The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Traveling with Stress

We've been traveling, and experiencing multiple challenges. Every year we plan to leave Arizona and spend a good share of the summer in Washington State. Usually we leave in late May or early June. We make a leisurely trip north, taking a couple of weeks, with stops along the way to visit family and friends. This year was different. We weren't able to leave until mid-July and we didn't have time for visits on the trip north.

Just getting ready to leave overly warm Arizona was a challenge. Jim needed several unplanned-for doctors appointments first. We finally left with stitches in his arm where the doc had removed a skin cancer. Nurse Helen removed the stitches and that is now fine. The thermometer hit 120 degrees before we were finally able to pack up and go. We managed a marathon five-day trip in the motor home, driving 7-10 hours a day to arrive in Kettle Falls WA, up near the Canadian border for a family reunion I'd been helping to plan. Then we went from there to the family farm where my daughter lives for some more family time. Both were enjoyable but we ate something...or did something...and we've been laid low with digestive problems ever since. (I definitely do not recommend living in a motor home with two people with diarrhea!)

Jim's illness was more serious than mine. It was also more worrisome because anything stressful can trigger his Crohn's disease which has been thankfully dormant for over a year. Thus, I have had the honor of being caregiver when I wasn't feeling my best. I am blessed that even when he hurts, Jim is a gentle patient. Even so, we are both stressed and that of course, makes everything worse--and the likelihood of the Crohn's greater although so far, it is still quiet. The whole thing is a vicious circle that is hard from which to escape The difference for us is that we know that we will both recover and be able to move on with our lives. Our hearts go out to all of you who are dealing with less temporary situations.

We are now on our own in a favorite RV park. I am feeling better and we hope that soon Jim will too. From the time we left until now, we've not opened our laptops and so this is the first chance I've had to post. I think that is the longest I've gone without checking at least my email for over a decade! Sorry this is so late. I planned to post ever two weeks but it's been much longer. That's the way it is when life throws you curve balls.

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.