Sleep & Heat: When You’re Travelling with Chronic Pain

As promised, I’m going to delve into some issues that can occur when taking an adventure type trip like I did to Costa Rica earlier this month! There’s so much more to manage when you have an illness. As it happens, my friend that I travelled with also has some health issues, so we both went with small pharmacies in our bags. The thing is, two of the issues we encountered couldn’t really be helped by medications.

I77EfXCPScC%m+ozs6VgbAMy favourite hang out spot. At Casa Linda in Manuel Antonio.

Sleep. My both friend and I often struggle with sleep. Let me tell you, when those jungle birds and monkeys wake up at 5:00am, it’s even harder to sleep through. Most days our plan was to get up at 6 or 7, depending on what we had scheduled for the day. Forget that. It was 5 or 5:30 everyday. And sometimes that was after just laying in bed awake for half an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I love the birds, I love the monkeys…. I just don’t want to wake up so early, especially on vacation. We talked to some locals who said they are also woken up by the sounds every morning. Apparently one does not get used to it. Aside from early morning wakeup calls, the occasional night sounds (think thunderstorms and animals), the heat and humidity, and sleeping on different beds (though none were horrible) can totally mess up your sleep. And when you go hard adventuring all day, you are exhausted at night. This was not a restful vacation.

The birds are beautiful but won’t shut up!

Heat. The heat is one thing. The weather network told me it was between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius every day, which is HOT. But then add the humidity in and it’s 40. This is their fall. I don’t know how people manage to go during their summer (our winter) because I was already melting daily. In fact, you pray for the rain every day just to break the humidity. The great part of being in the rainforest is that the rain is guaranteed to come. By day 5 of the trip, I broke out in an intense heat rash on my hands, arms (up to my elbow) and feet. My extra-sensitivity to the sun probably didn’t help. And certainly not ever being able to escape the heat (everywhere we stayed only had fans, no AC) made it worse. However, if that’s the worst that happens, I’m not going to complain. Heat in general gives me less aches and pains, so I was pretty happy.

qUDZgVoiQ3SlGTJfT+gXVgYou know it’s hot when you’re wearing short shorts and a tank top and still sweating!

Next week I’ll go over food and pain experiences in Costa Rica!