We've just returned from our first trip abroad with Deerdeepants - and boy, did we have a great time! She literally ate her way through France (and the Northern part of Spain), leaving her no time at all to be fussy, overtired, or jet lagged. She was an absolute angel - slept for hours on the plane going and coming (allowing her mom to sleep on the plane), took long naps as usual, wasn't picky about food, and charmed the pants off des europeens. As far as we're concerned, sign us up for our next overseas adventure - this was the best trip ever! (Those of you who've read my book were, I'm sure, anticipating that line. Those of you who haven't, well...you know what you need to do!)
The best part of the whole thing? I believe this marks the first abroad travel I've taken that hasn't been graced by a single swollen digit. That's right - not one finger swelled while I was away on vacation. Usually, taking those red eye flights pushes the limits of this lupite, and no matter how much "sleep" I get on the plane, I'm still not able to ward off a swelling. But not this time! There were no piggies in sight - yippee!
Lupus activity used to be such a given when I would travel. I had come to expect it, and what's worse, accept it. But now, I understand what I can do to minimize my chances of a flare - factoring in extra sleep before hand, packing over a series of days rather than the morning of, scheduling travel around naps, limiting "planes, trains and automobile-like" travel/sightseeing extravaganzas, etc. Granted, I'm in a much healthier state than I used to be so my body isn't as sensitive or prone to lupus triggers...but I know, for example, that taking a 6 hour nap that first day we arrived worked wonders. And boy, did I want to go exploring! I figured a 2-3 hour nap would be sufficient. So when I woke up after 3 hours, I was tempted to sneak off while Johnny and Deirdre kept sleeping. I knew I probably needed the rest, but I was really torn. I thought to myself, "Here's the deal - do I start the vacation out right by resting up, or do I go out and about to satisfy the "doer" in me?" Retracing my steps to living well...I opted for rest. And it really set the tone for the week. And the result? Zippy swellings all around!