Pace Yourself

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
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Pace Yourself

Since my disability manifests itself with severe pain and fatigue, it's super important that I pace myself when touring. This means that many times even though I feel fine in the morning I use an ECV so that I'm not done for the day by Noon. A comfortable traveler is a happy traveler. Pacing yourself for the miles you have to cover, and being pro-active about managing your health can be an important part of any travel strategy.

What tips do you have for pacing yourself at Walt Disney World?

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Joined: 06/03/2013
Posts: 97

Great topic and I'm interested to see the tips here.
This will be my first trip since being diagnosed with RA in January. Lots of joint pain in my legs & a little trouble with my ankles freezing up although I can usually do some ankle circles and loosen them back up enough to walk around. Stairs are terrible for me and I try to avoid them whenever possible. I've had to eliminate most high impact exercising and I'm a little nervous about all the walking around, even though walking doesn't usually bother me that much as long as I have on the right shoes (love certain kinds of Skechers - they really seem to help my legs/feet). Since walking and swimming are the main ways I can exercise now, I'm comfortable with a lot of walking (I do 5-10 miles/day now). For me, standing in the queue lines will be worse than walking. Inactivity for me is worse than moderate activity. We've talked to our rep at DW and have secured a first floor room (POR) and also about doing the pass thing which will let us bypass the longer lines, but I feel really bad doing that and going ahead of parents with small children. As a parent, I remember what it was like to wait in those lines, trying to entertain a wee one.
I know I haven't totally accepted my diagnosis yet. I was a dancer for 43 years. I run and strength train. It's been hard for me to give up everything. And I'm bad about overdoing things. I've done this with my exercise plan - trying to do things I shouldn't and suffering the next day. I'm certain I will overdo it at Disney b/c, really, it's DISNEY. I don't want to miss anything!!
I'm a little nervous about some of the coasters. I love them, but I'm afraid the shaking will bother my neck and shoulders. I had trouble on the Indiana Jones ride at DL last year, but it was the last thing we did so it didn't impact the rest of our trip to the West Coast that much. I've told DH that if I hurt after the first one (which I think will be BTMRR), I'll just have to sit out the rest and wait for him.

Definitely planning on taking my pain relief medication before heading out each day & will have some on me, just in case. Staying onsite will be helpful to us, I think. When things get bad, we can hightail it back to the resort and hop in the pool or hot tub for some relief.

Anyway, looking forward to some other tips I can incorporate so I can fully enjoy the trip!!

TroyW's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2012
Posts: 247

Being diagnosed with MS a few years back I am still learning what I can and cant do. For me the heat is the biggest killer of a day for me. I keep cool by drinking anything and everything cold and I will be taking advantage of the free cups of ice and water whenever needed. I also keep Frog Toggs Chilly Pads with me. Sadly I can no longer ride the big rides or the ones that spin, if I do my day is over.

Jamie is correct about the lines, its harder to stand than walk. I have thought about getting one of the canes with the fold down chair. Just something to get a few mins of relief. There are benches all over so stop and smell the roses, speak to people and before you know it you're rested and ready to go for a bit longer.

I have one weapon in my arsenal that helps more than anything and that's my lovely bride of 13years. She sees what's happening to me long before I notice, so she will say she needs take a break for a bit or pulls me to the side to show me something and slow me down.

Jamie, even though I don't have RA I was in a serious car wreck about 10 years ago and off work for almost a year. Broken ankle and knee...You probably already know this but get the best tennis shoes you can find. I have tried them all, Mizuno are light and have the best arch support. Merrell's Chameleon for cooler weather. Still looking for that perfect sandal but the Merrell's aren't too bad.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
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Absolutely be sure to take your pain meds before you need them. It's much easier to stop the pain before it starts, one of my biggest downfalls is letting my pain advance to far before taking something for it. I will think I can "tough it out" and it will get better. It never does, but if I'm good about being pro-active it helps me a lot.

I elevate my legs for at least 15 minutes every night. Not just propping them up on a pillow, lay down on your back and stick them up the wall. I also make sure that I get some hot tub time in each night and it makes a big difference.

The last thing that I do is some yoga while standing in queues, it helps to trick my body into thinking I'm not just standing around for 30 minutes. In dancer terms - think light, low to the ground barre work and standing stretches. I promise, no one will even notice, everyone tends to be in their own little world in the queues.

Here are some tips for tired legs that I wrote in 2011
http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/tips-revive-tired-legs-during-travel

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JMUDukz's picture
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Joined: 03/28/2012
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I highly recommend sleeping in compression sleeves for your legs, in addition to elevating them. Helps with the swelling and you'll wake up feeling refreshed the next day!!

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