Take your pain on a trip

by Lanora Mueller on September 14, 2010

Crystal Cove
Image by WritingTravel.com via Flickr

Why stay home in pain when you can be equally miserable—or perhaps less so— in an interesting or beautiful new place? It’s the flip side of the aphorism “Wherever you go, there you are.” Chances are, novel experience will, to some degree, help cancel out your awareness of chronic pain. Distraction is a proven coping mechanism.

That’s not to say the travel experience itself will be free of stress and pain. Traveling is a pain, even for the able-bodied. Packing, getting to the airport at an inconvenient hour, or riding in a moving vehicle for too long without changing position are all occasions for increased pain. Changes in routine, starting with that too-early or too-late departure or arrival, can disrupt sleep, leading to more pain. Unaccustomed activity, like lifting a carry-on suitcase into the overhead bin or navigating long airport corridors, can trigger pain in new places.

Traveling Pains is here to advise travelers with chronic illness on how to cope with the challenges of travel so that they can reap the physical and psychological benefits of exploring the world.

Our series on how to prepare for taking your pain on a trip will begin soon.

For now, in honor of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, here is a notable piece called “Invisibility” by Katie of OverflowingBrain.com.

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Invisible Chronic Illness Week 2010This blog has been on the drawing board for more than a year. I’ve decided to launch it today, even though it’s still in rough form, to mark the beginning of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, September 13-19, 2010.

If you’re reading this post, you know someone who suffers from chronic pain or other invisible illness.

According to Lisa Copen, founder of  Rest Ministries and sponsor of the campaign, nearly 1 out of 2 people lives with chronic illness, about 96% of which is invisible.

Each day this week, and regularly thereafter, Traveling Pains will feature resources and inspiration for people whose love of travel is countered by chronic pain and other physical challenges.

Today, Traveling Pains features a roundup of related blogs and websites who are also participating in this week’s campaign to increase awareness of chronic invisible illness.

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