Q: My job involves frequent travel and while my doctors says its fine, I always return h
ome exhausted or in a flare-up. Any suggestions?
A: Traveling for pleasure is hard enough, let alone traveling for business. Strategic planning can help prevent stress and exhaustion. Build rest and relaxation into your schedule. Bring tapes, books and other helpful supplies. Be sure to bring medications, sleep supplies, sun blocks, protective clothing and adaptive devices that will make you comfortable. Since you may not be able to participate in every activity, assess in advance which events are priorities for your work. Be protective of your sleep even if it means an early dinner or an early exit. Limit your walking (if this is a problem for you) by asking your colleagues to drive you to the door before parking or by using taxis rather than walking with the group. When walking, wear good walking shoes, preferable athletic style. (Place vanity aside.) Always carry a list of your medications, a brief medical history and your physician’s name and phone number should you run into trouble. It’s always wise to know the names of local medical center and a few rheumatologists in the area you’ll be visiting even if changes are slim that you will need them. Honoring and respecting your personal limitations is crucial and this means accepting that your body is different from your traveling companions.