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Road Trip

avaccaroaavaccaro Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Pain Management
In about two weeks, My fiance and I are packing up a rental truck and and moving--a 24 hour long drive--from South Florida to cold, snowy Buffalo, NY. We had originally planned on flying and getting someone else to ship our stuff, but that fell through when we realized how much money it was going to cost, and how little we actually had to spend.

So, my question is, have any of you made a long road trip in chronic pain?

The longest trip I have made since I've had my current level of pain was a 4 hour drive, and I ended up hurting so much that we haad to stop constantly so I could stretch. (That turned it into about a 6 hour drive.) That drive was also in a spacious rental car that I could recline in, not a tiny cab of a rental truck, with a cat.

Aside from taking a handful of medications, does anyone have any tips or personal experiences with long road trips they can share?

I am planning on bringing an electric heating pad for the car. (I have a power converter that I can plug it into.) and pillows, of course.

We are also probably stopping for 2 or 3 nights on the way, depending on the weather and how well I'm holding up.

Thanks in advance for your advice!



  • I dont have a lot 4 you but If you 2 can I would plan on a 24 hr shutdown at halfway point. It will give you a place to evaluate again, give you some total rest and make it less overwhelming a trip as you can consider it 2 smaller ones. Have you thought of flying and sending him alone? That isnt much but good luck and im sure youll b fine.
  • that will be rough. I would personally not do it because an 8 hour trip in the past almost put me in the ER. I have tons of anxiety when we must travel, but my problem is permanent S1 nerve damage, so any sitting, standing, etc. triggers a major nerve flare, not just back pain or muscular pain.

    We stop almost every hour, "walk me", I never drive so I can fidget and change positions either in the passenger seat or in the back van seat. We purchased a van where we have heated seats that I keep turned on to keep my muscles relaxed, and I spend over half the trip literally laying down in the back seat. Not necessarily sleeping, but laying down, off my S1 nerve.

    Also, bouncy, rough suspension vehicles do me in with the extra pain they cause, so no trucks, certainly no UHaul type vehicles. I really will be thinking of you, because this trip may set your back days or weeks!! Just depends on how bad your pain is, where it is, is it nerve pain, etc. Do you have any other options?

    Take care,

  • I have not taken a long trip, but I would start now "shopping" for a moving truck. The different rental company's all have different kinds of trucks, go and sit in them like you are shopping for a new car. The rental agents should not care, make sure you call and ask which company's rent one way to Buffalo. My sister-in-law works for a rental company and some only rent round-trip and some rent one way also.
    I don't know if this will help but at least you are giving it a try to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
    I will be thinking of you as you travel, I have made the round trip from Maryland to Port St. Lucie on 95 a few times and it is brutal without pain, it has been several years, before I had spine issues. Plan on stopping at least twice and watch the weather.
  • You have the heating pad set up, that is a big one. You may think about getting a few of the thermacare wrap type heating belts. For me there is nothing worse than getting out of a warm car into freezing weather. These allow you to keep your back warm without the shock of the cold if you have to get out and walk around for any amount of time.

    Good luck with the trip and hope you get back on your feet soon after the move.

    take care,

  • and boy oh boy was I feeling it that night and the next few days. Now when I make the trip from Nevada to WAshington State with my hubby, I do ok. I am able to recline and relax and at times drive which helps a little. But this last time I just took the kids and I, so I had to drive the whole trip. Most people say that the 12 hour drive shouldn't even be done by someone in good health. BUT we have always done it as a straight trip. When I did the trip myself it was very rough! I just wanted to get where I was going and not stop anywhere so I could get the long A** trip done with. I paid it that is for sure.
    I would get ahold of your doc and let him/her know the length of trip you are taking. Maybe they can RX you something stronger or longer acting for the trip. Definately get out as much as possible and walk around, sdtretch and get moving for at least 15 minutes. You can never stop too often! IT will extend the trip by stopping so much but you will be thankful in the end.
  • just a thought...

    have you talked to the vet about meds for the cat for the trip?

    most kitties don't do well on long rides, and that could really help.

    i once drove from mn to az w/cat.....dont know what i would have done without kitty valium!

  • i hope all goes well for you on your trip, and you dont suffer too much in pain during the course of it. i would try taking along some extra pillows as others have suggested. take care ...
  • Thanks for your suggestions everyone!

    Hopefully I can do this trip with as little pain as possible. I have plenty of pillows ready, the heating pads and pills. We'll see what happens, I guess.

    I wish we had another choice of shipping our stuff, but being so short on cash, we're stuck renting the truck.

    Eve, great suggestion on the Hampton Inn to take a break in. They probably would think having a cat with us was a little suspicious though. :/ But, I'm going to keep that in mind for the future!

    I think I might have found family to put us up for a night or two along the way, so that will help out a lot.

    Again, thanks for all the suggestions and the wishes.
    You guys are great!


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