It’s no real surprise that if living at home with FM is a pain then traveling with it exponentially increases the PITA factor– that’s Pain In The Ass to the initiated. It’s harder to live without breaking whatever dietary rules keep you in line, travel is not comfortable for those whose legs don’t ache when you can’t move them, and its hard to get a little rest in the middle of things when you aren’t in circumstances or surroundings that allow you to stop what you’re doing to get what you need.
Travel. Pain in my ass. First of all I don’t care to fly, I had no problem flying before I retired because I was paid to do it and now I’m not and that takes away my incentive. Next, it causes me a lot of problems. Flying causes pressure fluctuations inside and those irritate my already irritable IBS. That means as soon as the plane lands my bowel throws a fit and I need to find a facility in a hurry, and I’d better not have a connecting flight because I’m not going anywhere soon.
I can counter this, but talk about a pain in the ass. A triple dose of Imodium will keep you out of the bathroom for a while but it’s like filling your lower torso with concrete… yes, wrap your head around that because if you remember all the trouble that the MythBusters went through getting set concrete out of the truck you have to go through that at the end. What is sitting there has to be convinced to move, but watch how you do that or you’ll spend your time with a case of self-inflicted Montezuma’s Revenge.
Driving is better in some regards, I have more choice in what I eat and I can pull over and move around now and then, it keeps the legs from tightening up and aching. Yes aching. Sort of like a sprained ankle ant runs up and makes your calves swell and throb, then into your thighs that tighten up and burn, and then it hits your butt… well there too but we covered that I’m talking about the buttocks, the cheeks, where the swat landed when you screwed up as a kid. My driving range is roughly one day, because for the next few days I can’t go through being cooped up again because each successive day is worse than the one before it, and it doesn’t take long and your body makes a few obscene gestures and you just don’t go anymore.
The dietary restrictions don’t get any better when you don’t know who’s cooking with what. A little tomato and my day can be ruined; ketchup is evil stuff for me (the dietary problems of others vary.) There are whole lists of foods those with FM have to figure out the effects of them on their bodies, in no particular order some of the prime offenders are: Aspartame, Bell Peppers, Caffeinated sodas, Chili Peppers, Chocolate, Coffee, Dairy Products, Eggplant, Gluten, High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG (also in ham and bacon), Potatoes, Simple Carbohydrates, Sugar, Tea, Tomatoes & Yeast.
To make matters interesting these foods affect each person differently, and the same thing that is fine today may turn on you tomorrow. Tomatoes are something I approach carefully and prefer not to approach at all, and fruit is strongly recommended for FM patients but I’m careful with it too. Raw fruit is fine, fruit juices and heaven forbid smoothies I avoid as much as possible. Coffee and tea are fine for me, I don’t drink coffee for the energy so I avoid the binge and c rash that many get, in fact I’ve always been able to sleep just fine even after setting down a cup of java. That and both help keep things on schedule. Milk I really only use in coffee and tea, but cheese in moderation is just fine. I’ve really cut down on sodas, but I haven’t noticed any real change.
You can take a vacation from everything but what’s wrong with you, you can try to take a vacation from that too but I don’t recommend it, there are some thing just begging to be ignore but others that’ll rear up and bite you hard for trying. Do what’s smart and always know your limits.
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