My Story Of Travelling With MS

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travelling with ms

One and a half weeks before I was about to fly to SEA for the second time in my life I should’ve been busy with preparing myself for that journey, right? Instead of being busy with preparing, I ended up being in the hospital where I got diagnosed with MS. I had to stay there for 5 days because I got cortisone infusions, 1000mg, one every day for my current relapse back then. One of the doctors in the hospital told me: “Oh, it’s actually not good to travel to SEA because it’s hot & humid there, the symptoms get worse. Vaccinations & Malaria prophylaxis are also not good for MS patients because they influence the immune system and …” while I was standing in the hallway because a nurse changed my bandage which covered my venous access. Best time to tell me all of that, right? But did that stop me from flying? Did it stop me from dreaming big?

#no

One week after I left the hospital I got on the plane to Thailand. I stayed in SEA for two months to visit the friends I met during my last stay there the year before. I felt free. I felt great. It felt great. It felt actually so great that I decided to move to Thailand. The following picture shows me at the airport in Berlin, one hour before I got on the plane which took me to my new life. The blue little box is my medication box in which I’m storing my syringes during the flight. Syringes? Why? 

traveling with ms

I am injecting myself three times a week with a medication called Copaxone. The syringes need to be cooled so before I travel somewhere I have to calculate how many I need, how many cooling packs I should put in the cooling box & if I can put the syringes in a fridge in the accommodation I’ve booked.

So, is it hard to #travelwithMS?

Well, it is definitely still possible to have fun & live your life to the fullest despite having MS as you can see in the picture down below. It shows me right before I met my friends to celebrate Songkran (Thai New Year) in April 2016. For three days we’re splashing around water, got totally soaked & had the best time.

traveling with ms

Of course it’s not always easy to be diagnosed with MS. I’m usually traveling alone so there’s no one who could help me in an emergency. I mean, of course there will always be people I can ask for help, but they’re strangers & I need to explain my condition to them which is sometimes exhausting. Exhausting, because in that very moment I already feel exhausted so explaining everything makes me even more tired. So far, everything went quite well for me but with every travel it gets more and more difficult. Maybe also because I still haven’t really accepted my boundaries.

#vietnam

Best example for that is my travel to Vietnam.

traveling with ms

The picture above shows me in Halong Bay (where I went to on a group tour with people I didn’t know before) after I climbed up 1.000.000 stairs. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit here. But during the cruise in Halong Bay we climbed a lot of stairs on the first day so the next day I couldn’t participate in most of the activities because I couldn’t walk properly.

#strongerthanms

It’s still a long way to go until I accept my boundaries completely. A very long way & as you can imagine, it’s even harder to walk that way with legs like mine! But in the end, I am more than willing to walk this way. This way & all the other ways to all of those beautiful destinations this world has to offer & which I desperately want to see in my life. I’m thankful for the live I am allowed to live in the moment & I know I’m on the bright side of life. If plan A, B or C doesn’t work out, there are still lots of letters left until I reach Z. Something will work out in the end. If it’s necessary, I’ll walk this way in a wheelchair. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Always.

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Me, I am just a small town girl from Lower Saxony, Germany. During my studies in Berlin, I travelled to Thailand and this experience changed my life. Back home, I knew I need to go back there. So I travelled again to Thailand in April 2015, shortly after my MS diagnosis. I travelled throughout Thailand, visited Burma for one day and then found my inner peace on Bali. But I haven’t had enough yet. After a few months of thinking about to finally move to SEA I just decided to do it. So I’ve packed my bags, organized everything and 4 weeks later I found myself sitting in the plane. Now, I’m living here already for one year & it was the best decision I could’ve have made.
  • arash

    Thank You for posting this, it is truly inspirational and encouraging. I have never travelled alone and was thinking of doing so recently but one of the things that was holding me back is that in the past year I have had two random seizures. But if you can make it through MS, you give me the courage to do the same.