I have done my fair amount of travelling lately. It has been thrilling to see my world open back up. As it has though, I’ve seen my limitations become more present. I have less control over activities sometimes. Other times I have to opt out of activities all together due to my health. In general, I have some strategies for preparing for travel and extra activities. I hope these five tips help you like they have helped me!
- Salt and Electrolytes
This is obvious but I LOAD UP on salt and electrolytes while I’m on vacation. After having a difficult conversation with my doctor, it was apparent that our current strategy wasn’t working. She suggested four salt tablets on days when I’m out and about and active. On top of that, she instructed me to do electrolytes before and after activities. I had previously only been doing electrolytes beforehand to replace what I’ve lost. I think it’s help bring me back to normal. I highly suggest salt tablets when you’re on the go.
Compression can be hard to wear on vacation, especially if it’s hot. I find that my compression tank tops are by far the most helpful for vacation. They’re not ideal and often they make me more hot than regular clothes. This is one of those moments where I have to pick my battles and decide what is worse, blood pooling or overheating. I find that with Crush tasking, I can avoid blood pooling, sometimes that means foregoing compression altogether. It’s good to have for emergencies though.
I have had talks with my doctors about medication and finding the right regiment. I always bring all of my medication with me on vacation. There’s always a chance that I’ll need extra propranolol or allergy medication. One of the most difficult symptoms I manage on vacation is my allergies. Despite strong doses of medications, I have a constant stream of tears when I walk outside due to my allergies. It’s not the most glamorous symptom but it’s a small price to pay for enjoying the sunshine and nature.
I plan activities around how much energy I anticipate having, as well as what I know I can tolerate. Sometimes this plan is off and I need more or less but in general I find it a really helpful practice. It allows me to keep on top of symptoms before they get too difficult to manage. This also gives me the opportunity to set the expectations for what I can and cannot do. Like I said, sometimes that changes but I find it a helpful practice.
- Knowing my limits
Within the same vein of taking breaks, I find it really important to know my limits. This is something I’ve always struggled with. I want to take all the opportunities that come my way but some are not feasible or are not in my best interest. Being able or being comfortable saying no is a part of taking care of myself. I think it’s hard not to feel like it’s admitting defeat but taking care of myself has to come first, period.
These may feel like obvious tips and tricks. It has taken me a long time to learn what my needs are. When I was starting out on my POTS journey these are things I wouldn’t have known. I also wouldn’t necessarily have felt comfortable asking. That being said, I hope one of these tips helped spark some thought on how you can make going on vacation easier with POTS.
I hope that you’re having a wonderful day. I hope that your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.