Going Away - Part 1: The Planning & The Packing

I am going away from the 21st - 24th of August for the first time since my M.E diagnosis & gradual decline over this past year.

I was going to do the whole thing in one post but realised that would mean a lot of writing for me & a lot of reading for you, so I've decided to do it in two parts: first is the planning & packing & the second is the actual reality of being away & how it went.

The Planning:

With any trip good preparation is key in order for it to go well & I've noticed that this is even more necessary when ill.  So my planning for this time away began a couple weeks ago, after my last round of treatment.

I came home with some more treatment water to help just clear up fully a couple of viruses I'd picked up as added extras to what I am already dealing with.  However, I was told I was not allowed to have any of this water after Tuesday of the week I was going away as it is still treatment & it does take a lot out of me. So the ever cautious me, stopped having it on Sunday, just to be sure I gave my body enough time to recover before my travel day on Thursday. 

I've also had to pay extra attention to my activity level, which I know isn't a great deal anyway, but even the couple of activities & outings I do have, were halted after my last treatment.  I had planned that the Saturday before I was going away was going to be my last little necessary outing.  However, I woke before 9am feeling incredibly ill after a very rough night of hardly any sleep (about 4 hours)  So I had breakfast & was sent back to bed!  So I had to move my outing plan to Monday, which still gave me a few days to recover from the PEM (Post External Malaise) before I traveled.  See even plans need back up plans sometimes. 

As I write this, it's now Tuesday, two days before I travel. I'm dealing with the PEM but I've got my journal next to me & I'm now going to sit & write down everything I need to take so when I come to actually start packing, I'll have a reference so I won't be left to the mercy of my brain fog & you all know I'd be sure to leave the most important things at home if I did that!

List is done & I'm pretty sure I've noted down everything.  Next job I need to do is dig out my lanyard for my convention badge...

Now that has been found & sorted, all I have to do is pack. Oh joy!

The Packing:

Wednesday (today) is packing day, (I was going to make a start yesterday but a symptom flare interfered with that idea).  It already didn't start as planned since I had a unbroken nights sleep resulting in me not getting out of bed & having "breakfast" until around noon!  But anyways, once I got over my annoyance & mutterings to myself of how I'd wasted half the day, I put some music on low, grabbed my journal with my packing check list in it, got my case & began filling it...

Oh I had some helpers as well...

Though personally I think McKay was showing how well he'd fit in the case so he could come, as he does each time I've been away. He likes to lay on the guilt when I leave them.  But anyway, once he & Jack gave up on helping me, I worked my way through my check list & got most of the stuff on it packed.

So I'm pretty much done, I just have my convention clothes to go in last so they don't crease too much & then a few things that I will be needing later on & tomorrow before I go.  They will be packed shortly before I leave.

I can feel that I've been on my feet for a while now, as my legs are aching & the exhaustion is more noticeable than it was, now I've stopped.  So I'm going to go get some tea & just rest now.  Only thing left on my pre-traveling planning list to do is get a shower tonight instead of the morning as last thing I need is extra exhaustion to deal with on my travel day.  The traveling will be plenty to deal with on it's own.

So there we go & have to say, I think for the most part, it's gone pretty well. The best thing I can recommend when planning to travel & you're ill, is to take your time, begin getting things sorted a number of days ahead.  Also make a packing check list!  This has really helped me, when "healthy" me traveled in the past, I never made checked lists really. I just knew in my head what was coming, what I needed & just packed it all up very late the night before!

The way I've done it this time, has been less stressful (& I need less stress right now!) Having the check list has really helped, I just worked my way down it, ticking off things as they went in & I can see clearly what is now left to go in later on tonight/tomorrow.  I've now also got the rest of the afternoon & most of the evening to just relax & gain back & hopefully add too some well needed spoons.

Also as part of my planning, I've looked through the convention program & asked friends who have already had theirs about the talks & what they suggest I definitely not miss. (as I've come to terms with the fact that there's no way I'll be able to do all three full days) With their help, I've worked out I'll be resting Friday & Saturday mornings, in the arena on those afternoons & then I'm going to do all day Sunday.  One of them also told me to take tissues, as apparently I WILL cry! Haha!

I've also planned the following week to be completely free & I'll be back on my treatment water.  So the PEM I'm sure to be getting, will be handled with bed rest.

So planing complete, packing at this point (Wednesday) almost complete.  I'm now pretty much ready for the traveling & the convention itself.  You'll be able to read how it went in part two which will be posted next week at some point, just have to write it!

As you read this I'll be on my way to Manchester to my hotel to rest up ready for the next 3 days of the most activity I've had in quite a while! I'm excited but also very nervous, stressed & full of anxiety! (I'm taking skittles to exercise my OCD quirks as it calms me down a treat!)

So for now, I'll leave it there & as usual I hope you're all well as can be & taking care.

L x

Going Away Part 2 is now posted so by simply Clicking here you can read it.