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    Old 06-11-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
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    Question How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    Ever since I hurt my foot over 3 years ago, I have not taken a trip overnight anywhere. I really want to go away for a few days in the near future to relax and try to have fun, but I currently cannot be on my feet (because of left foot pain) for certain periods of time or else the pain becomes unbearable. Of course, pain is NOT fun. Even now when I do a few errands, I typically need the next day to try to recover from the pain.

    I'd love to visit Manhattan, but that's lots of walking around and standing to wait for a taxi, see some of the attractions, etc. I don't have a wheelchair, and I can't imagine someone pushing me around the streets of Manhattan in a wheelchair. Every time I've been to NYC (before foot problem), I've never seen a person in a wheelchair. Maybe NYC is not the appropriate vacation destination anymore? But I don't want to go somewhere and sit on a beach in the sun all day every day.

    I want to go away somewhere before my foot gets any worse, but I can't go on a vacation and be on my feet for a long time. I don't know of any one who would put up with me slowing them down on vacation, except for my parents.

    I am currently not on any pain meds, except for one 5/500 mg Vicodin before bedtime, as Vicodin makes me nauseated. I tried Ultram, but that made me nauseated and didn't reduce my pain. I tried Lyrica, but that did nothing for me. I obviously don't want to be all drugged up on pain meds in order to take a vacation.

    What do people do who have chronic pain and want to go on a trip? Where do you suggest taking a trip to if you can't be on your feet for much time? For someone who has pain when standing, it's tough to have to stand in a long line for the airport, for instance, or to walk around all day to see the sights.

    Please offer comments...maybe someone else is wondering how they will be able to take a vacation being in pain.

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    Old 06-12-2007, 05:50 AM   #2
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?


    Have you thought about maybe something like a cruise. Where the ship is literally a floating city within itself. Cruise lines will do whatever they can to acomodate someone who has trouble getting around. All of the activites are within walking distance and when you get into port if you dont want to get off the ship you dont have to. When you feel in pain just go back to the cabin and relax.

    Just a suggestion

    Old 06-12-2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    It is difficult to do things you did before pain. We visited our son in Japan last year and I hurt the entire time but at least we could relax at their home. Do you have family or friends that you could stay with; a place that would be relaxing and where they care about you? Perhaps just going to a different place would help. My husband's foot is worse after his surgery 3 months ago and he still works and does things around the house but is in pain the entire time so I do know what you mean. Have you tried going back to the doctor or a pain clinic so you can try some other treatments or meds? I sure wish you the best.

    Old 06-12-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    Great thread idea and the perfect time of year for it. I have gone on a few vacations, let me tell you what I found that worked best.
    (By the way, if a cruise at all interests you, that was an excellent suggestion, although those ships are huge and you'll still do a bit of walking)
    Be sure to take your meds before you leave for the airport. Make sure that your pain meds are in their original bottles, and take enough for an extra 3 days in case of emergency. Only put your meds in your carry on luggage, never check them. Keep your bag or purse with you at all times, in between your feet, not in overhead, and take them with you if you use the restroom.

    I have been to Las Vegas twice, and enjoyed it very much. Most hotel rooms have small room safes, that is where your meds need to be at all times. If you have a watch with a timer or alarm, set it for 1-2 hours, since there are no clocks in a casino, you dont want to all of a sudden realize youve been playing the same slot machine for 4 hours and can barely move! When your timer goes off, move around and change position.

    Use taxis or in Vegas, the tram thingy goes from hotel to hotel up one side of the strip.

    When I have gone to the beach, we have either gone to a hotel right on the beach, or rented a house within a block or two from it. Take lots of good books and a comfortable camp chair, mine is great, it even has a cup holder, got it at sams club/costco for less than $20, It has a full back, which I need.

    Disneyland and places like the San Diego zoo have services for disabled people, ask in advance what they can do for you, other wise expect to do a lot of walking and waiting in lines. Always ask for a preboard on the plane, I usually take not the bulkhead seat, but the one right in front of it, the extra leg room of the person behind you means no one is kicking your seat, and you can adjust it however you want without bothering the people behind you.

    With a little extra planning, vacations are a great distraction from our day to day grind, for CPers this is way more important for our mental health that for regular folks!

    Just remember to guard your meds with your life, losing them can turn a vacation into a nightmare very quickly.

    Bon Voyage, Fabby

    Old 06-12-2007, 11:21 AM   #5
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    i am sorry you are having pain. there is no shame in being wheeled around if it means a change of scenery. please keep in mind that although you may have to be in a wheel-chair to take this vacation and get around, it will be so worth it. getting out and living, breathing fresh air, seeing new things, will be wonderful for you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. these are all aspects of us that need to be nurtured along with our physical being. because of the threat of depression in chronic pain sufferers, these things are as vital to us as anything a dr. can do.

    my suggestion is rent a wheelchair, make reservations, and GO GO GO!!!! LOL your heart and mind will love you for it.

    Old 06-12-2007, 02:44 PM   #6
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    I think everybody has given excellent ideas and I can only think of one other tool you may want to consider when travelling. I am confined most of the time to a wheelchair when at home. But I also have a Rally Scooter which has been a real lifesaver for me. It has enabled me to go just about anywhere that a wheelchair can go and I don't have to bother my husband with the chore of pushing me everywhere. I'm lucky enough to own one and to have a lift on the back of my SUV that allows me to drive the scooter right up on the lift and then raise it to safely drive off in the car. But, I do believe that you can rent them and this may be an answer for you if you want to go to New York or another city. I'm absolutely sure that most of New York is handicapped-friendly, including the major city streets with graded crosswalks to allow you to get up and down sidewalks. If your dream is a few days in the big-Apple, I wouldn't give it up until you see if you can find a scooter to help you. Good luck!! KathyMac

    Old 06-13-2007, 09:40 AM   #7
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    I think the scooter idea is a great one. Can you rent one maybe? Also, I just don't think your pain is being controlled as well as it should be. It saddens me to hear you say that you want a vacation before you are able to walk/stand at all. There are many opinions on this, but I think that pain management is most important when it allows you do things you love and WANT to do. If that means a different, stronger med, then so be it. I cannot take Vicodin either as I have nausea and vomiting. Percocet however, works very well for my pain and I have no side effects. I went from not being able to work at all, to part-time, to full-time. Did it take an increase and change in meds, YES. Was it worth it? God Yes! My quality of life is astoundingly different and better.

    I may be off base here, but I feel like your quality of life could be greatly improved by better pain management. Get out there! See a pain management specialist to help you get there. If you are already seeing one, talk to them about what you can, and cannot do, and what realistic goals you have. I wish you all the best!


    Old 06-14-2007, 09:43 AM   #8
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    Hi! My hubby and I are both cpers(me-lung pain, him-foot pain) and I'm trying to figure out a vacation for us this year. Our vacations used to consist of taking our boat to an island and camping with no water, toliets, people etc...just hiking and fishing. Now my hubby can't walk on an uneven hiking.
    He fishes and pays and pays for it.

    We went to Arizona after one of his surgeries. He had been in a wheelchair for 4 months and just moved up to crutches. He probably should have taken the wheelchair on vacation but he didn't want to regress. He hid his pain so we could have fun.

    I like the idea of the all-inclusive vacation. No worries about budgeting. My hubby would never go on a cruise. Just the idea of being trapped with all those people makes him cringe. Maybe Mexico, Jamaica, Aruba.....?? Sorry to ramble on about my troubles but I understand what you're going through.

    Great thread.~Mush
    undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease

    Old 06-14-2007, 06:22 PM   #9
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    we did the fly to san diego thingy for kiddos graduation. I used wheel chairs from air port till time we got back.
    San Diego was very handicap friendly
    Saw the zoo went to a show to the gas light mall and kiddo's graduation.
    While it was painful and i paid for it for days after we came back i am very glad i went.
    But next time if i had a choice it would be a short crusie.
    Tried beah one day it wasn't smart idea, next time a short day trip instead.....
    What about a trip around your city? Musemems a park? plan it as if it were a trip?

    Old 06-15-2007, 04:50 AM   #10
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    Re: How to take a vacation when you are in chronic pain?

    Great responses! Thanks for all the ideas and advice. I love reading these messages.

    A cruise sounds nice, but for me I wouldn't like being stuck on a ship with lots of tourists, and there would be the need for a wheelchair because usually a cruise ship is large with multiple decks. If I went to NYC, I would need a wheelchair unless my pain was under control, which it is not right now. I'll have to look into the option of renting a wheelchair or scooter. I don't have a friend or family member to stay with for vacation, unfortunately. I really don't have anyone besides my parents who would be patient with me slowing them down because of my painful foot. Some people just don't understand about chronic pain until they go through this themselves.

    It's so true that taking a trip to see new things, relax, get fresh air is so good for our health. For now, I can deal with a day trip, like to a park or to go on a boat for a few hours.

    I haven't been to a pain clinic yet. I am still trying to find a doctor to help me after three years of this pain. Some doctors don't want me as a patient since my foot doesn't require surgery. I will have to be very assertive with my primary care doc about sending me to a pain clinic. I would hope to get my pain under much better control before going away overnight.

    Fabby, great advice about keeping meds safe and secure. It would be awful for someone to lose their meds on vacation or not take enough meds with them. So true, it's important to bring the original med bottles (I think in case police want to know where you got those pills...cops take it seriously when someone is caught with narcotic pain meds and no prescription bottle). Be discreet when taking your pills because there are criminals out there who would steal meds from a person.

    Mush, I can relate to your husband's foot pain. I also have trouble walking on uneven surfaces, so my love of hiking is out of the question for now. I've been dealing with my foot pain for over three years. I hope your husband's foot gets better.

    Take care for now.

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