Took a short vacation in the mountains. A lot of people with chronic pain have a great deal of trouble taking vacations… They can seem to be more pain than they are worth sometimes. I value them all the same because they are valuable to us in many ways. They can get us out of our mindset and daily stress. See new places and environments which gets us out of that routine of sameness that takes over our lives when they become so restricted. Sometimes vacations mean visiting family, although not the case for me this time, I value those chances because there are so few and they are worth it. Often emotionally vacations can have a huge benefit. It is just that we must be aware that we have the same limitations and so on any given day you cannot run around doing a whole lot of things, it isn’t possible and what you choose to do must be carefully paced and even then there will be a price. And the planning portion of any vacation small or large is far greater… Many things to consider that others simply do not. I forgot a few things myself. Forgot to increase my asthma for the walking and had to use my inhaler more than once as a result. Forgot that apparently I can be extremely sensitive to hotel laundry detergent, or they use bleach there… and was insanely itchy… but remembered my eczema cream, allergy medication, and my spouse brought a towel so on the third shower when I figured out the cause of the extreme itchfest I used that one and fixed that issue. My spouse and I tried camping last summer for a long weekend as a trial run and… That is a big hell no, so since I love Being in the mountains we are in a cabin instead! I must say pretty awesome. And I can’t do many of the activities people would normally do here and that I would want to do as well so we kept it simple.
Rough start today on my mini vacation. I was a bit sore everywhere from the FM pain due to traveling… Normal because traveling even with breaks means your movements are restricted so you get sore and the next day more so. Worse by far was the wicked migraine I woke up with likely because of the rapid weather changes and altitude. I had a nasty ghosting aura causing that replicating image after everything you see that was very disorientating plus my usual aura mix. So before going anywhere I took my triptan and let it take effect and that worked long enough to get through the day, by the time it came back we were headed back to the cabin anyway.
So today we went up the Jasper Tramway which takes you way up the mountain. It is spring so it is cold up there and windy… I wore my winter jacket and gloves. Although the peripheral neuropathy in my hands sort of short-circuit in the cold from taking pictures. The weather has been weird, snowing like crazy and then clear half an hour later. When we went up.. Could not see a thing so we ate first and then took a freezing stroll and took pictures. I really enjoyed it, cold or not, the view is spectacular and the ride up is a blast. Likely better in the summer though.
On the way back we spotted a herd of caribou right by the road in the woods and big horned sheep all over the place. We also stopped at one of the roadside trail spots by this lake and trekked around a bit trying to get closer to my good camera zoom lens and herd of mountain goats on a plateau.
I was getting pretty sore so this was all about the limit for me and the main issue was that my back pain in the lumbar spine area, yet to be confirmed as lumbar spinal stenosis, causes nasty pain in a short time frame. I noticed up on the Tramway but it got a bit better after a rest as it goes then flared up again when I was checking out the paths by the lake. Really limits my distance for walking, because even though I am sore from FM pain it had not gotten to the flare zone that hobbles me… And obviously I would not have let it, but the back gets there fast. We got back to the cabin and just chilled. Watched a movie. Sat outside and checked out the view for a bit. I really enjoyed this day and spending this time with my bf… The pain was all within tolerable limits during the time I was out and about and plenty of beaks in there.
We had a great time exploring the road to Maligne Lake. The lake as you can see but beautiful in how it is melting and we trekked down the path for a bit to check it out. What those of us with chronic pain call a ‘hike’. When my back flared up we turned back and a good idea anyway because I forget walking and getting sore is something you get used to. But the stairs back up? Well hell, my legs were like burning noodles. Lol. We went further up the road and saw three adult big horned sheep and you can see the pic of one out the window here because they were fascinated by the truck… Came right up, sniffed it, licked it and nudged it! My spouse had lick marks and nose marks all along the truck… it was hilarious! The sort of stuck around for a bit until one of the wildlife tours and another car pulled up and eventually that drew their attention… I was laughing my ass off whereas my spouse was slightly more amazed, yet wary, given his window was all the way open and two of them were Right There…. busy licking though mostly. Spring is a great time for wildlife by the way… herds are all moving and you get some great photos, but even when you miss the photos you still get to see a lot.
Then we drove down to the Athabasca Falls which gave my legs and back a good long break since we stopped for food as well. The falls amazingly are almost completely unfrozen and were spectacular. It was another ‘hike’ for me. The biggest little physical venture was because down at the bottom were it empties into that awesome green river basin where the path was pooled over so we had to go up and around and cross a log to get back to the path… Thankfully my spouse assists me with maintaining balance, going up and down inclines and such… Worth it though… Lovely down there! Again going back up to the main level really hard on the legs knees!
At the end there I was working up a nasty migraine but we were done for the day anyway so that was all good. I took a triptan when I got back to the cabin but it didn’t work as well as the one the day before, still, I was damned drained anyway. I think I will be feeling the FM burn tomorrow but I’ll just be a passenger on the drive home.
Today: I woke up sore as hell! I guess I pushed it a bit. I woke up quite early and in a great deal of pain such that I could not get back to sleep… so we actually ended up on the road sooner. However, I have been rather … slow walking. I hurt in places I don’t even know why I’m hurting. Like my elbows and wrists hurt like hell but I have no idea why… my elbows are double jointed so a lot of FM accumulates on those areas but still I didn’t climb the mountain and didn’t even use my left arm much at all. Maybe just compounding pain from the last couple of days. Either way, very slow movements going on. And had another migraine with a great deal of vertigo from the drive. I sort of expected it to be a bad FM day though, not quite this bad, but still since it is was just me being a passenger and then relaxing back at home I figured no harm in it. It might linger for a bit though. Overall though such an extremely enjoyable trip. Short enough that I could do things without compounding the pain to the extreme because obviously no way in hell I could do anything today! Quite the adventure.