In order to get from the good ol’ U.S. of A. to the Republic of the Philippines this ‘chronic’ chick had a one 38 hour day, over 18 hours of flights, 8 hours of connection times, 3 crappy airline meals, several naps, and 0 hours of real sleep. First and foremost, being chronically ill requires one to think of every emergency situation in order to be prepared for it. A severe migraine with nausea can be brutal on a 12.5 hour flight. Therefore, I must do what I need to in order to avoid a major migraine at all costs.
Drugs are my friend; but, I also carry an impressive array of alternative therapies. I will admit that I use my painkillers a little more liberally on long flights. At home I am very conservative with my use of painkillers. However, long flights seem like the perfect occasion to actually practice using the recommended dosage. Even still, I am not able to sleep more than an hour or so at a time. So things like guided meditation on my MP3, journaling, biofeedback and rhythmic breathing are my friends. They help keep my nerves calm therefore providing more relaxation during a difficult situation. I also frequently get out of my seat and stretch. It helps alleviate stiff muscles and a stagnant mind.
I did get a snippy flight attendant that told me I could not sit on the floor. I was only planning on sitting for a short time in order to stretch. I promptly informed her that I have a chronic neurological condition and that if I didn’t keep my body fluid I would be seeking medical attention for severe muscle spasms. I wasn’t planning on sitting on the floor to play Tiddly Winks! Ugh!
Ultimately, the tedious flights, long connections and frustrations were worth it. Seeing his face waiting for me at the airport reminded me of every reason I make the sacrifice. It’s good to be back! <3