Traveling When You Have Chronic Pain

I lost my pants again. It’s us again. – You probably don’t have to wonder how we ended up here. I’m Lara. – And I’m Kelsey. – And we’ve made so many damn videos about our chronic pain, we can’t even believe we’re still talking about this shit. – I’ve got trigeminal neuralgia. Which is a neuropathic chronic pain disorder that was the result of a doctor’s mistake, who damaged my nerve during surgery. I’ve a fun-to-say anesthesia dolorosa in the bottom half of my face, chin, and neck, which in Latin means, “numb pain.” So, my face is numb and in a shit ton of pain just all the time. – And I’ve got a shit ton of vagina problems. For the last 10 years, I’ve basically, had endometriosis, which then developed vaginismus, which then gave me vulvodynia, which then was adenomyosis, which then, was pelvic pain disfunction all over, interstitial cystitis, I don’t even know.

– Damn, girl (chuckles). Basically, my face hurts. And Lara’s fucking vagina hurts all the time. – And these are not things you can fix overnight. – We’ve tried everything from acupuncture in København. This is our acupuncturist, OP, OP, say, “Hi.” – Massages, surgeries, pills, sound therapy, crystal healing, we’ve really tried it all. – So, you could see why we’d be skeptical when someone popped into our inbox, talking about a noninvasive, no pain, possible cure for our pain. – Lasers. – This serendipitous email led us down a YouTube rabbit hole that led us to find Carmen Care Laser Center in– – Boca, baby! (seagulls squawk) (gentle music) – But it’s 2,000 miles away. – So, we’ve got to figure out how to get from Los Angeles to Boco in the most pain-free way possible. – Over the next three weeks, you’re going to watch our 12 day, hopefully life-changing journey. – There will be tears, there will be laughter. – There will be pain. I wanna rip my stomach out of my body.

But hopefully, it’ll be worth it. (upbeat music) Going into this, when we first started planning this trip, and first realized that we are gonna go to Copenhagen, and do this crazy thing, and like get this laser therapy, I never really once let myself think, “What if it works?” Because I’ve been down that road so many fucking times before. And I don’t know, emotionally, if I can go down that road again. What percentage would you say that you buy it at this moment? – I’m gonna honestly say 50, 50. – I think you’re most optimistic about this than I am. – I am ’cause I don’t have like a choice.

I’m still in that optimism phase. – That’s fair, I’m like over it. – Over it. I mean, I am going away for two weeks, essentially just Lara and I, on what’s supposed to be a life-changing trip. – It’s so hard to comfortable on an airplane. I mean, for normal people. – Yeah. – Add in some chronic pain. (Kelsey groans) Will fuck you up. – The idea of being away from my comfort zone, which is my bed, and my room, and where my doctors are, and where my therapists are, away from my friends, I’m really nervous. – I don’t like being away from my apartment, and being away from my heating pads, and being away from my bathroom, and being away from all the things that I know make me comfortable when I’m in that amount of pain. – I have been working on it with my therapist for the last year or so about traveling with the pain because I have become a bit of an agoraphob since I started having more bad pain days.

My biggest fear ever is having a TN attack while I’m not home. I have skipped out on trips to amazing locations because I have been afraid of the travel time of the flight. Feeling like I have no control of the time I could or could not be in pain, gives me way too much anxiety to follow through with any travel plans. – And in 2012, when I was accepted into grad school in London, AKA my fucking dream, I ended up having to turn it down because of the amount of pain I was in day to day.

I think about it all the time, what my life might have been like if I had moved to London and attended grad school there. I always thought that I would be living in London, or like moving to Australia. And as I’ve gotten older, like, I’ve become kind of like a hermit. Like, it’s terrifying to think if I had an attack where I’m passing out or throwing up from the pain on an airplane. Please, no. (upbeat music) – Without further ado, here’s Kelsey and Lara’s packing tips for traveling with chronic pain. (bell rings) Anyone with chronic pain can tell you that packing double is just kind of part of the traveling process. (bell rings) (upbeat music) – In order to make myself comfortable while traveling, I literally always go and buy those heating pads that you can like wrap around your stomach.

I also always try to take pills with me in my carry on. – A vibrator that’s definitely a sex toy, but I use it to help my jaw pain. This vibrator gets in spots that like no massager can get in. And next, that cradles my neck whenever. Physical therapy bands, massagers, pills. – To know that, if I was trying to take pain killers on the plane, no one would say shit to me. And to know that if people knew what this was, and saw it in my bag, I could possibly go to jail, that stresses me out beyond belief. But you know what stresses me out more? Putting myself in pain for 12 days when I know that there’s a simple solution that could help me. – Portable cover, pens, yeah, CBD oils. Bringing a bunch of books that I have yet to read about pain.

– I feel like I have to bring this shirt. Seems appropriate for the trip. – Vitamins, my comfortable socks for bad pain days. Heating and cooling pads for pain. Now I have to fit all of this in a bag (groans). – This is Pepper. Sometimes when you have chronic pain, you kind of just wanna stay in bed, and you don’t know wanna leave. And so, it’s been really good for me to have her. Because otherwise, if I didn’t have her, I don’t know if I would get out of bed some days. – I’m supposed to be packing for this life-changing trip. And as if on cue, everything hurts. It’s like trying to function with just a blow torch on your body. Sometimes I just wonder what it would feel like to be– Just not feeling anything at 27. Like, packing a bag shouldn’t take this fucking much out of me. Okay. We must persist. – Sitting in the same position, or sitting on a hard surface causes me immense leg, back, hip pain for days after.

And I literally will pay lots of extra money to give myself as much leg room as possible. – Keeping myself a little bit more comfortable is an extra $179 dollars that Buzzfeed is not gonna pay for. A girl can dream. (upbeat music) – I think I’m going in 90% thinking it’s not gonna work and there’s like a little 10% of me thinking, “But what if it does?” – My eye is starting to twitch ’cause I’m so nervous (chuckles). Morning of the trip, how you feeling? – I’m fucking nervous, to be honest. – Let’s do it. (upbeat music) Now normally, we would be having some of that. But we’re trying to stay sober. – For the two weeks. – To give our bodies the best chance at being the best they can be. I think this is gonna be harder than traveling. – Our suggestions for travel outfits. – For people specifically with chronic pain. – Are as follows. – Flat shoes because when you’re already in pain, you wanna make sure your body works the least amount as possible. Plus, people that wear healed shoes at the airport are like some sort of mutant superhero people.

– Yep, and stretchy leggings because regular pants would constrict my abdomen or my vagina. And we aren’t having any of that. – A thick jacket to hide that endo bloat. And also, to keep my stomach warmer. – Yeah, and you can roll it up, and use it as a pillow for your face. – A sports bra to keep your boobs comfy, especially if you have hormonal issues that make them sensitive as hell. – Or no bra, that’s just a personal preference. – Before I get on the plane, I always put rub on my abdomen. There it is, baby. I try to meditate. And for as much as we did prepping for this shoot, for weeks before hand– – We still forgot some of the essentials. – You gotta get the good one for only $40 (laughs). Lara decided to buy Dramamine because she doesn’t know if she’s gonna be able to sleep on the flight. As they say with chronic pain, better buy everything at the airport store.

And be safe than sorry. $91 just to be comfortable. (gentle music) (engine roars) I got the wrong kind of Advil. (gentle music) Two hours left. (gentle music) (laughs) We’re here. (Pepper barks) How would you say, comparatively, to other flights you’ve had, was this travel day? – A six out of 10. So, I got up once to pee. And the lady next to me acted like the worst thing I’ve ever done to her. So, I just didn’t get up again after that. And I wish that I would have. – Yeah. – Looking back on it now. – It’s like we put ourselves in even more uncomfortable positions (laughs). – For no reason, like who gives a fuck? You’re on a plane. – Yeah. – If I have to get up, you can move. – That’s how planes fucking work. So, I guess we’re just gonna call it a night, and then get up early. – And do it. – Do it. (Pepper barks) – Yes, Pep, tell them. (gentle music) – It’s day one, a little worried about Lara. When we woke up, the first thing she said was nervous and should we even have come and done this (chuckles). – It started to hit me, like maybe this is stupid what I’m doing.

I don’t know if this is gonna work. I don’t know much about this lady. What if it like messes me up way more? I don’t know. – Pep, did you go on a walk? We gotta go see if we can be fixed ’cause we’re broken. Next time on Can We Cure? – The plan is, first we’re gonna sit together, and I’m gonna really understand, where is your pain coming from? So, you’re gonna get laser therapy for the pain. (laser buzzing) – Am I sexy? – Then we’re gonna do laser energy detoxification.

– Weird. – I know. So, it’s like so awesome, awesomely weird. And then we’re gonna also do psych sessions. – Fuck. – And then we can really figure out, okay, how many treatments and what are we gonna need? – This could be the dumbest fucking thing we’ve ever wasted money on (chuckles) for a video. Or it works, I don’t know. What the fuck are we doing? (Lara laughs) (lighthearted music) .