Monday, December 10, 2012

11 Tips For Traveling With ME/CFS or FM

Traveling long distances with ME/CFS or FM - most of us avoid it at all costs! It's just too much for our bodies to handle!

I had the very same opinion because I was (and still am) largely housebound due to Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (also known as ME/CFS). But as a result, I had forfeited seeing my beloved family (who live abroad) for four long years. So recently, I decided to 'bite the bullet' and go. Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome or not.

I had a lovely time there, but the voyage there and back raised quite a few issues for me as a sufferer of Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome.

When it comes to ME/CFS no one sufferer has the same experience as the next. For a start, you may suffer from this condition less or more severely than I do. You probably also experience a different mix of symptoms. But there are a few things you can bear in mind if you do plan on making a long trip:

1) Rest adequately beforehand.
This might mean not exerting yourself mentally or physically for a number of days or even weeks beforehand - easier said than done, I know. But bear in mind that resting is a BIG priority PRE-trip.

2) Plan your trip.
Leave LOTS of time in-between train, bus or plane times so that you don't have to rush. **Over-estimate** the amount of time it will take you. That way, if you get there early you can just sit and rest instead of rushing and stressing, which will only make you feel more weak and ill.

3) Get help.
If you're making a long trip then it's advisable that you ask someone (like a relative or friend) to accompany you there and back. Ideally this would be someone who understands your condition and how it affects you. If you have trouble walking (or if this wears you out too much usually) then consider asking someone from the train or plane company to meet you with a wheelchair. Most large commercial companies seem to offer this service, but you usually have to tell them in advance. You might also consider using a walking stick. Anything to help you get there in one piece, right?

4) Don't rush.
Pack slowly. Don't leave it until the last minute! I had an open suitcase in my bedroom in which I put things as I thought of them. I also made a check list for the morning of the trip, so that I didn't forget the things that I needed to pack after using them that morning (like toothbrush, toothpaste, tablets etc).

5) Pack light!
If you're going on a short trip, then maybe you can get away with not packing any luggage at all?

----- SIDE NOTE ----- 

If you're traveling to a different time zone, consider taking some ear plugs and a light-blocking sleep mask with you, just in case you need to sleep during the day. 

----- SIDE NOTE -----

6) Don't forget to pack your medicines, vitamins, and supplements!
Don't make the mistake of not packing enough. Count out how many tablets you'll need just to make sure.

7) Warn the people you're going to be staying with about your needs.
This may be your family, friends or the hotel manager. Let them know about your sleeping habits and your dietary needs. Is there anything you *can't* eat or drink? Caffeine or dairy, for example? Should they get some special food or drink in like say, soya milk?

8) Bring a book on ME/CFS with you just in case the people you stay with are interested in your condition.

If you have ME/CFS then I really recommend Lynn Michell's book 'Shattered', because it really explains what it's like to live with the condition. AND it packs a punch - just in case you face any skepticism while you're there! No need to start explaining yourself - just hand them the book. ;)

---------- SIDE NOTE ----------

To read a complete review about Lynn Michell's book, visit:

---------- SIDE NOTE ----------

9) Sensory overload.
When you suffer from ME/CFS, visual and aural stimuli can be too overwhelming for your brain to process adequately. This is especially true when you're traveling...
... the noise of the train, bus or plane, the chatting people, the fast moving countryside outside, the throng of other travelers...

All of this can play havoc with your brain and can end up making you feel even *more* exhausted, and your brain even *more* foggy!

There's not much you can do about this. But say you're on a train for example - if the fast moving countryside is making you feel dizzy, then try to avoid looking out the window. Close your eyes if you have to, or wear a sleep mask. If you find that you're getting dizzy and tired when you're in a busy corridor full of commuters in the subway for example, stop and face the wall for a few seconds to regroup and regain your clarity and balance.

10) Wear some magnetic insoles.
I had made it a point to see my Nutritionist/ Kinesiologist before I left for my trip abroad. She tested me with all the supplements I took daily, and found that the 'Pure Synergy' superfood powder really raised my vital force (see point 11 below).

But perhaps even more astounding was the magnetic insoles she gave me - they raised my vital force so much that at first, it literally felt like I was standing on a power pod! I could even feel a subtle tingling sensation in my legs!

I wore my magnetic insoles on the trip and I have to say that I *did* feel more energized! It's a very subtle feeling and after an hour or so of using them the tingling went away. You may or may not have the same sensations when you first try them - depending on how severe your ME/CFS is and how susceptible you are to external forces. But they're well worth a try. I now make it a point to wear my magnetic insoles whenever I have to venture outside and now that I know how much they help me, I most certainly wouldn't be without them.

---------- SIDE NOTE ----------

You can check out my full review of wearing magnetic insoles here:

---------- SIDE NOTE ----------

11) Perhaps most importantly, pack some nourishing food and supplements specifically for your voyage.

It's important to eat small amounts regularly especially when you travel. It's not a good idea to eat sugary foods or anything containing caffeine (including coffee, tea, sweets or chocolate) because although that may pep you up for the first few minutes, they are likely to make you feel a lot worse in the long term.

I took a few of Dr Gillian McKeith's 'Living Food Energy Bars' with me - I always keep a spare one in my handbag for emergencies anyway. Nuts are also a great idea when you're traveling (if you're not allergic to them that is).

I also took some of that amazing 'Pure Synergy' superfood powder, and mixed it in with some cooled herbal tea in a small bottle. No sugar. No caffeine.
It was my energy pep-up drink - and I swigged it all the way back on my voyage. It did the trick.

---------- SIDE NOTE ----------

You can read my in-depth review of Pure Synergy here:

---------- SIDE NOTE ----------

So there you go - eleven things that will help to make any long trip less stressful and exhausting. Bon voyage!
Copyright, Claire Williams, 2003-2005. All Rights Reserved.
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The article above may be freely reproduced provided that:
(1) you only mail to a 100% opt-in list; (2) ALL links are LIVE hyperlinks (3) the article is published in its entirety including the title, copyright notice, & the author's bio & resource box (which must be placed directly below the article).
Claire Williams is editor of and has suffered from Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome since 1995.
She created to help ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia sufferers deal with their condition - from handling their money worries, to recovering from their illness...
About the Author
Claire Williams is editor of and has suffered from Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome since 1995.
She created to help ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia sufferers deal with their condition - from handling their money worries, to recovering from their illness...

Written by: Claire Williams

10 Tips for Hassle-Free Business Travel

If you're a road warrior, these travel tips will help reduce the stress of
your journeys.

1. Choose your Travel Modality Wisely
Planes, trains or automobiles: what's the choice to be? While air
travel is clearly the only way to go for long journeys, shorter trips of
a couple of hundred miles might be faster via train, bus or auto.
When making your decision, consider time spent traveling to and
from airports, plus time spent lining up for check in, security and
departure. Also consider the effects inclement weather can have on
your travel choice. It's no fun hearing the announcement that your
plane can't land due to poor visibility and you'll be returning to your
departure airport.

2. Consider Alternative Airports
If you're flying, consider alternative airports that are outside the city
you're going to visit. As a rule, these airports have fewer flights, less
overbooking and less delays than their larger counterparts.

3. Obtain an International Drivers License
If traveling outside your own country, an international driver's
license will be more readily recognized than your locally issued
driver's license. The cost is not prohibitive and in most regions, the
licenses are easily obtained by showing your local driver's license.
Inquire at your local Automobile Association.

4. Get Your Maps Before You Leave Home
Travel is less stressful if you know how to get around. Before
leaving home, obtain maps of your destination city. One approach is
to visit web sites such as City Search (
and print out maps. Place your printed maps in plastic folders for
protection against the elements. Trying to read a road map while
standing on a rainy street corner has its obvious disadvantages.

5. Carry Electronic Documents Rather than Hard Copy
Rather than carry heavy stacks of brochures or sales letters, take
electronic documents on diskettes and have them printed at a local
printing service. Similarly, if you are working a booth in a trade
show, it's a good idea to carry electronic documents in case you run
out of the stack you shipped from the office.

6. Find Hotels that Cater to Business Travelers
Hotels that cater to business travelers will have Internet capabilities
and offer access to business machines such as faxes and

7. Remember Adaptors and Converters
If you're traveling to a foreign country, remember that you might
need special voltage adaptors for electricity. You might also need
plug adapters to accommodate both electrical plugs and telephone
jacks. A good travel store will be able to help you decide what's

8. Use Calling Cards
When you're staying at a hotel, the phone bill can be a major
expense. The cost of calling your family, checking your voice mail
and checking your email is best handled by using a telephone calling
card or a corporate credit card.

9. Check your Cellular Service
Cellular phone companies regularly offer new rates. Check to be sure
you're getting the best deal -- some now include long distance
charges in the monthly fee. If your business travel will take you to
small, out-of-the way towns, your digital phone might not work. You
will need an analog or dual digital/anlog phone for such trips.

10. Protect Yourself Against Theft
Before leaving home, make copies of your travel documents
(passport, airline tickets, travel insurance, credit cards and itinerary).

Take copies with you and leave a copy with a contact at home. Take
special precautions for your electronics. See what your local travel
store has to offer in terms of protective luggage. You can purchase
laptop cases that disguise the fact that they're used for laptops, or
laptop cases that look old and battered. And of course, you already
know how fast and savvy a pickpocket can be. Avoid carrying
important documents in your purse or hip pocket.