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It is easy to get lost on the MS. Oosterdam if you aren’t paying attention… I honestly don’t know how people find their way around the HUGE Superships that are 4 times the size of our ship!

We made our way to the 4th Floor – The Upper Promenade Deck, and very happily found our cabins… 3 in a row on the Starboard side of the ship.

If you have ever been on a cruise ship, you’ll know that the cabins are cozy… There are 2 beds convertible to a queen-size bed, bath & shower, sitting area which has a hide-a-bed couch, private verandah, floor-to-ceiling windows.Approximately 254 square feet including verandah.  They aren’t huge by any means, but if they are organized correctly, they make a comfortable home away from home.

I had to share the next picture because it makes me LAUGH every time I see it!  This is Tim standing in the shower in the our bathroom.  When I say ‘cozy’, by my 5’3 standards it truly is.  For Tim, who is over a foot taller than I am, ‘cozy’ takes on a whole new meaning!  LOL!

 

Our luggage wasn’t in our cabin when we first arrived, but within minutes there was a knock on the door, and our suitcases showed up, one by one.  We buzzed about the 3 cabins, comparing them, and the boys went out on the balcony to sit in the sun while I started unpacking and organizing the closets…

I couldn’t WAIT to show Tim the rest of the ship, and explore every nook and cranny!  But before that, we had to take part in the Muster Drill.  It is a safety drill that by law you have to participate in at the beginning of every cruise.   We went and found our Lifeboat, #11, and then we were off and running!

Michelle, our wonderful travel agent, surprised us with a few extra goodies, including a special dinner to start off our cruise, in the Pinnacle Grill.  On a cruise you have different options for eating meals.  If you want a casual eat-anytime meal, you can go to the Lido deck and eat at the buffet, you can also eat in the dining room for more formal service, but the cream of the crop is the private restaurant known as The Pinnacle.  I REALLY wanted to experience eating there, so I was both pleasantly surprised AND excited that we would be eating our FIRST dinner there…. We cleaned ourselves up, went on deck to see the ship pull away from the terminal….

 

Bon Voyage!!

And then we headed down for dinner….

The Pinnacle is only something you can describe as opulent…. It has over-the-top decor, but it isn’t ‘tacky’.  It is very well done, down to the silver chairs and the artwork, it is something that would be considered ostentatious anywhere else…I thought it was beautiful.

I soon realized that I had NO self-control after looking at the Menu… It all sounded SO yummy!  It was so hard to decide!!

I started with an Amuse Bouche, a tasty morsel to wake up my taste buds!  It was a sea scallop with a pumpkin puree… unusual, but really good!! Next I had the lobster bisque… and I thought I had died and gone to heaven… it was SOOOOO good!  Tim agreed, as he ordered that too, but my little dude enjoyed a Prawn Cocktail, and the prawns were as big as my fist!!

 

Tim and I thought we would pace ourselves and SHARE an order of crab cakes, but we a bite in we wished we had ordered them for each of us.. they were decadent with a crispy panko breading, with sweet and rich crab inside, they were perfect!  Oh how I wish I was still on the ship… 😉

For dinner I had the “Land and Sea” – or in other words Steak and Shrimp.  I choose the creamed spinach and rice for my sides, but I had to try my sister’s Lobster Mac and Cheese… It was the richest dish on the table, much too rich for my tummy, but it was delicious!

Tim had the Steak Dianne, and it was so much fun to see it flambeed table-side!  I wish I had taken pictures!

And to end off a WONDERFUL MEAL, I chose the Baked Alaska with Cherry Garcia Ice Cream and Flambeed Cherry Sauce… SOOO SWEET… SOOOOO RICH… and TOOOO MUCH… I only ate half my dessert, and washed it all down with a decaf Cappuccino.

 

I did make a mental note that if I was lucky enough to go to the Pinnacle again, to order the Creme Brulee… Tim and my Dad both  had it, and it looked incredible..  It has a perfect sugary crust, and was served in 3 different flavors….Oh Lord… I resigned myself to taking home a few pounds extra…

All of us were really tired after a very long day, and we were all STUFFED.  We said Goodnight to my parents, and after a chilly walk on the lido deck, we also retired to our cabin.  The beds were turned down, chocolates were left on our pillow (like we needed any MORE calories), and with 2 days at sea, we knew we didn’t have to set a wake-up call…. ahhhhh…. I hoped to have a LONG and restful sleep.

I was so incredibly sore, but so very happy to share these memories with my family.

Buenos Noches everyone…..

 

To Be continued…

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MS Oosterdam at San Diego port.

Image via Wikipedia

My pain woke me up before my alarm did… another really crappy sleep… I cannot believe I am still moving to tell you the truth, it must be the adrenaline…

I woke up before my boys did, and IMMEDIATELY made myself a cup of Starbucks coffee, which was complimentary in our room.  I opened the drapes and went out onto our balcony… and there she was in all of her glory…


The MS. Oosterdam, all 936 Feet of her, and weighing in at close to 83,000 gross tonnes, she is regal and definitely a site to see!!  For those who aren’t familiar, she is owned and operated by Holland America Line, and was christened in 2003 by Her Dutch Royal Highness, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.  It is an absolutely beautiful ship, and awesome in the truest sense of the word… It is hard NOT to be in AWE of her…

To give you a little bit of personal background, my first cruise when I was 6-year-old.  I have been absolutely blessed in my life to have been able to travel.  It was, and still remains a BIG part of my education.  While back home my elementary school friends were comparing name-brand clothes such as Benetton (the United Colors of) and Esprit, I was experiencing a taste of 3rd world countries, and watching children my own age beg on the streets.  It is something that has stuck with me my whole life.

3 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer.  It shook my family to its very core.  When hospital staff come into your private room and suggest you get your affairs in order, it is a clear indication of what your prognosis is… It was terrifying.

Because it has been years since we went on a family vacation, my Dad decided to book us ALL on a trip.  He very PURPOSEFULLY booked it a year in advance – it gave him something to look forward to, and something to fight for… and fight he did!!  We celebrated a YEAR after his diagnosis on the Oosterdam on a 7-day Mexican Riviera Cruise… and TWO YEARS later we are doing it again…  A MIRACLE!!!!!

Because my honey had never been on a cruise, it was SO exciting for me to be able to share every MOMENT with him!  I couldn’t wait until he opened his eyes, so he could take a first glance at the ship what we’d call home for the next week!!

After the boys were both up and at ’em, we got our luggage read to be picked up and taken to the ship, and made our way downstairs to meet up with the rest of my family.  We snacked on Banana Bread and Lemon Loaf, has another coffee, and toured the hotel once again before we got picked up by a shuttle which took us to the cruise terminal.

My honey was so in awe of the process, and my little dude was a CRAZY monkey!!  The excitement was tangible… You could feel, smell, and almost TASTE it….

The process of ‘checking-in’ was MUCH easier than I thought it would be, and before we knew it we were being called to board the ship!

 

(Insert Angels singing here… “AAAAhhhhhhhh” LOL)

We boarded, and after a slight emergency (Mom lost her purse!!  It has all of her ID in it, and we all panicked and stopped breathing the moment she realized it was gone.  She had to get off the ship and go back to the cruise terminal while we waited, and a million thoughts went through our heads.. An ANGEL turned in my Mom’s purse the MOMENT they saw it!  There are still wonderful people on this earth!!  THANK YOU to whomever it was who turned it in!!) we headed to the dining room for a special ‘Welcome Aboard” Luncheon.  At this point most of the people getting on the ship would go to The Lido Restaurant, an AMAZING buffet-style cafe.  Because my parents are seasoned cruisers, we got to sit down in the dining room and take it all in….

We began our meal with an Artisan Salumi plate, an appetizer consisting of cured meats, and freshly baked bread with the creamiest butter ever!!

We then had a cup of Cream of Broccoli Soup finished with toasted pine nuts.

For lunch I had the Mango Chicken Salad, while my boys decided on a less than standard cheese burger (even the burgers are First Class!)

And for dessert, a Fruit tartlette with creamy custard…. And just so you know, my family was SHOCKED that I didn’t pick the chocolate mousse!! 😉

After our bellies were full, and we had a chance to process the day so far, we headed to deck 4 to find our cabins!!!!

Stayed Tuned for the Second part of ALL ABOARD!!! Dec 4th

To Be continued…

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As always the last leg of a trip always seems to be the longest… It was a comfortable ride, but I was MORE than ready to get off the plane and get to the hotel where I could settle in for a little while.

After only an hour of sleep and a very LONG day, I needed to get where I was going… How do I look after only having 4 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours?  LOL!!

On the way into the San Diego airport my little dudes ears started to ‘plug’ and it was really bothering him…  he couldn’t get them to unplug with any of the normal tricks, and he decided he would plug his nose and blow… WRONG MOVE!  A LOUD POP followed by a tonne of pain followed… to the point where he had tears in his eyes… I thought once we were on the ground for a while he would find relief…. relief took longer than I expected.

Once on the ground we headed to the Sheraton Marina, and what a beautiful hotel it is!!

With BEAUTIFUL tropical grounds, a private marina outback, and rooms designed in a ‘Ralph Lauren’ Nautical theme of reds and blues, it was a perfect start to our holiday.  Once we checked into our rooms we decided to do some sight-seeing before dinner… We all knew if we stopped for even a minute we would all be asleep until morning.

We took a cab past the cruise terminal, and into the heart of San Diego… My little guy was really having a hard time with his ears 😦  It took much of the enjoyment out of it for me as I started to worry….

We stopped at a TGIF for dinner.  We had seen loads of commercials, but don’t have that restaurant chain in Canada, so we thought we would give it a try…. Besides the horrendously SLOW service it was okay, not great, but okay.  Certainly nothing to write home about, but to tell you the truth, I was so exhausted by this point I don’t think much would have made me happy.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped to pick up a bottle of wine, and a bottle of peroxide for Aidan’s ear… we had heard of a ‘remedy’ for clearing out any fluid in his ear by using peroxide and a Q-tip..  um… it didn’t work…. By the time we got back to the hotel I was REALLY starting to worry, and Aidan held his ear and cried.

He fell asleep in spite of the pain, but less than an hour after we all crashed he sat up like a bolt of lightning and let out a scream… he was in a PANIC because the pain was so bad… I started to panic too… I was starting to get scared that he had burst an eardrum of something.  Tim dragged his very TIRED butt out of bed, and went to get some juice from the main floor snack shop, and I searched through the meds I brought.  We put some antihistamine/decongestant into the OJ and let Aidan drink it down… and within seconds it came back up again… all over the floor leading to the bathroom… My poor baby…. We are in a different country with travel insurance, and I had no idea what to do…. Are we going to make it to the ship?!?!?

Throwing up actually helped the pain… the pressure of gagging or something actually let some of the pressure in his ear loose.  He went back to bed with a now plugged ear, but not as much pain… I went back to bed shaking… Tim went for a walk… and we BOTH slept with one eye open.

Oh God, I needed sleep…

Tomorrow we board the MS. Oosterdam!!!

To be continued….

 

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Oh please don’t tell me I have to get up…. I fell asleep sometime close to 1am, and at 2am my alarm went off… I felt my way to the kitchen, made myself an instant coffee (no time to brew a pot), and felt my way to the bathroom, and jumped in the shower… Okay I wasn’t actually jumping, it was more of a ‘thud’.  I could have stayed in the shower forever, the HOT spray of water pounding down on my back… I was so sore, but I knew I had little time to focus on that, because I had to go wake up my boys.

My honey slept in my little dudes room, and my little dude had slept with me.  That was the only way I could guarantee little dude would sleep… and after all he needed it more than we did, right?

My honey got up, and bleary-eyed he went to make sure everything was packed, and all the luggage locks were closed.

I went to wake up my little dude… It didn’t take much, the usual cajoling wasn’t needed.  He was WIDE awake in seconds and talking our ears off… “I can’t believe the day is here!!!…. We are going to the airport!!!… What kind of plane do you think we will be on?…. Oh my God I am so excited!!!!…. Hurry guys, we can’t be late!!!!”.  Oh to have the energy of a nine-year-old boy…

After checking our carry on bags at least 3 times to make sure we had everything, we headed gave Sophia, our fat feline one last rub, and headed out the door, down the elevator, and out to the car… If I have forgotten anything, it is too late now I though to myself.. here we go!!!

We decided to park our car at the Park n’ Jet for the week, as it was more cost efficient, and more comfortable to me.  We met up with Mom and Dad on the Shuttle that took us to the airport and just after 4am, and minutes later we joined up with my sister Yvette, and my Niece Hailey.

We checked in, went through security, and my honey was stopped… his jewelry and belt buckle set the alarms off… I was also stopped.. The security guard played hard ball with me.  “M’aaammm.. Do you have anything in your bag that I can stick myself with?” gheesh… well if you mean knitting needles, then YES, if you mean hypodermic needles, then the answer is no… He pulled everything out of my bag… including my large Ziploc baggie filled to the brim with meds.. I got looked at sideways, and I was expecting to be grilled, but he didn’t say a word.  Apparently a tube of Burts Bee’s Lip gloss was the most dangerous thing he could find.  He chastised me for having it out of a plastic baggie, and made me clean up the mess he created after he had pulled every last thing out of my bag… sigh…

We headed to the Gate, all bleary-eyed, and needing sustenance, we looked for something to eat to pass the time.  I settled for a coffee while everyone else grabbed a little but of food.  I am not a morning eater.

We all acknowledged that indeed it would be a long day, nobody got much sleep… Yvette being the smart one, went to bed at 9pm.. everyone else was running on less than an hour.

The time went by quickly, and we boarded our first flight… to Denver.

Now I must say that normally I am not a good traveler.  My body is REALLY sensitive to air pressure changes, and combined with sensitive ears flying is usually on the top of the list of things I dread.  Tim has issues with his ears as well, so we were both concerned about having to take off and land not once, but twice in one day.

A few months back we found a brand of ear plugs called “Ear Planes” especially for flying.  And I must say that they are one of the most incredible things I have ever purchased.  For a measly $6.29 a pair we both were completely comfortable for the first leg of our trip.  Taking off I noticed that I didn’t have ANY problems with my ears, and only a little bit of pressure coming down… a VAST improvement from the agonizing pain I normally experience!  I asked my little dude if he wanted to wear a pair as well.. he said No 😦  and I regret not making him.. but more to come on that later.

The flight to Denver went by quickly, I think I nodded off for about 20 mins or so, which is ODD for me as I normally cannot sleep in planes, trains, or automobiles… Hell, I can hardly sleep in my own bed!! The plane to Denver was nothing more than an old puddle jumper, with 2 seats, a VERY SMALL AISLE, and another 2 seats.  Somehow we were separated, and Aidan and I sat together, and poor Tim had the WINDOW seat across the aisle from us…  Now, that might not mean much to you, but my honey is nearing 6’4, and he has a very broad build.  I was hoping that the lady sitting beside him would be polite and kind enough to switch seats with him as he spent the flight with his knees up to his ears.. I even tried to very kindly draw attention to how big he is, and how SMALL the seat was.. but to no avail.  She ignored me.  My poor honey couldn’t even skootch his bum a fraction of an inch in his seat… It must have been a LONG flight for him.

We had a few hours to kill in Denver, so we walked around, looked in the shops, had a bite to eat (again, I didn’t but everyone else did I think), and just hung out at the gate and chatted.  The kids were SO excited, and it was fun to watch them chatter at each other.  It is such a blessing to me to be able to see things through my son’s eyes… and it was really special to me to be able to experience this with my honey as well… I spent a lot of time this holiday just sitting back and observing…

The second flight was MUCH more comfortable, and we all got to sit together.  The plane was taking what seemed forever to pull away from the gate, and we soon learned why.  The wind was insane and the airport had closed every runway except for one… So we watched out the window as one by one planes took off.. It soon was our turn, and by the time we were in the air I was wishing to be gently put down on earth again.  The turbulence was INCREDIBLE!  I have never experienced such rocking and rolling on a plane before.  My Dad, a very WELL seasoned traveler admitted that he hadn’t experienced anything quite like that before either.  My little dude was so brave… and I must admit, braver than I was.  We held hands (all of us, because I needed someone’s hand to hold as well 😉 ), and the first half hour of the trip was telling each other ‘this too shall pass’.  It is pretty humbling to be on an aircraft that weighs TONNES and be thrown around like a shiny ball in a pinball machine… oh the adventure!!!

Coming soon… Part TWO of this post, Here we go!  December 3rd.

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View of Coronado and San Diego from the air.

Image via Wikipedia

 

It has been a long few months getting ready for this holiday.  As most of us “Chronics” know, an amazing amount of preparation goes in to getting through our daily lives, let alone special events such as vacations… It has been an exhausting few weeks, and I am ready to collapse, but in a few short hours I will be leaving for the airport.. I.. Must.. Keep.. Going..

Suitcases Packed – check

Passports and tickets ready – check

Carry On loaded with meds, heat wraps, reading material – check

All I need is some sleep…

But I have a feeling that might be hard to come by tonight.

It is 10pm, and my alarm is set for 2am…

and I am awake.. and SORE… and buzzing…

My little dude is still awake as well, and my honey is still cleaning – I pooped out about an hour ago, and I have no more energy.. I feel bad that the last odds and ends fall on to his shoulders, but I just can’t do anymore… I haven’t stopped since my feet hit the floor at 6:45am this morning.. How blessed I am to have such a wonderful and understanding man in my life!!

So I am off to bed.. to try to get something that resembles sleep… tomorrow is going to be a LONG day…

I can’t wait to get to San Diego, and get this holiday started!  Once the luggage is checked in, and I am sitting at the gate, I will feel relieved.. until then, I am a bit of a stress case!!

xoxoxoxo

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Well I asked for your help, and BOY did i ever get it!!  My last post was about Traveling with a chronic illness, and I asked for you to all share your experiences in hopes that I could create a ‘plan’ for myself and be able to put my fears to rest in regards to an upcoming trip….

Well ask and YE SHALL RECEIVE!!  I am now completely overwhelmed with all the FANTASTIC information that you passed along! THANK YOU!  You all shared some REALLY great advice!!!  I will thank you all personally when I get the chance 😉

So I have decided to compile ALL the info you sent and create a new blog post that might help others popping by Graceful Agony.  I hope it serves as a Chronic Survival Guide when traveling… Look for it this upcoming week.

Also, this week the current round of the Graceful Agony Blog Carnival will go live… The topic for this one is “A dream is a wish your heart makes“.  I apologize for being a tad behind on getting it published, but I can assure you it is worth waiting for!  The posts I have read are awesome!

November is proving to be a really busy month for me, and it is just getting busier and busier by the day.  My calendar is already full to the max!  If I am delayed in my correspondence with anyone, I apologize in advance!  I am trying to pace my way through the never-ending list of things to do, but unfortunately there are some things that just cannot be put on the back burner any longer… I am sure you all know how that is though!

Thanks again everyone for all the amazing support, encouragement, friendship, and also travel tips!!  I am already feeling a little less scared than I was, and a little more empowered.  It is not easy for me to ask for help, even when I need it.  It is something I am still working on 😉

May the end of your weekend be peaceful, and I hope you have a wonderful week!

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OKAY MY AMAZING READERS!!! I NEED YOUR HELP!!!!

 

Sailing takes me away...

 

 

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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