The last week and a half my husband and I met up with some favorite friends for a vacation in the Florida Keys. Traveling with Psoriatic Arthritis or any chronic illness can be a challenge. Click here to read some of my favorite tips.
Prayer and yoga at sunrise.
Sometimes, even the best planning cannot help us avoid unexpected events. Fortunately, I was ready. On our first night at the resort my husband and I were swimming in the salt water pool when I noticed a bee struggling in the water. Normally, I am terrified of any critter with more than four legs, but felt I could easily rescue this bee by splashing him out of the pool. Big mistake! He stung me on two fingers! I cannot remember ever being stung by a bee and was hoping bee stings were not on my list of allergens. Fortunately, my reaction was limited to a headache the entire next day. Add to my list of travel tips: always pack a nail clipper, tweezer and lavender essential oil. Once I removed the stinger in my room with the tweezer, the pain in my finger subsided. I sterilized my nail clipper with lavender essential oil, lanced the poisonous bubble on my other finger, then washed with soap and water. I treated both fingers with lavender essential oil to soothe my skin and kill any remaining bacteria. Aside from the horrible headache, all was well.
The next day we drove from Key Largo to Key West, where we took a trolley tour, visited Ernest Hemingway's home, ate and shopped. I had my parasol with me, which helped on the city streets, but our trolley was open air with a roof. I thought the lack of direct sunlight would make this trolley ride okay for me, but found myself fading after the first hour of our tour. Due to my Methotrexate, I am prone to heat exhaustion. On one stop I chugged water and rubbed ice cubes all over my skin like a slutty girl in a music video. Normally, I am too modest to do something like this, but it works fast and helps me avoid fainting.
After treatment with ice in Ernest Hemingway's home. That is not my bra strap.
In fact, I was still feeling poorly when we arrived at Ernest Hemingway's home. I was looking forward to this tour. I did not feel confident enough to climb the staircase and had to settle for a tour of the first floor and my husband's photos and video of the second floor. I found a seat in front of a large fan on the wraparound porch and parked myself there. Sometimes, there is only so much you can do. I have learned to give myself Permission To Miss Out.
You may remember I am currently on the re-introduction part of my Elimination Diet. Vacation is a hard time to do that. I decided to avoid re-introducing any new foods while on vacation, but in an area famous for it's seafood and traveling with seafood loving folks, my options were slim! I have never been a fan of seafood. Normally, I eat a very veggie-centric diet. I found myself selecting meals from the Side Dish section of every menu. I definitely did not eat enough greens (unless you count Key Lime Pie). Now that I am home, my gut is punishing me! I am constipated! There, I said it! This is miserable! Help me! Okay, enough complaining. Really, HOW is this possible?
Despite these roadbumps, we had a lovely time!
My highlight of our trip was our dolphin encounter, where I met Leo. Isn't he cute? Leo and his friends are rescued and live in safety in a natural environment where they can catch their own food if they choose. Here he is giving me a little kiss!
I would love to hear your travel tips! Until next week.