Traveling With An Illness

Lauren Schafer, Staff Writer

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Recently I had to travel to Columbia, Illinois for a doctors’ appointment. I have persistent concussion syndrome (PCS) and let me tell you, being in the car with PCS symptoms is like my worst fear. With the help of some friends, I have learned several helpful tips to get me through traveling with PCS.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

There will always be a time where you wished you had more time. Traveling should not be one. Say your appointment is at 10 am and it takes you approximately three hours to get there. Leaving your house around six am gives you enough time to get there. Somewhere on the way you will need to get gas, use the restroom, get food. You will probably get lost, if you don’t know exactly where you are going, so it is a good idea to leave yourself plenty of time.

Travel with Company

Trips are boring if you don’t have someone with you. Bring a friend. Turn your appointment trip into a trip you can remember forever. If you are up for it, go shopping or stop for some ice cream after your appointment.

Pack Snacks and Drinks

Packing food and drinks will allow you to keep driving when you are hungry or thirsty. Keep a cooler in the backseat or trunk of your car. Freeze some water the night before to be able to fill a cooler with ice in the morning. Pack water bottles and some flavored drinks such as Propel or Gatorade. For me, soda is a no no so I have to pack something flavorful. Also pack snacks that won’t melt such as crackers or chips. Granola bars, depending on the brand, can melt very easily in heat.

Dress Comfy

No sick person wants to dress up if they don’t have to. Wear something comfortable on you trip. That way you can feel more cozy for a trip you don’t want to take.


If you are like me, I could never live without music. If possible, before leaving, download some of your favorite songs onto your phone to listen to on the way there. Packing CDs may noy be a bad idea either. Music is also a great way to keep yourself calm if you are worried about traveling.