ME, Myself and I: Travelling

I’m not sure if this is something other people with ME have a problem with but any time I travel anywhere, even if I’m sat in the back of the car, it takes a lot more energy than I’d expect considering I’m not actually doing anything. I’ve never been able to properly sleep in cars, I can get to that point where I’m sort of dozing but I still know what’s happening so I get woken up really easily.

I guess that’s the main thing I’ve learnt about journeys; anything you can do to relax and try to sleep, if you can, definitely helps a lot. I think that’s probably a good summary of this whole post but I’ll keep going anyway.

Always have a pillow, which may seem like an obvious thing to some people, especially if you’re used to sleeping in a car, but I didn’t think of it much as I can’t sleep in cars and normally we’re going somewhere that actually has pillows so it seemed a bit over the top taking one with me. I didn’t realise how much comfier it makes the car journey when you’re feeling tired, you can lean against the door and window and be in a less awkward position and not against the hard plastic and glass. A blanket helps too I find, I get a bit dozier if I have a fleecy blanket with me and if it’s dark I can use it to cover my head as I find that headlights of cars travelling in the opposite direction give me headaches.

Having something to listen to helps me a lot, it’s normally music but radio shows and podcasts are good too, nothing that I have to concentrate on too much. I like radio comedies, mainly Cabin Pressure, when it’s a longer journey as they’re half hour chunks and I can get lost in them and I’m not counting the time till we get there. I’ve also found that adding TV shows onto my iPad and downloading a few episodes to be able to listen to also works well as long as I’m not actually watching the screen.

Since having ME the travel sickness I used to only really get when I was reading in the car has got a lot worse and now it’s pretty much something I get any time we travel. It’s like twenty minutes into the journey my brain goes ‘nope, I don’t like this’ and it hits me. I read up about travel sickness and why it happens and apparently it’s often your brain telling you you’re travelling fast not agreeing with something in your ear that says you’re sitting still and it ends up with the sick feeling. I’m not sure if ME does effect it or if it’s just made it worse like it does the pain I have in my thumb or how I get a sore throat for no reason when I’m having a bad day but it seems to be more obvious now. I’ve tried so many travel sickness pills and remedies but the thing that seems to help the most is listening to something like music or a radio show and boiled sweets, not great for my teeth but at least I don’t feel so bad when I get there. I guess that’s the annoying thing about this worse travel sickness, not only does it make me feel bad on the journey but trying to get rid of it seems to take up even more energy and it affects me afterwards. This paragraph didn’t really have any tips ME wise, unless you do have trouble with car sickness but it does seem to be a big thing that affects my energy levels on the journey so I thought I’d include it.

This one is going to sound weird having said about travel sickness but I do find that having snack things like a couple of chocolate biscuits, a sandwich if it’ll be a meal time in the journey and we’re not planning on stopping and some crisps help keep my energy levels more even. I’ve tried not taking them but then that always ends up being the time that I feel shaky and need to eat. If I don’t take them then more than half the time I don’t actually eat them but it does save stopping at a services and buying overpriced food there so I normally stick to things that don’t go off if they’re not opened, bought things seem to work better than homemade things like sandwiches or pasta salads. The snacks thing I actually find useful all the time, I tend to carry a small chocolate biscuit in my bag along with a drink.

Not in the car journey but I do find that taking a hot water bottle and my Chillow helps if we’re going somewhere for a few days as it seems like in hotel rooms it’s either warmer than I like or cooler so having those helps my body temperature stay more stable. It’s especially useful in the summer and winter when, for some reason, my body seems to decide it’s the opposite temperature to what it actually is.

I’m not sure if any of this was at all helpful, I’ve still not really got the hang of long journeys so any tips you guys have that I haven’t included would be great. Reading through it I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, I’m going to be travelling a bit soon so thought I’d post it now as spring half term around where I live is now, though I just realised I’ll be a bit late with this post as it’s half way through now. I wanted to start doing tips and things on here, see if anyone who reads these might want to share and we can help each other with these things.

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