Vacations and Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by WorldFalls, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. WorldFalls

    WorldFalls New Member

    Hi y'all. I thought I'd pose a question to you. I'm taking my family to Disneyland, Magic Mountain and Universal Studios in April and I'm a bit nervous. I haven't taken any major trips or vacations since my fibromyalgia got really bad. I want to make the most of this and I don't want my problems to put a damper on the trip. My daughter is eleven years old, and the last vacation we went on was before I got sick...when she was eight. I want so much for this to be special for her. She's waited a long time for this.

    My question. How do you handle vacations? What things do you do to make the activities less painful so that you can enjoy yourselves? I'll admit, I'm a big kid inside a sore and achy body and I want to have fun despite it!!!! I love rides and rollar coasters as much as my daughter and I refuse to let this @#$% disease ruin this for me. Do you have any "tricks" that help get you through longer days at places that offer little chance for rest? I thought about asking my doctor for a temporary increase in my pain medications. Do you think that would be a reasonable request???? I'm also planning to carry around some biofreeze to use when the aches get real bad. Does anybody have any other ideas? Our hotel has a hot tub and swimming pool...these things may certainly help at the end of the day. But what I'm worried about is keeping up while in the parks! Any advice????

  2. JP

    JP New Member

    are tricky for me. My partner has a need to get away often. We usually are gone for 3 or 4 days. We have two weeks coming up and will be in Central Mexico with a friend at her Villa.

    Here is what I do:

    Request extra time in the morning ahead of time...I just need that time to get my body working. Bring some epsom salts for a hot soak in the tub while your dauther arranges for room service and watches her favorite cartoon or video.

    Use extra pain medication, it really helps me.

    Use Spa facilities. We just got back from a getaway. I scheduled spa time for both of us...massage, facial, manicure, stuff like that. Your daughter might enjoy having her nails done while you are treated to help you manage.

    Take mini time outs in creative ways (that do not look like you are not participating) as needed for restoration...put your daughter on a kids only type ride while you rest on the side lines.

    I hope these ideas help some. Hang in there and the best of luck to you in managing your symptoms during your special time with your daughter.

    Take care, Jan
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    You got some good ideas from JP! I'm going to suggest one other thing: ALWAYS MAKE A BACK-UP PLAN.

    In other words, plan to go to Universal Studios, but have a "quiet day plan" like a train trip, where you can just sit and "gaze", just in case----chances are, you won't need it! A family trip to Belize was my first real vacation since FM, and I spent tons of time worrying beforehand (for one thing, there are about 20 doctors in the whole country), especially about some day trips we'd planned. One was to take a boat trip up a river into the jungle, then a hike into the jungle. What if I couldn't take the heat, always a problem for me, or walk too far, or stand the mosquitoes, or had to pee a lot (I have cystitis), etc. So I made a back -up plan---my husband would take our daughter (she was 11 then, too) and I would stay at the hotel & rest---if needed. My family was a little disappointed, but I explained how important it was to me to know I had a back-up plan that everyone agreed to; it made a huge difference in my comfort level and peace of mind. The morning of the trip, I felt pretty good, and to make a long story short, it was the most memorable day of my life! I enjoyed it more than anyone in the family, I DIDN'T go into a flare from overdoing it, and the only downside was, I couldn't sleep very well that night because I kept replaying the day over & over in my head!

    I guess what I'm saying is, you will probably find that your excitement carries you through things, and you will be able to do more than you realize, BUT---have the back-up plan, just in case, it's a peace of mind thing. And get every map you can find of restrooms, benches, restaurants, trains & boats (great rides for just getting a few minutes to relax) in all these parks.

    Good luck & enjoy it----I haven't been to Disneyland in years, I envy you!!

  4. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    there is a tremendous amount of walking involved with this vacation. even before the fms hit, it would wear me out. could you possibly call ahead to see if you can rent some type of scooter. it definitely would help, you could still enjoy everything and not be totally wiped out the next day.

    warm regards, fibolady
    [This Message was Edited on 02/28/2003]
  5. pamela

    pamela New Member

    What is biofreeze? Really need to know..Please answer back. Pamela
  6. lisjhn

    lisjhn New Member

    I am so scared right now. I just won a trip for 2 to New Orleans for the Final Four games and I honestly don't know if I can make it through. It's only for 5 days/4 nights but the way I've been feeling, I think the plane ride would wipe me out for those next 5 days. Luckily my boyfriend isn't much of a party animal so won't be bummed when I don't go out on the town there. Just gonna spend some time away from home, do a little gambling and see one of the games maybe sell the tickets for the others. If I'm up for it that is...

    That's not a good sign when you're too scared to take a vacation...........

  7. Copper2002

    Copper2002 New Member

    Hi Worldfalls,

    You are going to have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun! I went to DL with my daughter's girlscout troup when they were all around the same age, and what a gas.

    You have gotten some marvelous suggestions here. I would add just one thing(s) to the agenda: you didn't mention your mode of transportation, but I'm going to guess that you are traveling commercially instead of driving? If so, ALL commercial carriers provide special services for the disabled. With trains and airplanes, you can arrange, ahead of time or at the terminal, to ALWAYS be met, as you enter/exit the transport, by a wheelchair pushing or tram-driving skycap that will whisk you to the front of all lines and speed you on your way. Don't be brave. Sure, you CAN walk, but this vacation is all about survival. LET them carry your bags, push you when you think you can walk, make your connections for you, etc. This goes a LONG way towards easing the travel burden! Plus, if your 11 yr old is little enough, she can sit on your lap and get a free ride, too.

    Once you get to the parks (any of them), head straight for the courtesy counter and rent a motorized chair. It's too tiring for your daughter to push you in a reg. chair, too many 'hills' and such. Besides, I'm guessing you're going during Spring Break, and the crowds will be wild, with long lines, etc. Added bonus to our sorry state: all chairs/scooters advance to the HEAD of the line. Oh, oops, sorry you've been standing in line for 2 hours, but handicapped first! All members of your party move to the front with you! So, go on those rides! I handled all the rides well, except Space mountain - a little (!) too jarring. Splash mountain was fun! Oh, also didn't do the Indiana Jones ride or Thunder Mountain, but that still left MORE than enough I was able to do, and no one felt like they'd missed anything.

    Just remember to PACE yourself! We did Universal on our trip also, and just put the same rules into play. I was also able to drop kids off at the line, then zip ahead to the finish line to greet them. If you can see ANY way possible to take one of your daughter's friends (a well behaved, mannerly friend only! Tried the other, didn't work too well) with you, this gives an added cushion so that if you REALLY can't keep up, your child still has a buddy to go on rides with.

    You'll have a WONDERFUL time! Life doesn't HAVE to stop with this DD. But, it DOES make us more selective of how we use our time. I still enjoy pretty much everything, just with a different viewpoint, and a slower pace. ;p

    hope this helps,
    Let Miracles Replace ALL Grievances
  8. BethM

    BethM New Member

    see the post I put up today about biofreeze.
  9. musette

    musette New Member

    Worldfalls: Been there! I took my children two years ago to Disneyworld for seven days. Two days before we left I had to start wearing walking casts, on both feet, because of severe plantar fascitis. The first day I was bound and determined to enjoy myself with all my ailments and all. Second day, woke up couldn't put any weight on my feet and my fibro was in full bloom. Disney is wonderful! If you tell them when you arrive that you have physical issues, they will do whatever is in their power to accomodate you. In my case, they would come pull all of us out of line and put us in the front (special line)so as I wouldn't have to stand too long. I even said that was all right, that wasn't necessary. They insisted. They have the electric carts, and that is what I rented for the day. It was approximately $25 after you get your deposit back. It was worth that and I figure that was what it would have cost for two hamburgers at Disney hamburgers at Disney, so it wasn't too bad. It saved the rest of my vacation. I had to rent one twice, but I still enjoyed the parks. With this DD we never know what days are going to be good or bad, but I found Disney to be most accomodating. Please let them know when you enter the park and ask what accomodations they can make for you. Enjoy, I am so jealous. We had a wonderful time. p.s. my children were 25 and 17 at the time we went, what a great age!

  10. WorldFalls

    WorldFalls New Member

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice! My partner and I read all of your responces and are now filled with ideas. I does my heart good to see that many of you have found a way to have nice vacations and enjoy the quality time with your families despite your pain. It gives me a lot of hope!

    We've decided to plan one extra day in Anaheim. That way we can take three days to play, then take a day off to vegetate and recover in the hottub, then three more days to play. We've also decided to save magic mountain for last, since that will probably be the most taxing of all the places we plan to visit. We've checked out web sites and discovered many attractions at Disneyland and Universal that allow people to sit and watch shows and stuff. Those sort of things can give me a chance to relax and take it easy. There's enough of those sorts of things to where I think it will give me the downtime I need.

    We're going on April 5th, so it won't yet be spring break. I think (hope) that the lines will be shorter since most kids will be in school.

    It's good to know that if things get bad that Disneyland has ways to help me. I wasn't aware of some of the things y'all told me about.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to this. I'm very excited!

    Oh, Pam, Biofreeze is a cold gel that you rub on sore and achy skin and muscles. I LOVE it! I have problems with hot burning feet because of neuropathy and it helps that a great deal. You can find good deals on this stuff at eBay.

  11. Dlee

    Dlee New Member

    I went in May 2002 my first time there.The first day I walked magic kindom and left crying from all the pain.But the next day I rented the electric scooter and it was worth every penny.When I wanted to get off and ride,shop etc.park it take key and go.You've got a basket in front to put all your goodies so know one has to carry Bags etc. Donna
    [This Message was Edited on 03/01/2003]
  12. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    despite the fact that my mother went to school with Walt Disney's wife. Mother, Lillian, & another lady all went to Hawaii after they graduated from high school. I believe that is where Lillian & Walt first met. I hope that you have a wonderful trip. Take lots of epsom salts and make sure that your hotel room has a tub and not just a shower.
  13. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    When we travel, we do sightseeing in the morning and early afternoon. At around 4:00 we go back to our hotel, lay down and take a nap. Then we shower to refresh, and are able to go out to dinner. Make sure you can get somewhere, relax and then go on. That way you won't feel so frazzled. I hope you have a GREAT time! We used to live in Orlando and spent a lot of time at DW. We got most of our pleasure from watching our son enjoy himself! Your daughter will love it! Take a lot of pictures!

  14. Lau

    Lau New Member

    Disney can truly be a magical place. Just don't overdue or try to see everything in one day. Review info on the parks and decide which things you and your family would most like to see/do. I usually do this while on the plane.
    Magic kingdom & Epcott have attactractions closer together and I can usually get thru those walking if it is not a busy time of year(no lines to wait on) because of the rest periods allowed when sitting thru the rides and shows. If it is crowded definitely get a scooter-waiting on lines is the hardest on your legs. Animal kingdom is very spread out, and that was the first time I ever gave in and rented a scooter. It was the best thing I ever did. I was almost crying with joy instead of pain to be able to go anywhere and not hold up my family. It felt awkward at first, I felt somehow guilty and like I was cheating or not deserving. That passed quickly though!

    Worldfalls- please consider using the scooter if you haven't already. I hope you and your family have a memorable and joyful trip. Do what you can and don't dwell on what you can't. Say hi to Mickey!

    Love, Laurie

    [This Message was Edited on 03/01/2003]
  15. sapphire

    sapphire New Member

    If you've never used one it may be hard at first but in the end you and your family will be glad you did. It can mean the difference in having a good time or not.

    We used to go to Opryland alot and this is what I did. The first time it was like these DD's were winning but in the end it helped us all. The reason is that we didn't have to stand in line, they would take me and my party to the front and then we could ride twice without getting off. People looked at me kinda funny when I would get off the scooter and then get on a roller coaster but I got to where it didn't bother me.

    Also, everyone would want to go with me so they didn't have to wait in line. They would beg me to go to Opryland. Also, they had country music stars there all the time and anyone handicapped could go sit down front. Another perk that I liked. I don't know how they do the standing in line thing at DL but maybe it will be the same.

    If you decide to do this, don't feel bad about it. Look at it this way, it could mean the difference in you having a good time and not paying a high price.

    Have a good time. It sounds like fun. I love amusement parks.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/01/2003]