Traveling with MS~
Last updated: November 2013
My main MS issues involve my cognitive functions. I get easily distracted, my short term memory is non existent and anxiety is very much a part of my everyday life especially when out of my own environment. Needless to say traveling alone on a plane was immediately an anxiety producer for me.
A normal day for me is spent looking for the same things over and over. My glasses, my wallet, my phone and various other things repetitively. How in the world was I going to be able to keep of my tickets and itinerary? How was I going to be able to manage to get from one terminal to another without being late? Would I miss my flight? I probably spent well over a week worrying about these things that had not even happened yet.
Determined not to allow myself to be disorganized or scatterbrained, I began preparing a few days before the trip by packing my things methodically into my suitcase. I had gone to the drugstore and bought the small travel size toiletries, which of course I lost prior to the trip and had to go buy more. Incidentally, I found them as soon as I returned home. I then printed out my trip details making sure I could arrive at least an hour early to the airport to check my bags and get through security in plenty of time. I felt relieved when all that went smoothly.
I arrived at my first stop in Atlanta though and nearly had a meltdown when I realized I had to make a mad dash to a train to make it to another terminal. By the time I arrived the plane was already boarding. Point is I did make it despite feeling anxious the entire time.
The return flight was much the same but knowing I had accomplished it before gave me a little more confidence for the trip home. I am now preparing for another trip in December to Arizona. I am going to an airport I have never been to~Dallas/Ft Worth. I am already feeling a bit anxious as I start to think about finding my way in an airport I've never been in.
Thinking about the choice though of traveling versus not traveling is more like thinking of living versus not living. I would rather take the chance of traveling while I can rather than taking the safe route of staying at home. I may not be as mobile one day and traveling may be even harder. So for now, I will take my chances and use whatever resources available to live for today.
Airlines are also very willing to help those who have disabilities. If you need help, please don't be afraid to ask. Don't let MS keep you at home, let yourself do all the things you want to do.
You only live once and you need to live each day to the very fullest you can!
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