Dealing With Illness and Colds on the Road 

When you’re sidelined by injury on and off the road.

I went into the ER around 9am this past Friday. By 2pm I was admitted to the hospital, 5pm I was talking to a surgeon, and by 7pm I was under the knife.

Luckily, I was at home in San Diego when all of this went down. But as it sidelined me from a planned trip up north, I started thinking, what would I have done had I been on the road?
I’ve been ill and injured many times on the road (I know ringing endorsement right?) but none so serious as to require hospitalization. Of those times, here are some important points and tips:

1. Do not push yourself too hard: take breaks, get some extra sleep, adjust your schedule a couple days and rest. If you can find a cheap motel or a comfortable stop, do it. Just be sure that you are warm, dry, near a bathroom, and can really sleep comfortably.

2. Do not drive on medication: If you have to take 3-4 DayQuil just to function, get out from behind the wheel! Hunker down for a day or two.

3. Know where your nearest medical center is whenever you stop.

4. Before setting out, make sure you have all of your insurance info and medical stuff at hand, in a safe spot.

5. Likewise before setting out make sure your first aid kit is ready and fully stocked {link to How to build a Roadtrip First Aid Kit}

6. Listen to your body. Never drive when you’re feeling dizzy, tired, or not fully aware, and never drive on heavy cold medicine.

7. If it’s just a small cold or slight injury, here are some things you can do.

-big warm socks

-drink lots of water & maybe tea (limit the coffee & pop

-stop to refresh often and remember to eat HEALTHY food.

-stay warm

-get some extra sleep if you can

-hand warmers & thermo wraps (like IcyHot & ThermaPads for injuries) can make sore muscles feel great.

-get warm showers whenever you can

-everything I looked at in researching said to gargle with salt water… Eh, worth a shot.

Some things that I do when I’m not feeling hot on the road: I break out the beanie & warm socks, brush my teeth 10x a day, drink a ton of nutrient rich teas & juices, eat fruit veggies and try to load up on protein & calcium to avoid aching. None of this is meant as actually medical advice, but I hope our tips can make getting back on the road faster and have you feeling your best.

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