For me since the first symptoms of my AS started showing up there has always been this terrible T looming on the horizon. And no, I don’t mean the terrible two’s. It’s the idea of travel that scares me, that gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes my blood run cold.
Travel in my mind means pain and stiffness from being trapped in a small space for way too long. It’s energy draining and has sometimes reduced me to tears, and made minutes turn into hours, even days. I no longer like long car rides, or flights. They have become things to endure, something I just have to grit my teeth and get through. They’re an ordeal.
I have however found some things that make trips easier, something’s that I try to remember to do every time, and sometimes I get it right:
1. If you are flying ask to go through the disability lane, you often have to explain why (especially when they see a seemingly healthy teenager in front of them), or have a doctor’s note handy. It’s worth it though, not to have to stand in the enormous lines, that I can’t manage joint or energy wise, and if I feel like I can, I will happily stand in the line.
2. I’m pretty sure all flights have pre boarding. Which us where they allow passengers who need assistance, extra time or a legitimate reason, to board first. If you feel you need this, and I have before when I have not been at my best (once again use don’t abuse, if I don’t need this I don’t use it), allowing me to have help and time to get settled, and avoiding the lines and jostling that happens during general boarding.
3. Make sure to pack more meds than you need for the time period, just in case. You never know what might happen. Also keep all meds, and extra (I always pack so much I think I could survive on a desert island for a while), that you will or might need with you. I also carry a doctor’s letter around with me that lists all the medications that I am on, because I carry so much that I am terrified someone will think that I’m trying to smuggle them or something, and take them away.
4. If you find those neck travel cushion thingies comfortable, which I don’t, bring that with. It might make the flight a little easier.
5. Get up and move around and stretch out those sore achy joints, as much as you can. Walk up and down the aisle in the plane, anything, just keep moving.
Is there anything else you would recommend that would help while traveling?