“Aren’t you scared to travel with your health issues?” was the text I received last week from one of my best friends.
You should know I have an autoimmune illness, somewhere along the lines of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. There are so many forms of these diseases that it would take a lifetime to figure out exactly which strain I had and even then, I’d only have a name to call it. Not a cure. It’s not worthy of a name either, once it has a name, it’s yours for good. Like a stray cat, I guess!
I allowed my disease to dictate what I did and when I did it for about 3 years before I realized that ONLY I was going to be responsible for making changes in the behaviors that sometimes accompanied my chronic illness. The most noticeable change in me was my lack energy which kept me in bed for days straight.
I was slowly sinking into depression. My doctors suggested that begin a therapy which specialized in how to cope and live with chronic illness. I am so grateful that I took that advice. After a few sessions, I noticed a change in my attitude towards my illness. I stopped blaming myself for something that was entirely out of my control and began to accept who I was every day. If I was having a good day physically, I’d be sure to embrace it. On my not so good days, I would be vocal about it and honest with my loved ones. I stopped hiding behind my fake smile and it was so much easier to live authentically!
This was my life.
When I told my doctors that I would be traveling to Bali, they were all excited and a bit concerned. My immune system is fighting everyday, it’s always best to avoid additional exposure to foreign bacteria and viruses. It was quickly decided that there would be a plethora of vaccinations and medications I’d need before my trip.
Today, I began the process, which I’m sure isn’t at all what everyone needs to do before traveling but it’s what I needed to do. Bottom line, it’s all precautionary and it’s purpose is to see to it that I get the most out of every minute! So, rather than just throw caution to the wind, I will follow the guidance of my knowledgeable doctors and I’m sure all will be well…
HepA (shot – today & again in 6 months)
Thypoid (shot 1 week before I leave)
Anti-malaria (orally 30 pills start 1 week before then take throughout and after)
Cipro Antibiotic- taken ONLY if needed
Steroids (only if I have a flare up of join & muscle pain)
Probiotics (a few billion living taken before, during and after!)
I’ll keep you posted on this front but all is well with just 20 days to go!!!