Chronic Life In A Car

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Christmas is over, but we are going to celebrate it again. We weren’t able to get together with one of my children and family during the actual dates of Christmas. We can travel now to have a little Christmas with them, and it should be wild ! Energetic grandchildren make life more fun.

Christmas Tree, Woman, Boy

These types of trips give us joy galore because being a grandmother is the best! I never will mind being called Mimi. It’s a charming thing when little ones offer their love and give big hugs.

When we planned the trip I spent the last three days getting everything ready. The entire family chipped in with laundry and packing. Today was the most difficult because the physical work of packing brings me much too much pain. Because my back tells me immediately when it can’t do anymore, I know when to take a break.

I didn’t count the breaks and it really didn’t matter. I just needed to complete my checklist. I have a few more things and then I’ll collapse in bed. Yes, I’m going to experience about 50% more pain. It’s hard to tell the little grand-kids that you can’t play on the floor with them.

I love playing with them, but can only do a few minutes before getting back in a soft chair. I’m packing my heating pad, large gel pack to freeze, and Advil. The temporary relief is all I have and Advil will do the most (if I take 3 or 4). My CPAP is a pain to travel with, but I take it and the cleaning machine. I sleep tons better and know that it is protecting my health.

Have you survived the holidays without having a flare? Since we’re driving I’ve packed tons of hand sanitizer and I plan to wear a mask when we stop for bathrooms and food. I’m not so concerned about Covid, but just colds make me miserable. I’ve still got a minor cough from the last trip.

Have you avoided the flu and RSV? We got flu shots and I hope that it will prevent flu. We got the RSV vaccine when my first grandchild was born. The parents insisted that we do that before handling their newborn. They were less worried with the second child.

lady children

This trip I’m going to try something new. I’m going to try and have my needs met. I usually spend trips faking that I feel alright. When I’m asked how I’m doing I tend to say “fine” or “pretty good”. This isn’t true and it wears me out mentally and physically to pretend when I really feel terrible.

I want to be bold and actually let my relatives know when I need to rest or use my cane in the house when my dizziness is bad. Sometimes I may get eye-rolls from a few who may think I exaggerate or want attention. If they could only understand that no one wants to hurt or feel faint. Others can’t relate to the constant fatigue and pain that we feel. We also never get better because these conditions and diseases are chronic.

Are you able to be open about your chronic illness? It seems like it’s the best way to survive when visiting family, even when they’re not receptive. It’s not something that needs to be overdone, because I want to be more than my diseases. I hope that there is a balance to this crazy chronic life!

@2024, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my opinions and experiences and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please consult your personal physician.

2 thoughts on “Chronic Life In A Car”

  1. Oh I hope you have a wonderful belated Christmas with your family. We just celebrated with my mother in law last night (she was in the hospital over Christmas and just got home yesterday afternoon).

    1. I’m so happy that your MIL got home from the hospital. It would be so unhappy to be in the hospital at Christmas. Having a late celebration is nice because you make the season last a little longer! Glad that you could help her celebrate her recovery as well as Christmas.

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