Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Preparing for a Trip

I am leaving tomorrow on a 4-day trip, and I have been awash in preparations for it all week. I've written here before about air travel with ME/CFS and how I manage that, but this is (or should be) much simpler - I'm driving. Still, though, in order for me to successfully manage this short weekend trip, I have to spend a lot of time preparing for it. I feel like a military leader about to go into battle!

For starters, it's just a 2-day event, but I needed to spread it out over 4 days in order to allow for plenty of downtime on the way there and back. And I have the option to give myself a 5th day, if I'm not well enough to finish the drive home on Sunday. I'm going to a Booktopia, 2-day book event in Manchester, VT, for book lovers and readers. I've wanted to go to this for years but never thought I could manage it. When I heard this would be the last year for the event, I decided to give it a try and asked my mom to join me.

Manchester is about 7 hours from my home, so I am breaking the trip into two segments (and getting some help). Tomorrow, I'll drive the first half to my mom's house in CT. I need to leave in the morning because morning is my higher-energy time, so when I arrive at her house at about 1 pm, I will take my usual afternoon nap. She and I plan to go out to dinner together, and then I will go to bed early.

First thing Friday morning, we will drive together the rest of the way to VT. Check-in for the event is between 12 and 1 pm, so we'll need to hit the road early. That means I need to get up extra early so that I have time to make my usual veggies & eggs for breakfast - otherwise, I won't have the energy to manage the long trip. Once we get there and check in, my mom will jump right into some of the fun events planned, while I will go back to our inn and take a nap.

From there, I am hoping the 2 days spent in VT will be manageable for me. I do have to skip the scheduled activities in the afternoon (which means missing the author I most wanted to see) so that I can take my nap - I just can't make it through the day without that. But I am planning to participate in the morning and evening activities. Thankfully, things wrap up by 9 pm each night. It will be something like a marathon for me, but I should be able to handle it.

The other aspect that I am concerned about and planning for is food and meals. I eat a Paleo diet - because I am intolerant to some foods, other foods feed my yeast overgrowth and make me sicker, and I feel better if I stick to the diet. For an activity-packed weekend like this, I need all the help I can get! In addition, like many people with ME/CFS, I have low blood sugar, so I am always worried about where my next meal will come from! My husband teases me for carrying food with me everywhere, but it's necessary. I will be packing a snack bag today, with foods that I can eat that won't upset my stomach or make me feel worse. I have been studying the event schedule to see how I can fit in 3 full meals each day in between activities!

To make matters more complicated, I will need to eat dinner at 5 pm before the evening session rather than wait until 8 or 9 pm when most others will be eating and will need to eat a full breakfast in the morning when I first get up. No food = no fuel = collapse. Not much choice in the matter.

So, I have lists all over the place - to-do lists, packing lists, food lists. I have plotted out my driving time and my meals in great detail. I have printed maps, instructions, event information, and searched for local restaurants. I am trying to take it easy today - no walks despite the nice weather! - to conserve my energy for tomorrow. I will load the car with my water bottle, Paleo snacks, pillow, all my meds, and extra meds just in case. I have planned everything that I can plan, and by tomorrow morning, I will need to just cross my fingers and hope for the best - wish me luck!

What helps you when traveling?


Unknown said...

Traveling with ME/Fibro is a job in itself, isnt't it!

Booktopia sounds like a lot of fun! (I still prefer a real book in my hands.) I am sure you will have a good time, as you know how to pace yourself accordingly. The later payback may be a bitch, but while you recover from the trip, some new books are likely to be by your side. :)

Wising you all the luck you need! xxx

Unknown said...

Your trip sounds like a lovely one. Glad you will get away for some fun time. You certainly have put lots of time and energy into planning, Sue. I hope it all works out for you, just the way you planned. :-)