12 Dec

Let’s talk about traveling with Hashimoto’s…

This weekend I got to join some of my family in Boston for the Army-Navy football game!! I love adventures, but recognize they look a little different these days. 

So what did my weekend look like? 

Well: I purposely took Friday and Monday off of work for travel and rest. I also took Stew to a new kennel on Thursday so was a little anxious after his last kennel experience. (In short, he wasn’t cared for at a trusted place!)

On Friday, my flight was scheduled for 7 AM so I packed the night before and tried to be in bed before 10 PM to get as much rest in before my 445 AM wake up! I got in a ride share app and through security by 530 AM so I got to grab a parfait from the lounge before heading to my gate. The plane was filled with more Army than Navy fans - it was great! I’m not known for sleeping well at all, so I maybe got 20 minutes of dozing in on the plane until I was wide awake. So I watched No Hard Feelings instead! Once I landed, I had to hop on a bus to the Cape and had about 10 minutes to rush from landing to the bus’ arrival. Thankfully I made it! But, after my TT, I’ve been feeling car sickness a lot more. It comes from my trouble with heat/cold regulation post thyroidectomy!  So for much of the bus ride, I felt a little uncomfortable and focused on staying well.

My family met me at the bus stop and we sat and chilled, talking all afternoon. I knew all of Saturday would be hectic so the pre planned calm was instrumental in the preparation. My mother had celebrated a birthday the day before, so we continued the celebration with lobster rolls - the lobster was delicious and I’m shocked the gluten free hot dog bun held up to the meat! We also had Cape Cod kettle chips (because duh!) and my sister prepared a tasty salad of Brussels, pecans, pomegranates and more! We feasted and then celebrated with a flourless chocolate cake and it was safe to say that no one was hungry! It was a great meal but I struggled to stay awake much longer!! I broke my cardinal rule of “shower as soon as you arrive after traveling on a plane” so I had to shower after dinner before actually settling down to rest. In addition to my normal nighttime routine, I took an extra prebiotic and lots of water just as a way to settle down after so much travel! 

Saturday morning, I was hoping to get a walk in to the bay, but opted to rest and read a little bit longer. I started off with a coffee and a gluten free bagel with salmon and red onions (I’ve missed the Northeast) and had about an hour before we left for Gillette Stadium. Normally a whole day at a stadium would be a little daunting as I‘d worry about what food I’d have or rest there would be, but I was so grateful for this trip! My cousin and her husband prepped the food and drinks for the tailgate and they were so great with letting me know ahead of time which snacks and meals had gluten or almonds in them. So I didn’t have to worry at all! We stuffed ourselves on burgers, apple cider and conversation all while forgetting that it was supposed to be freezing! 

We thyroidless gals and guys know a whole day in the cold can be a nightmare! We were prepared with a propane heater, gloves, blankets, multiple layers, hats and more! One of my essentials is this cute little rechargeable hand warmer. I wouldn't survive without it! 

About an hour and a half before kickoff, we packed up the truck and took our bags to a friend’s car since we were staying with different friends for the night! While on our way to the car and into the stadium, we linked up with some of my Army friends. We got to watch the game together as well as run into some other friends throughout the game! Army won (duh!) and while it was a stressful 4th quarter, it was great to see san Army win!

Travel from the stadium into Boston took so long! The game was over by 630 PM, but the train didn’t leave until 815 PM…so that meant waiting in line and then waiting on the train until it took off and crawled into the city. Thankfully we had the stadium seat covers, so we didn’t have to stand the whole time after an eventful, but exhausting game. What it did mean though, was not drinking water or eating dinner until well after 9 PM! And because of the excitement of the day and my routine being thrown off (albeit for so much fun!) it also meant that I didn’t sleep a wink all night… And boy was I feeling that dehydration and fatigue! Even into the next day, I knew I needed so much more water and rest than I got!

When I say I got barely 1000 steps in on Sunday, I mean it. I visited with a family friend and was so grateful for someone who gets it…all the symptoms that come with dozens of diagnoses. We both sat and laughed and sat and took rest breaks for the entire day. It also meant I got to sit and eat some good gluten free food as well! Gluten free pasta with seafood fra diavolo and some sourdough with avocado, mozzarella and prosciutto. I was in awe of all the wonderful food that I didn’t have to worry about all weekend. It’s unusual for a weekend of travel!

By the time I went to bed, I knew I was facing another day of rest just to recover from the weekend! And that’s pretty much what I did. I was up for a 7 AM flight and home with my pups by noon! All the Virgin River episodes accompanied us for the rest of the day. And you know what, that was a-okay!

I recognize traveling with Hashimoto’s is like carrying around yet another kind of baggage, but there are those small essentials that make it so much easier! This weekend those were: my rechargeable hand warmer, family and friends who don’t think twice about adjusting their menu so I can be included totally, LOTS of water (even though I did not follow through with enough!!), prebiotic sodas for optimal gut health and, you’ve guessed it, as much rest as I could possible fit into the busy schedule.

What's the moral of this story?

Life looks differently these days…and it isn’t always visible to the average person. I show a lot of smiles and joys and getting out and traveling. But it always comes with some extra considerations and planned rest. Which takes a toll on me when all I want to do is go-go-go and spend all the time in the excitement of it all. But I’m here. And that’s okay. I knew I would struggle going into work after an early morning flight, so while taking a day of PTO instead of a health day can feel like a pride thing…it feels worth it right now to feel some semblance of normalcy in life. 

I HATE what sometimes feels like “wasting” a day, but I’m so glad I got to see family, friends and an Army win!

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