Holidaying with a chronic illness.

So I’m just back from Vilamoura in Portugal and am currently experiencing the post holiday blues…’s tough!!!

Going on Holiday when you have a chronic illness requires a lot more forward planning than going on a regular holiday for example I need a wheelchair through the airport so that has to be booked in advance, I need a room close to the lift in the hotel so that has to be booked. You really need to think about where you are going on holidays because I can’t walk very far everything needs to be close and Vilamoura was perfect for that, there is a big marina with an abundance of restaurants to choose from all within a small enough radius.

I went on holiday with my parents and my younger sister, who were kind enough to take me away for a week…… I swear I didn’t drop any hints about going away….. 😉 I was so excited to get away, especially after the summer we had I was looking forward to some sun but I also knew there might be some challenges along the way.

The first challenge was getting to Portugal, I’m not going to lie I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this part but surprisingly it went pretty smooth we picked up my wheelchair, got a hand to board the plane without having to queue, the flight went on time and apart from fainting at the beginning of the flight I did ok, considering the last flight I was on I vomited everywhere I was pretty happy 🙂 on the far side the wheelchair was waiting for me and I was whisked through the airport, a thirty minute car drive and we were at our hotel and I was exhausted but I knew if I lay down I wouldn’t get up again for dinner so we decided to unpack and go straight out, I’d love to say I was full of chat and enjoying my first night but unfortunately the reality is I was barely able to eat never mind talk but I did and got back to the hotel, my mum and sister had to help me undress and put me to bed….which is never fun but sometimes its reality for me although not very often.

The next day I was ready to make the most of my holiday, this was never going to be a wild holiday it was about relaxing and soaking up some sun and that is exactly what I did. I lay by the pool all morning, went for a dip and did my exercises in the water that had been recommended for my Ehlers Danlos syndrome (my dad did them everyday with me) one day I even went into the water and swam a couple of lengths by myself…….I was very proud of this, it may not seem like much but when you faint everyday its a risk, when I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope one of the first things I was told was not to swim as it was too risky…..but I’m glad I took it! In fairness my sister is a lifeguard and she had her beady eyes on me from her sun lounger just in case!

Every evening I went for a nap from 5-7ish to recharge the batteries in preparation for the evenings festivities! We ate in a different restaurant every night we had Chinese, Swedish, Mexican, Italian twice, Indian and Thai. so quite the variety of meals and surprisingly my Gastro symptoms behaved rather well apart from some bloating and abdominal pain which I could deal with I was happy I wasn’t vomiting or having severe diarrhoea.

I pretty much did the same thing everyday which I was happy to do, to be able to relax and forget about everything going on at home was great. I was super relaxed, my pain levels were relatively under control, I had quite a bit of back pain but that was expected and somehow when you’re in the sun and you’re relaxed the pain was much easier to deal with. I had a pharmacy with me including all my daily meds and then extra pain meds, extra anti nausea meds, It was quite a big bag!!

So overall I had an amazing time, it was great to spend some quality time with my family, enjoy some good food and a few drinks (sshhh don’t tell my doctors that) soak up the sun and just have some fun. I would go back again tomorrow if I could but unfortunately its back to the real world and back to doctors appointments starting tomorrow…. I’ll let you all know how that goes…..Let’s hope the post holiday blues lift soon either that or somebody could take me back……wishful thinking!!


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