Tips for travelling with chronic illness (when you’re barely well enough to leave the house)

Don’t expect this to be one of those “plan ahead for your international long-haul flight, try not to see too many amazing attractions in one day” kind of posts. This post is for those spoonies who can barely make it 1 hour out of the house, let alone travelling to another town; for whom a few hundred km’s may as well be around the world. (Toni Bernhard has an excellent article about how minor holidays become massive trips with chronic illness on Psychology Today.)

These are my tips for surviving a short yet major (for me) trip to Geelong (2 hours away), which would have been a destination for a fun day out before I fell ill. If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’d know I didn’t cope that well and am paying for it dearly now, but if I hadn’t planned ahead and made accomodations, I wouldn’t have made it through the week at all.

Geelong Waterfront.
“Geelong, Geelong it’s a hell of a town: the schoolyard’s up and the shopping mall’s down.”

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“Just Invisible” – Medical Access Issues For Homebound/Bedridden Persons

If you are housebound/bedbound due to chronic illness, you will be well aware of the limitations placed on yourself and others like you in accessing adequate healthcare. However, it is an issue that largely goes unnoticed, as the medical system and broader society either do not want to know or choose not to care about people in this situation.

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That time I went to Geelong

Recently, I did something which I thought impossible. I went away for four nights, for the first time since becoming chronically ill 8 years ago. It was to the closest city: Geelong, 2 hours away, with my mother/carer/also chronically ill buddy. You might be wondering, how the fuck did you do that, Siobhan? I’m as shocked as anyone else! One night I just felt, for the first time well, ever, that I could do it. And by that I mean, do something, get sick, but not get permanently worse (which has been the norm these past 8 years).

An airplane flies over tropical plants.
It might not have been international travel, but it may as well have for the toll it took on my body.

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Two more Hemlock Tees

Warning: contains GIFs

I went on a knit-sewing session a while back, resulting in my ponte skirt and a couple of long-sleeve tees. I actually meant to blog them together, but the weather has been so offensively hot this Autumn that I’ve had to wait until it cooled down enough that I could wear long sleeves without swooning like a 20s film star.

Woman faints backwards.
Or Alba. I’m kinda obsessed with Jane the Virgin right now.

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Maria Denmark knit ponte skirt (self-drafted)

Even though I’ve been trying to keep up with my blog posts, I haven’t really been sewing as much lately as is usual for me. Sitting at the machine requires a lot more effort than I can muster most days, so my output has slowed considerably. This has led to a rethink of my sewing strategy: I can’t buy a lot of fabric with the guarantee that I will burn through it quickly, so I’ve been taking stock of what I already have and working out what to do with it.

A woman stands in front of a blue brick wall. She wears a white peplum top, navy white stripe knit pencil skirt, and animal print tights and clogs.
Leopard print matches leopard print, right? That’s my In the Folds Peplum Top, BTW.

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Style Arc Blaire Shirt

You know when a project looks really different in your head to the final outcome? That’s what happened with my Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I completely misinterpreted the pattern of the fabric and the cut of the shirt, and ended up with an oversized, tropical-style shirt, entirely by accident. And I love it!

A woman stands in front of hibiscus plant. She wears a green, tropical print shirt, skinny jeans and silver runners.

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