Managing Symptoms during travel
A head injury can really teach you to work with the present moment. When you realise that these emotions and overwhelm exhaust you and aggravate your symptoms, it is amazing how you make a greater effort to control the emotions.
- The heat aggravates my nausea and headaches, so I need to drink more water.
- The heat uses more sugars so I need to eat fruit and eat regularly. I even have a Coca-Cola when I'm struggling.
- Spas & hot springs sound so relaxing, but I consistently find they drain me completely. Be careful with changes to body temperature as this is a challenge for your brain to manage.
- Gentle exercise calms the anxiety - a simple walk, some Qi Gong, yoga or pilates rebalances my nerves. Meditate when you can't move around.
- Cities, airports and terminals are noisy places. I keep my ear plugs on me to cut some of the sound out.
- Bright lights, shared dorms, and bus travelling - you need a good eye mask to block out the light. Especially if a migraine hits in.
- Brain fog and information overload - keep a notebook and pen on you at all times to write down key information. It doesn't always make sense when you look back at it, but it will help.
- Losing important items - I got a plastic panda wallet that keeps my core information & items in it. I keep this on me at ALL times.
There will no doubt be more, but this is what I have worked out to start!
Bright lights, lots of people, noisy announcements (let alone in a foreign language), air pressure, time changes, queues of people, angry security people - it's all familiar to everyone as a horrid experience.
- Rest well before you go to the airport
- Allow a rest day after you arrive
- Give yourself extra time for every stage of your journey. If you need to rest for 10 minutes then do it!
- Have a pack of 'travel documents' and money to keep it easy for you to find
- Eye mask & ear plugs - a must!
- Melatonin or sleeping pills for the travel
Before catching a bus plan your bags, timing and what the process is. Arrive early if you can't scope it out beforehand. There is a lot going on and moving parts to understand - signs, names of places shouted by drivers, queues and people. Take water, nibbles & important items onto your seat with you. The anxiety of someone stealing you bag that is in the overhead or underneath, isn't worth leaving anything valuable inside it!
At the bus station watch out for pick pockets. Keep your items on you at all times. I caved and bought a over-shoulder small purse bag for my wallet & mobile. I was anxious opening my rucksack with other valuables displayed. I also found myself a window seat to watch the underneath bags to check mine was still on board!
The bus itself was lovely, but I love bus rides! Something about not seeing the road, watching the scenery from my seat & allowing time to roll by that I found relaxing. Don't forget the trusty ear plugs!
- Buy a ticket early. Have lots of change on you to pay for your ticket.
- Find your departure area - usually says on the ticket.
- Settle in close to the bus pick up point.
- Look out for other English speaking tourists who might have a clue what is going on!
Although slightly anxious, don't worry about not knowing what is going on! It always becomes very clear when the bus arrives and the driver usually answers if you check your ticket with them.