Thursday, September 12, 2019

Traveling in Washing, D.C. with a Chronic Illness

If you've followed me online for any length of time, you probably know that I have a rare disease called Relapsing Polychondritis.  It's rather well controlled now, but it has damaged my body and I have to deal with those losses as well as very serious medications every day of my life.

I enjoy traveling because it adds to my quality of life.  I do a lot of planning to make my travel as comfortable and healthy for me as possible.

This week I was on vacation in Washington, D.C. and had so much fun!

We kayaked:


Visited some museums:
(I'm not big on dinosaur bones)

and generally Monkeyed Around:
Every time I thought about how much fun I was having, I also thought about all of the planning and preparation I do to make the travel reasonably stress-free.

In case travel is difficult for any of you, I decided to share some of my travel tips for those with chronic illnesses.

Prioritize
I made a list of things I have to do, things I wanted to do, and things my husband could do without me if I needed to rest.  We accomplished all of the "have to"s (his and mine) and quite a few of the "want to"s.  We didn't have to resort to any plans for my husband to do when I was resting, so yay!

On any vacation, there will be more on the to-do list than there is time to do them.  I pick and choose.  Vacation isn't supposed to wear me out or make me sick!

Sun Protection
It was rather warm in Washington, D.C. this week (80*F - 95*F) and much of our time was spent outside in the sun.  I take medications that leave me with no resistance to the sun's harmful rays; I burn in mere minutes.  Believe it or not, sun exposure can also cause my in-remission disease to flare up.  In short, the sun and I aren't friends.

I wear a hat whenever I'm outside.  This week I wore a logo hat from my husband's company.

I wear clip-on sunglasses.  I don't have to carry a large bag and keep switching my glasses as I change from indoor to outdoor and back again.  All.  Day.  Long.  I simply slide the flat sunglasses into a pouch in my small purse when I walk inside and pull them back out when I need them again.

I wear UPF 50 shirts.  I wear long-sleeved rash guard shirts when I adventure outdoors.  They aren't the coolest tops I could wear and I bake a bit in them, but they allow me to be outside during the day.  Thank you Lands' End!

I wear UPF 50 pants.  Before I discovered these pants, I had sun-exposure issues when I was in Greenwich/London.  Yes, I spent 10 days in the UK without a drop of rain and bright sunshine every day.  Who knew this was possible?  Anyway, these pants have a key pocket that is perfect for my Metro card and/or Hotel Key, they are super comfy, they pack/launder well, and they protect me from the sun.  I won't travel without these pants.

I wear sunscreen.  Can you believe this is last on my list?  I don't actually wear much sunscreen since not much skin is exposed to the sun.  I cover my face, neck, ears, and hands.  I'm currently using All Good Reef Friendly Sport Sunscreen.  It came in my CAUSEBOX and I'm loving it!

Foot/Leg Pain and Mobility Issues
I wear Compression Hose.  I have a lot of issues with my legs due to past damage and wear compression hose often.  Not only do they help my legs, but I've discovered that I no longer get sock blisters during walking vacations when wearing hose.

I wear my sneakers/tennis shoes/trainers with inserts.  I've found shoes that, while they don't keep my feet pain-free, do keep me on my feet for 10+ miles a day.  That's a HUGE win!

I have a fold-up cane that travels with me in case I have a bad day.

I always carry my smart phone and extra battery.  I use the phone for walking maps, bus and subway routes, and to summon an Uber when my body gives out.  In addition, I'm able to track my steps/miles with my phone and can brag about the distance I covered each day!

Carry-All
You might think I carry a huge tote bag or backpack on my adventures.  I don't.  When I'm out and about and touring, I carry a Potato Chip bag.  Anything larger becomes too heavy for me to carry around all day.

Food
I have dietary issues.  Sometimes my sugar drops and I need to eat RIGHT NOW.  When touring in a city, this isn't a problem.  I know the most effective foods to buy at a convenience store/pharmacy to get me back in shape quickly.

I research restaurants before I leave home.  I know what I can eat and want to find places I know will work for me.  I am happy to grab meals wherever we happen to be at mealtime, but if nothing there works it's great to know where there is a restaurant with fresh fruits and veggies for me.

***

This trip was made on trains, subways, buses, and on foot.  I have different tips for car vacations, airplane vacations, etc., and I'll share those tips during those next vacations.

I hope everyone is able to find happy travels, whether it's an afternoon out or a week touring a city.  If something like an illness is stopping you, I hope you can find a way to overcome the obstacles and add a little adventure to your life.





Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Happy Little Things BOM 2

I'm tickled to be working on Jacquelynne Steve's Happy Little Things free block of the month.

Here's block 2:


I'm using Benartex Superior Solids because I have big plans for the quilting and I want it to show!

Are you playing along with Happy Little Things?

Friday, September 06, 2019

Oops a Daisy!

Earlier this week I was in a grumpy mood and looked around for a bright spot.  I found it when I spotted this fabric:


I knew that I needed more of this brightness in my life so I made a simple tablecloth and whipped up some Serviettes:


My daughter-in-love has already put in her request for a set just like this.

If you need some extra brightness in your house, check out the