In television land you can sit on your suitcase and get someone else to zip the thing up without any issue. In my world, if I were to sit on my suitcase to have someone help me zip it up, I’d just break the suitcase and everything would become some type of projectile. I keep this in mind when I pack because I don’t always have someone around who can assist with the whole sit-and-zip deal. Of course I also keep this in mind because going through security in airports with a bag that’s just about to burst open at the seams is a sure sign that you will be pulled over for someone to examine your bag more closely.
Yes my friends I have been that crazed woman, the one who is forced to open her bag at security and have everything come flying out in all directions just so some strange person can go through my stuff. The best is how they give you a short period of time to get your stuff back in your bag. Seriously by this point you just don’t care anymore how it gets in as long as it gets in and zipped so you can rush off to wherever you need to be before missing a plane.
If you are a perfect packer you have no idea what any of this is like. You probably glance at us with pity and perhaps amazement at what we all pack. Or you judge us for needing so much stuff and not following the packing rules of life. I get it. I’ve been there perfect packers, oh I have been there.
Life with a chronic illness like lupus is a bit like that over packed, need-to-sit-on-it-to-zip-it suitcase. You have to over pack because you never know exactly what you will need and of course the one time you don’t pack it will be the one time it’s desperately needed. So you stuff your suitcase full of what you need, you sit on it and find someone who’s got decent hand strength and coordination and you have them zip the case. You pray there will be a cart nearby because carrying around that luggage is just too much. And you hope that you won’t have to open it all up and have everything come tumbling out in public. Because it’s bad enough to know you are struggling and don’t’ have it all together, but to have an audience? No thanks.
Life with a chronic illness means debating if the trip is worth that kind of battle. It also means trying to find a suitcase that will work and will hide the worst of damage. And it means hoping you can find compassion and understanding when you need it most, like what comes with the stress of travelling.
I’d tell you more, but the 1400 flight out to Lupus Flare Reduction is now boarding and I have a feeling someone is going to want to go through my case before I get on the plane, so take care and take cover!