I Love Vacation. But, Vacation Makes Me Sick!
Last week I got back from vacation. I had the chance to visit my sister in law in San Diego, California, so I hopped on a plane and took a 4 day vacation. California was amazing and everything I hoped for, but between the heat and the busy days, and jet lag my body didn’t handle it very well. I just recently wrote an article on tips for your vacation trip with MS, but sometimes it seems as hard as you try to follow your own advice to stay healthy and well… it does not always work out.
A break from daily responsibilities
I had the best 4 days of exploring, eating, drinking and taking a break from my daily responsibilities. I was able to see all of the beaches I’ve longed to see, including La Jolla Cove, which is absolutely breathtaking! I could have easily stayed there my whole trip and would have been a happy camper. I love the beach and everything associated with it. I’m a sucker for the sand in my toes, sun on my face, and the water washing up on the shore. I’m sure MS laughs in my face knowing I have such a love for sun and salty air ;). Any who, for only being there 4 short days, I feel like we were able to do so much! With the time change from Texas to California (it is 2 hours earlier there then it is here at home) the days seem longer and it feels like you’re able to do so much more.
The Friday morning that I left, I had to wake up at 2:45 AM to make it to the airport two hours before my flight. I’m not sure I was thinking clearly when I decided a 6:20 AM flight out would be a good idea, haha. If you don’t know a lot about me, I’m a busy wife and momma to an almost two year old, so waking up that early was difficult! But, the good thing about it was that it allowed me to have an entire extra day to hang out in California, which I loved. The first day there we got to explore Mission Beach; it’s a beautiful ocean front beach that has such a neat little boardwalk. After that we got to sight see at Coronado Beach, and because my brother in law is in the Navy, we got to see the beauty of the beaches on base. It was incredible! Mind you, this was only my first day there, and we had seen all of these things by only 3 PM. I’m telling you, time stands still in this amazing state! Day 2 was the Farmers Market at Little Italy, Old Town San Diego and La Jolla Cove. The drive to La Jolla is one of the most spectacular views. The mansions there are out of this world! Once you get to La Jolla, you see that it’s a small, but gorgeous beach tucked in between cliffs. All upon the cliffs are sea lions and other sea life. The water there is the most vivid sparkling blue and tourists/locals in the area spend their time snorkeling, scuba diving and exploring its beauty. If you haven’t had the chance to go, I highly recommend it! Day 3 we ventured onto the San Diego Zoo, and Day 4 we spent the morning relaxing and the afternoon people watching at one of the amazing outdoor malls. Ya’ll, this part of California has so many neat things to do and see. I wrapped up a little bit of everything we did in my 4 days there to share with you what a remarkable experience it was, but also to point out that we did A LOT! By the morning of Day 4 I was exhausted to say the least.
The activity caught up with me
Most people go on vacation and only have to worry about relaxation and fun. However, if you have MS or any other chronic illness you realize that it’s not always a walk in the park to keep up. The morning of Day 4 I was exhausted yes, but I also could tell I was coming down with a cold and a yucky cold sore too. The weather there is beautiful, but it was also hot during the day. The sun there is on a whole other level than the sun here in Texas. Anyways, I get cold sores after being exposed to too much sun (I’m not sure if that has to do with MS, but we can talk about that another time). I tried my best to rest as much as possible, but even then all of the activities and the sun soon caught up with me. Yes, vacation made me sick. As it so happens, I’ve been home exactly a week now and I’m still recovering. My cold and cold sore are thankfully on the mend, but the fatigue is still strong.
The hardest part of MS for me is finding that perfect balance between doing what I want and getting enough rest and down time so that it won’t affect me in the long run. Obviously, I’m still working on that, and I’ve been dealing with MS for 13 years. As much as I would have loved to stay in California another 4 days, I’m not sure my body could handle it. Vacation is wonderful and much needed yes, but it’s also hard on our bodies and immune systems. Vacation and traveling have been some of my favorite things my entire life, but it’s not a simple trip when you have MS. While many others come back from vacation renewed and refreshed, I come back exhausted and in need of recovery. Would I trade my vacation? No, not in any way, but I do wish I could learn how to come back without issues. MS is tough and it seems to rope in every other aspect of life (fun or not) and bring more unpleasant issues. I wrote this article in hopes that I’m not the only one who comes home from the most magical places feeling defeated. I wrote it in hopes that others can relate. But for now, I’m going to go rest, and dream that I’m back on the beaches of California.