What are the Best Ways to Travel for Migraine and Headache Sufferers? For migraine and headache sufferers the world is a dark and unhappy place. As a result, it is a world defined by pain and periods of complete immobility.
Furthermore, chronic sufferers can actually develop a type of agoraphobia. As a result, ordinary activities like eating at restaurants, riding the subway, or just leaving the house terrify them.
At the same time, sympathy for invisible disabilities can be surprisingly low. Painful symptoms are not easily verified. And at the same time they are easily fabricated. People who don’t know you have no way of judging whether you’re really sick or making it up. They often have no experience with your problem. As a result, they cannot relate to your suffering.
Yet, all of that doesn’t mean that you do not want to travel.
Knowing the Best Ways to Travel for Migraine and Headache Sufferers allows them the freedom to travel. So, how do you leave your comfort zone, strike out for parts unknown, and enjoy your adventure under these conditions?
Understand Your Limitations
Having a chronic disability means that you do have limits. and that you may never be able to do everything that other people manage.
Once you accept and understand this, however, you might be surprised by how much you can do.
Whether you are under a doctor’s care, or are using herbs and alternative medicine to treat your problem, you still need to understand:
- Whether you are suffering from migraines or headaches
- Why your problem is currently incurable
- What cycles, if any, you experience
- Symptom triggers
- Best ways to treat both the immediate symptoms and the long term issue
Armed with this information, you can begin mapping out a travel plan that will avoid your triggers, and make the most of your abilities. Knowing how to plan and prevent is the key to finding the Best Ways to Travel for Migraine and Headache Sufferers.
What are the Best Ways to Travel for Migraine and Headache Sufferers?
Prevention and Preparedness
Optimally you will experience your travel without a single headache or migraine. Prevention is nine-tenths of the hidden disability battle. Use this list to help you with your prevention plan.
- Don’t be proud, be realistic. You will need your medications, including any herbs, within reach at all times.
- If your severe allergies cause migraine symptoms make sure that any restaurants you plan to visit will accommodate your needs.
- If your allergies are violent for certain foods, simply avoid those foods when you travel. Make sure your companions avoid them also
- Many migraines sufferers experience hyper-sensitivity to light, sound, scents, barometric pressure, and stress. Plan for those triggers and avoid them.
- As a result, you will need to plan your travel times and areas accordingly.
- Headlights or bright lights sometimes trigger migraines. That means you make sure that you do not travel at night if that affects you. And while travelling in the daylight you will want to have a top-grade pair of sunglasses on at all times.
- If you are super-sensitive to storm systems, it may not be the best idea to travel to Florida or the Caribbean during hurricane season.
- If you find yourself in a non-smoking room that smells like smoke, inform management.
- When a party gets out of hand with lights and noise, it’s time to leave. Missing out on some fun is a small price to pay for being able to walk without pain in an hour.
A Friend in Need
Having someone with you can relieve much of the stress and pressure of traveling with a disability. And while it may not always be possible for you to have someone along, you should try to do so. If you have to travel alone, seek out a fellow traveler you can hang out with. Be sure to explain your issues so they know what to expect.
A friend can do much of the driving or attend to the details of the trip, like checking into hotel rooms.
A caring friend or family member will know you, your illness, and your symptoms from the outset. They also:
- Are likely to be stricter with your limits than you will be with yourself
- May recognize the onset of a headache or migraine before you do
- Are more likely to make sure you take your medications when necessary
- Will provide you with some second-party verification
When someone besides yourself realizes that you have a problem, and begins taking steps to help you, it is a signal to strangers that something is, in fact, wrong. Sympathy and help is more likely to be forthcoming under these circumstances.
The Worst-Case Scenario
Yes, the Best Ways to Travel for Migraine and Headache Sufferers is preparation and prevention. Yet, sadly, despite all your care and prevention, you will have an attack during your travels and be severely incapacitated.
This is the risk that all people with a disability, obvious or invisible, take every time they step out of their door.
That fear shouldn’t stop you from taking your adventures, but it should make you aware. If and when the worst does happen, you need to be ready to handle it.
In the event that you are travelling alone, it is a good idea to always have a shortcut back home. Having an emergency plane ticket in your pocket will save you from the horrible task of booking airfare through waves of pain and nausea.
Or maybe you’re travelling in your own vehicle and can’t abandon it. In this case it’s a good idea to have enough extra cash on hand that you can get a decent, quiet hotel room for a few days.
Keep emergency contact numbers with you at all times. When your disability can be not just severely limiting, but can shut you down completely, you need to be ready to ask for help.
The Best Ways to Travel for Migraine and Headache Sufferers is preparation and prevention. Traveling with migraines or headaches is similar to traveling with a traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, or diabetes. Since symptoms are not readily apparent, sympathy and available aid can be low. And consequences severe.
Traveling with an invisible disability is possible. Awareness, preparedness, and prevention mean that you can enjoy almost as much freedom as other travelers.
Good health, and safe travels!
About The Author
Suzanna Fitzgerald is a writer, photographer, and online marketer. She has been writing for over fifteen years in all fields of fiction and non-fiction. Her published novel, Loner’s Clan, is her largest foray into the print world so-far. Also, she has published dozens of items online, especially in the form of a blog.
Her marketing company, Fitz’n’Jammer: Online Marketing & Design, focuses on helping clients increase their online presence and marketing campaigns the smart way – with clarity and engagement marketing.
You can find her on her company website, http://www.fitznjammer.com.
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