Many of us living with chronic illnesses know that often it can rob us of our dreams and aspirations – often assuming that what we used to dream of achieving is no longer within our grasp. However, this is often not the truth – what may be out of our grasp is the most conventional route of achieving a particular dream; but often when living with a chronic illness, we need to find another route to be able to achieve our dream.
A dream of mine has always been to visit the beautiful country of Italy. In fact it is on my ‘Bucket List’ that we have complied at my social group which I attend. However, due to my problems with dizziness and vertigo, particularly affected by high ceilings flying there would not be a good option for me as the majority of airports are very large and have high ceilings – using this transport option would mean that I would be extremely unwell even before getting to the desired destination!
Another option would be travelling by a coach; which is one option in which my Mother and I were considering. However, this was quickly dismissed after a recent trip to the cinema in which I was left in bad pain within my legs due to the cramped conditions, and therefore thought that travelling via coach for many hours would most likely result in severe pain.
Therefore, the only option left to me is a cruise. My parents went on one a couple of years ago and loved it – really could not recommend it enough. Although it is only really my last option left to be able to visit Italy; there are however a lot to think about. Such as the constant dizziness and balance problems. Would going on a cruise possibly increase the severity of the dizziness, vertigo and balance issues. People with vestibular disorders often have super sensitive balance – and although cruises have stabilisers and ‘healthy’ people report not feeling the motion of the cruise ship; a person with a vestibular however may feel the motion and be affected because of it. On the other hand, my balance and dizziness are a result of a neurological disorder and therefore it is interesting to consider whether I would be affected by a cruise in the same way a person with a vestibular disorder would.
There are a lot of advantages of cruising for a person with a chronic illness; which really do appeal to me:
- Cruise liners and the companies running them are very happy to accommodate for those with disabilities and chronic illnesses – if you tell them in advance what you need then they will happy to accommodate your specific requirements. Or if they cannot themselves they will signpost you to places where you will be able to rent certain mobility aids, etc
- If like me, you are unable to determine when you will become unwell; symptoms appear with no warning then on a cruise you can simply head back to the cabin to have rest or a nap. If you were on a conventional holiday and out on an excursion you would not be able to do so
- With mobility problems like myself; cruise ships have plenty of elevators that you can use, and if you suddenly get tired, there are plenty of lounges, bars, restaurants or seats that you can plop yourself down on to take a break
- When the cruise liner has reached a particular destination and has docked, if you are not up to go sight-seeing then you do not have to – you can just stay on the ship and relax!
- Plenty to do and lots going on! I personally like to be entertained and if I am up to it like lots to do – and cruises offer that. Amenities often include theatres, cinema, spas, swimming pools, ice rinks, and lots more!
I am yet undecided whether I will eventually go on a cruise; there are many factors to consider, and my health being the biggest factor to consider. Would a cruise be a good fit for a condition like mine? One thing though, I would love something to really look forward to and be excited about – my future currently offers me more hospital appointments and the same old routine!
What are your thoughts? Do you suffer with a chronic illness and like to travel? What, in your opinion are the best types of holidays for those with chronic illness? Any more advantages of a cruise? Its disadvantages?
Please leave comments – would love to know your thoughts as ever!