Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Have Landed in the Middle of Nowhere


After a 6 hour drive and a ferry ride where the heat was broken (I'm pretty sure even my bones froze!), Jon and I are finally in our super rural part of Cape Breton.  I had a ton of anxiety when I was packing for this short trip.  It's the first time I've been away from home in about a year and a half, and I was scared to death.

I was sooooo cranky yesterday because I could not find gluten free food in this province for the life of me. After two hours of searching, we found enough food to get through the trip.  I'm not going to starve!!  I should have bought a travel cooler and packed food.  Alas, I didn't think that part through.

So Jon's away at work and I'm staying in this cute little apartment, watching too much America's Next Top Model.

I look at these pictures of Coco Rocha and totally wish I was so pretty.  Or could take cool photo shoots like this.  Instead, I lay here in a massive amount of back pain.  So it goes.

My fellow chronic illness friends - how do you plan and pack for trips?  Do you still take them?  How do you make them enjoyable?

I love advice so much :)

Hope everyone is well.



Toni said...

I wish I had advice to offer here, Annie, but I'm too sick to take trips. We did go an hour's drive to Berkeley a couple of years ago. I started making a list days ahead of time of everything I'd need. It worked. So I guess I do have advice after all: make a list enough ahead of time that you can slowly get together everything you'll need for the trip.

Cape Breton is so beautiful. But I remember that is was cold cold cold.

P.S. Despite what those nurses said, laughter is great medicine! It's not as if the medical world has come up with anything better for us :-)

Annie said...

It is absolutely beautiful for pictures, but you are right...I need like 1800 more sweaters and fuzzy socks than I have.

It is encouraging to know that I managed to get here (I obviously couldn't drive...) but it is a struggle. I cried and cried. It will be a long journey back too.

Thanks for the advice Toni :) I hope you are feeling well.

Nessie said...


I'm with Toni. Definitely lists help me whenever I go on trips (they are few and far between, though). I try to take it easy the week before to save my energy, and I try to leave a day after where I don't have to do anything, so I can recover.

I didn't do that on one trip to Toronto to visit my family, and I suffered for it for a good two weeks after. I learned my lesson.

Hope that helps!

Migrainista said...

Yes, I'm with the others - Lists that start well in advance. My brain is far too foggy these days to identify/anticipate my needs in just one sitting.

I honestly haven't been anywhere in about two years...fear is a big part of that. But my husband and I are planning a trip to the mountains this summer as long as I don't have to have surgery.

I'm so happy to hear you have made it out after so long! I hope you enjoy your trip!

Phoenix Peacock said...

I love to travel and explore - even if it isn't a big trip. However, it is no longer as much fun because of the energy it zaps. So the lists, yes, are so important. Plus I start packing early. It helps keep the energy reserved for the actual vacation and not totally spent on the pre-vacation. Plus, I find it helps keep me excited to go. I also wear ThermaCare wraps the day before, the day of, and the day after any travel so that I don't feel as stiff. It's certainly not a cure-all but it helps. And I bring my own tea and food too.
Good for you for getting out and having some fun! If we don't do some "normal" things every once in a while or plan a few escapes... life with illness becomes dismal fast.

upnorth said...

OK, here's some advice...some of it dorky.
For one, I have been able to travel some while I've been sick. Sometimes quite successfully with only a little crash, sometimes with a crash so bad that I fainted multiple times just trying to stand up the next day.

- If it's a car ride, take a favourite pillow - maybe this is common sense, but even if it's only a 1/2hr car ride I find it really helps.

- if you have to stop somewhere (restaurant, bathroom break), make the driver drop you at the door, even if it saves 20 steps of walking from where you park... over a trip it can save a lot of energy.

- The third idea is travel with food. I didn't realize you were gluten free. Are you celiac? I'm wheat free and so I always travel with my bread...I feel like a bit of a dork showing up at a friends for a few nights with a loaf of bread, but there you have it.

Cape Breton is gorgeous!!

Annie said...

I do have celiac disease - if I would have been thinking I would have traveled with bread. Thankfully everything came together, although I may have eaten something with gluten :(

I love all the tips - I should go pick up some ThermaCare wraps - I love them so much!

Anonymous said...

Folks have given some great suggestions. We have an ever evolving travel list that keeps me focused. We also plan for rest periods while on the road, and at our destination.
Cape Breton is a fantastic destination. I hope the weather warms up for you.

Robyn said...

Thermacare wraps are a great idea!

I have some trips coming up, and I almost always crash when I travel, so I'm soaking up these tips like crazy. Obviously I pack my medicine, my favorite pillow, and all my "emergency remedies" like Tylenol, heating pad, herbal teas, etc. I also try really hard to stay on schedule, even more so than when I'm at home to accomodate the extra stress. I make sure I can get lots of sleep, I bring food I know I can eat, and I have to know what's going on for the trip so I can plan my resting time around it. Sheesh, I'm pretty high-maintenance these days, but that's kind of what happens. It's easier to travel with my family because they get it; I've had more problems traveling with friends, who sometimes think I'm taking a vacation from my illness as well as my house. ;-) I just try to budget my time carefully and prepare my fellow travelers for the chance that they may have to do some things without me while I lay on the bed in the hotel room. C'est la vie... it's still nice to get out of town and see something new, even if it is through the window. ;-) I hope your trip goes well, Annie! Take pictures!


Dominique said...

I have this really odd thing I do but it works for me especially if I suddenly have to get re-packed quickly.

I make a list of everything I pack in my luggage and then I type it up and put it in a baggie and then put it in my luggage.

I do the same with my makeup bag.

That way everything I took on the trip comes back home with me. And if something spills, my list doesn't get ruined. A little extra work but so worth it.

The Sarcastic Soprano said...

I also do the thermacare wraps in addition to hand and toe warmers (I wear them daily and bring PLENTY on trips). I enjoy these lara bars ( and they are convenient to pack with me. Most importantly if we are flying somewhere I always get a wheelchair for the airport. I used to feel weird about it but it really helps.