Holidays and MS

Now that the same sex marriage referendum is over, #holidayplans is currently trending in my world. “Are you getting away this year?” is the hot topic! Before MS entered my life, holidays meant something very different. Having spent 51 weeks of the year chained to my work desk, I wanted to get as far away as possible and pack as much activity as I could into 7 precious, hectic days.

While I am so glad that I did the bungee jumps and the jungle hikes, my first holiday with MS was a bit of a disaster. I think that I thought I would be able to leave my disability at home and got very cross when I realised that it just doesn’t work like that.

We had decided to go on a once in a lifetime trip to Florida. I was exhausted before I had even passed through the gates of the Magic Kingdom! I will never forget the feeling of frustration. I wanted to do it all and then some more- but my body just refused to cooperate. The heat and fatigue from the journey left me exhausted- which led to frustration at my MS. It felt awful to say that maybe I would just “take a rest” when there was serious Disney fun going down. I’m sorry to say that the cranky-pants stayed on for the rest of the trip.

After that, we didn’t attempt another airplane holiday for a few years. Partly because we were still paying for Florida but mainly because I hadn’t gotten to grips with the fact those holidays with MS need a few tweaks to make them work. You can find some great, practical tips here

My personal advice is to think about your MS and how it affects your daily lifestyle. If you apply these restrictions to your holiday plans- things should run smoother. For example, I have energy in the mornings and then fatigue kicks in as the day goes on. So, I try to book early morning flights and plan activities for then. The afternoon is for siestas and writing postcards. You could see it as giving into MS but fighting it sure didn’t work….The alternative is to stay at home with my photo album and reminisce about holidays past.

Last week Declan, my MS & Me blog buddy wrote about MS and guilt. Earlier on in my illness, I did feel this negative emotion about going on holidays. I felt like I didn’t deserve to take a break if I wasn’t earning a wage. The desk job did have some perks after all! I discussed this with the people I care about and we worked through it. It is so important to be kind to yourself and accept that your life has changed.

This blog is about making the most of your holidays with MS. I wish it could be about taking a holiday from MS. I would probably spend that one running up and down stone steps like Rocky Balboa!

Do you have any tips on how to make things as fun as possible when you are away? I’d love to hear them. Send me a postcard!!!!


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