Here's what to do before you...
Attention Deficit Disorder
Book a hotel
" Call instead of click. Instead of booking online, call the hotel directly to request a room that's close to the elevator. Also ask about handicapped accessible rooms (most are designed with grab bars in the shower and other helpful features).
" Pack a night-light. If you tend to wake up at night, bring along a night-light to prevent stumbling in unfamiliar surroundings. Forgot yours? Ask if the front desk keeps one for families with kids. Your cellphone can also act as a flashlight in a pinch.
Take a flight
" Reserve an aisle seat near the front. And if you have a bad knee: "Request an aisle seat on the opposite side of the plane from that knee," says physical therapist Lisa Morrone of Long Island, NY, author of Overcoming Back and Neck Pain. "If your right knee is sore, for example, sitting on the lefthand aisle of the plane will give you extra room to stretch it.'
" Rethink your bags. "For handheld bags, always choose a messenger-style that crosses over your midsection," says Morrone. "Shoulder bags exert force on one side of your body, which can strain your neck and back." With rolling luggage, save your wrists and shoulders by using "spinner" bags that let you push and pivot the wheels instead of pulling and yanking.
" Ask your doctor about preventive pain relief: "Once or twice a year I go on big, long-distance fishing trips to places like Alaska," says Ross Smith of Fountain Green, UT, who has rheumatoid arthritis. "A day or two before I leave, I go to my rheumatologist for a cortisone booster to make traveling and paddling
" Tap the airline for help: "Save your "good steps" for your destination and ask for help getting around the airport," recommends Morrone. "Remember that part of your ticket price goes to these services." Don't be shy about calling ahead to ask for priority boarding and a ride to the gate in a cart or wheelchair.
Hop in a car
" Bring along some beads. A beaded seat cover not only makes it easier to slide in and out; it also provides a nice massaging sensation. Or, in a pinch, place a large trash bag on the car seat'you'll slide out easily!
" Adjust your seat belt. Try installing a seat-belt extender'most add about a foot of length'so you don't have to strain to reach over your shoulder to buckle up. And if have psoriatic arthritis and currently have a psoriasis breakout, try a sheepskin seat-belt cover to keep itchiness at bay.
" Practice your dismount: "Getting in and out of the car involves a lot of twisting," says Morrone. "Prevent pain by moving the joint that bothers you the most before you get out. If it's your knee, for example, gently extend your leg before getting out of the car. If it's your back, arch it gently. This lubricates the joint before you put stress on it.'
" Renting a car? When you call, ask to get a car with seats that have an adjustable height (higher seats help take stress off hips and knees) and touch-button ignition (helpful if your hands or wrists hurt).
Tips for traveling with arthritis medication
1 Mind your time zones. Ask your doctor how to dose medications if you're crossing two or more time zones'especially if you're passing the International Date Line. Taking pills? Divide doses into pillboxes and mark each compartment with the time pills need to be taken. For shorter trips: Bring a second watch set to your home time, and use it to take your meds as you would back home.
2 Pack these essentials. Bring the original medication containers (even if you're using pillboxes) and copies of your prescriptions. If you're flying, bring a doctor's note in case security has questions'especially if you use syringes.
3 Plan for refrigeration. Keep injectable medication in a small cooler or an insulated bag with a cold pack. (If you're flying, call the airline for a list of approved coolers.) Once at your destination, use the hotel room fridge. Also bring along zippered freezer bags to hold ice in case your room doesn't have a fridge.
Copyright © 2014 HeathMonitor. All Right Reserved.