controlling factor in all of this. I want to be able to give my family a gift because they have given me so much. I WANT THEM to NOT have to worry about me… for just a little while anyhow. When we get back to normal life, and life gets back to being about homework, and laundry, and cooking, and driving to Walmart at the very last-minute to pick up art supplies for a project my son has ‘forgot’ to do… I WILL let my family worry about me then, because they have earned that right. They have walked this road with me. I just want to give them a BREAK from all of it for a while.
Sooo…… after we get up at an UNGODLY hour, and get to the airport a few hours before take-off it will be a VERY long day for me… 2 planes, 2 airports, having to take off my shoes at every security checkpoint. Sitting on those WONDERFULLY comfortable airplane seats for 6 hours, managing all my meds, trying to cram a whole lot of experience into a city that we will only be in for a day, living out of my suitcase, a hotel bed, and a trip to the marina before getting on our ship… Whew, that is only the first 24 hours of our journey…
How do I get through that day intact? How do I pace myself through a frenetic day of excitement, physical stress, and fear.. (let me explain, I have a fear of flying… it isn’t very rational I admit, I am a wimp. I will give birth to 10 babies without drugs and be okay, but as soon as I start taxiing of a runway, I feel like I am going to die).
For most ‘normals’, the stress COMES with planning a vacation – and once they are on their way they are good to go!! For me – it has been 6 months of pacing myself through shopping, planning my medications, having anxiety attacks over what shoes to wear (and NOT from a fashion standpoint), running that day over and over again in my mind to see if there is anything I haven’t thought of yet, stressing over what PANTS I am going to wear…and that is only just to be PREPARED to go…. The GOING part is a different story.
I know living a chronic life comes with a lot of challenges – BUT I don’t want those challenges to turn into road blocks for my family…
PLEASE, if you have any travel tips, suggestions, things that help you when you travel, or if you can share your experiences with travel, I would be SO appreciative!! I assure you, it won’t just help me, it can help a lot of other people!! I must not be the only one who is intimidated with traveling!
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