A pile of phones showing different social media profiles seen in a rosy light. The largest middle phone is turned off.

Vacation Frustration

As the summer season finally comes to an end, many people with Multiple Sclerosis are rejoicing at the prospect of cooler weather. A nice dip in temperature isn’t the only thing many are excited for though. You see, for many, the summer season is also synonymous with “vacation season” and while this isn’t true of everyone with MS, there is a large portion of us who rarely get to partake in such a thing. Seeing friends and family vacationing on social media can be a bit of a downer for some folks who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.

Temperatures and transportation issues

There are a lot of reasons why going on vacation isn’t easy for some of us. The aforementioned timeframe that is popular typically involves temperatures and activities that can have an adverse effect on many of our symptoms. Traveling and transportation issues can be stumbling blocks as well.

Fatigue from too much activity

Add to that, a week-long trip of any nature, fun or not, will be extremely fatiguing. We often end up paying the “MS Tax” after a single day of being active, imagine attempting an entire week. Sure, we could take time to rest, but vacations are normally taken with family and friends, so taking time to rest can make us feel like a burden. 

Vacations can be cost-prohibitive

As if all of those things aren’t enough, living with MS for a while can make such things extremely cost-prohibitive. Being on disability, even if my body could tolerate a vacation, means my bank account sure couldn’t. I’m sure there are many with MS who take grand vacations every year, but for folks in my situation, it seems impossible.

Seeing vacation photos all over social media

Being eternally sidelined while everyone seems to be going on fun adventures can be pretty depressing. In a world where social media has become commonplace, we are easily bombarded by pictures of others out having fun and traveling to exotic (or at least enjoyable) locales. Maybe it’s more noticeable because it seems so out of reach, but I feel like I see so many vacation posts that I have days where I try to force myself not to look at any social media. Not such an easy thing when you are stuck at home and these websites can be your primary link to the outside world.

Is part of me jealous?

I don’t think anyone in this situation wishes any ill will on those that are out living their best life on vacation. I certainly don’t; I’m extremely happy for most of them. That said, you can be happy for someone but still be annoyed and frustrated. It’s upsetting when we see things we can’t do anymore. Is part of me jealous? As much as I hate to admit it, absolutely I am. I want to take a trip and have fun and do all the things that everyone else does. Maybe one day I will, but that doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon.

I'm only human

Part of me feels like a bad person when I feel this way. It doesn’t feel like I’m a very good person to admit that seeing people’s vacation pics sometimes upsets me. That said, I’m only human, and I think these feelings are natural. So to anyone else with a chronic illness that doesn’t go on vacation, I’m here to say, hey, I get it, I’m really happy that vacation season is over too!

Thanks so much for reading and always feel free to share!

Devin

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