My AS Travel Essentials
Traveling is something I thought in my young adult life I would do more of. When I took my first non-family vacation in 2016, the travel bug had bit me. Hard. But back then I wasn’t sick. Traveling was fun, and didn’t destroy my body.
Now that I have AS and have taken a few trips, I have some essentials that I can’t leave without.
I absolutely will not leave to go on vacation without my beloved heat products. The most important to me is my hot packs. I have one that has a belt, so it’s great for my lower back or days when my pelvis is flaring. As long as my destination has a microwave, I know I can heat it up and use it when I’m back in the room.
I also bring my heating pad everywhere I go. When I’m back in bed or have the time to relax in between activities, bed and the heating pad is the way to go. I turn it on to whichever level I want, lay back, and enjoy the heat.
2. Portable pain relievers
When I was in New York City, I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking around. I brought IcyHot packs with me in my bag everywhere I went and applied them usually mid-day when I felt the pain coming on.
My lower back tends to be affected the most when I walk a lot, so I would put them there. They usually help for a few hours and I can power through a few more activities before I need to call it a day.
I have no experience with the hot and cold creams, but I imagine they do somewhat of the same thing.3. Comfortable clothesThis is something I’m still working on, but I’ve more recently noticed the difference between wearing more comfortable clothes and skinny jeans, or tight-fitting clothing.If I’m going out, I can only comfortably last a few hours with tight-fitting clothes before I’ve had enough and would rather be in sweats or PJs. If I can bring more comfortable clothes to wear all day, that’s a win-win. But if not, if I choose to want to be more “stylish,” I’ll make sure I have extra comfy clothes to change into when the day is over.4. RestThis isn’t something to bring on trips, but it’s something to DO more often on trips. With the vacations I tend to take, I do a lot all day every day. I’ll be out walking around for the majority of the day, and by the end of it, feel like I could collapse and never get back up again.Something I actually put into practice on my trip to Lisbon last year was to rest more. The country was full of hills and cobble roads, and while beautiful, took a large toll on my body. My entire day’s energy would be spent by around 5-6 pm. And by 7 pm, I would be back in the hostel in bed relaxing on my phone.It makes me sad I never really saw Lisbon at night, but it was just too much for me. In order to ensure that I would be able to do the next day’s activities and the day after, I needed to rest my body earlier in the evening than everyone else.I got through the trip and while the 7-hour plane ride nearly killed me, I made it.What are your travel essentials?Now that I’ve shared my travel essentials, what are some of yours?
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?