Preparing for Travel with Chronic Hives

I used to wonder how parents did it when they started packing for travel. You have so much to take with you on trips. From diapers to the playpen and toys, half of the car is loaded down with things that make their life more comfortable for a short period when they are supposed to be relaxing and finding a break from the ‘real world’. Since my diagnosis of Chronic Hives, I now understand their reasoning and system.

Packing must haves with Chronic Hives

I work currently for a job that has a decent amount of travel. And with the travel comes a range of situations that I find myself having to prepare for with Chronic Hives. If I am in between my Xolair shots, I have to worry about flare-ups, angioedema, and how I keep the swelling and itchiness down while on the road. This takes a lot of preparation and thinking ahead. And at times can be exhausting. I have to pack (at minimum) anti-histamines, medications, any therapy creams (I like Cerave Anti-Itch or Vaseline’s Calming Therapy Cream), Benadryl, ice packs, flowy clothes that aren’t going to irritate my skin and make sure that I have enough of it all to last me the full week or timeframe that I am gone. You can imagine the jokes about bags that I have to travel with already. I wish it was just shoes!

Flareups

With all of these products and preparations, it makes it almost a chore to pack for a trip that I would otherwise be very excited to take or go on. And as someone who loves to travel, it has made it slightly inconvenient. I find that my flare-ups can happen more frequently when I am on the road, sleeping in hotels, or outside of my bed. While not allergic to anything in particular, the stress of not being in my routine can sometimes cause a flareup to go from minimal to full-blown in a matter of minutes. I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up with a swollen eye or lip, only to have to explain to co-workers that it will go down in time. Almost calming them more than myself so that we can have some sense of normalcy on the trip.

If I have learned one thing, it’s that you can prepare as much as possible but, there is a reason these are idiopathic. You have no control over when they decide to make themselves known. And that means, being flexible with how you handle your attitude and stress on the road. It’s made me a stronger and more patient person, knowing that I have all my normal tools with me but, that sometimes it is out of my control. And that I am still going after fighting this internal battle.

Staying positive

I still am keeping up with my work, leading meetings, and being collaborative. This takes a lot of stamina and peace with Chronic Hives and your diagnosis. Having a range of no control to semi-control over an auto-immune disorder is frustrating. But, look how far you have come! Keeping a positive mindset on travel with all my bags just keeps me level-headed and productive. With that mindset, it makes me look forward to summer vacations and upcoming trips. We can conquer this diagnosis, one (very full) suitcase at a time!

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