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Long journey discomfort

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I had a little holiday last week with the hubby and kids. Something that wasn't possible last year as I was back in hospital so it felt very good and I am thankful to have been able to progress in a way that made it possible but the journey back was just awful and I wonder if anyone else has found that they have a 'tolerance' time for being in a car, especially if they have a shunt.

I was a good lass on holiday, when I felt tired I signalled to my husband that I needed some time out and we didn't cram our days full, it was a 'paced' break and I learnt a lot and it was a happy relaxed time.

Our journey down to the coast was uneventful, no delays and it took about 3.5 hrs. Coming back was a different story and we were in the car for just over 6.5 hours and it was very stop and start. We came off the motorways but then we were on windy b roads and I was in tears for the last half hour of the journey as the pain and discomfort in my head just got worse and worse.

My pain tolerance is generally high and I try my utmost not to worry too much. Worry still gets in but honestly yesterday I was not thinking the worse but just found the constant head bobbing of being in the car was all too much. Today I have the stiff neck and hangover feeling.

It literally felt like my head was banging against the sides of my head, thus my wondering whether fellow shunt club experience this or if I can just write it off as being one of my lovely SAH legacy effects.

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Daffodil, sorry to read that your lovely holiday ended on a teary note. I can say that my travel methods have changed and how we plan our travels take into account my sensitive head.

In November on a 6 hour flight to Hawaii I developed one of the worst migraines I've had. It took days to get rid. Not a nice way to begin the vacation.

We are going to my hometown for a wedding and big anniversary party next weekend. We used to drive there without a thought. It's 12 hours including a 1.5 ferry trip. Since SAH we haven't been to my mom's many times. I think this is the 2nd time coming up. We've decided to book a flight to nearest 'big' city and then rent a car for the 3.5 hour drive from there. The flight is only an hour long. Stopping at the city for a bit to rest.

I may be fine and perhaps the drive would be fine. But maybe not and its not worth the risk of bad head and days of fatigue. I'd rather plan for the worst and have a better chance of enjoying friends and family and making the most of my time there.

Seems like a lot more planning is put into everything I do!! But no matter how much you plan you can't always know what's going to happen. It sounds like perhaps you were stuck in traffic? Hard to plan for that and not really anyway out cuz you have to get home. I think that would send my head around the bend too.

Hugs to you, I hope you are resting now.

Sandi K. Xoxox

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When I drive somewhere, I just plan to take extra days. It turns out that most of the time, I don't need them, but I just plan for them so there is no pressure if I have to take them and my husband also plans for this so he's not feeling like I am putting an unexpected damper on things. Life is good in the slow lane too. You tend to stop and see things that you'd never see otherwise.

You can't really do this on flights, but I do get up and walk up and down just once and then do it again in about an hour. I also find that this helps me on a regular daily basis. I get up from my chair if I've been sitting for an hour and move until my legs/back/hips stop screaming.

Take it easy, holidays are meant to be fun not arduous.


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Hi Daff,

Sometimes in the UK the traffic is completely awful...You did really well..xx

It's going to be a first for me in September. We're driving (Eric driving, as he does long journeys with work within the UK and Europe) to the Loire Valley in France for a weeks holiday, via the Channel Tunnel in Folkstone.

We'll be heading towards the Channel tunnel the day before and having an overnight stop before we catch the train in the morning, as it's about a 3 hour journey from where we live and a 5 hour journey to the Loire Valley in France.

Watch this space ... l'm 8 years on and have quite a bit of difficulty visually (plus being a horrendous back seat driver, which doesn't help, as my foot is often on the brake!) just makes me feel completely whacked .... I sometimes sit in the back seat for a while, rather than the front .... as it does help. There's less visual stuff for the brain to have to interpret and basically, I can't see where he's going! Worth a try if any of you find it difficult with travelling distances... :wink:

I also have problems with ear pressure even with the most gentlest of hills in Dorset and have to keep popping my ears ... not nice...some days it's worse than others and I don't have a shunt.

I'll let you know how it goes. xx

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I had quite a few long journeys to Cornwall from here its 9hrs total split into 3 lots of 3hours last 2 visits were funerals so had no time to plan out no stop over just went for it, yes suffered but slept for about 3days when I got back and did nothing much for a week.

Our first holiday was nightmare for me wasn't all that long in the car, but went up over Soutra its a steady incline that still effects me even now..

Wow Karen France hey a few years back you wouldn't have done that - good for you ENJOY it hun you deserve a wonderful holiday.

On the whole daffodil don't let that put you off keep doing journeys they do get easier with time hun..

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Hi Daff,

Gosh I think 6.5 hrs stuck in a car is enough to do anyone's head in!

It's great that you had a lovely holiday and paced yourself so you could cope better. I'm sure you'll all have some very happy memories.

I'm not part of the shunt club ( I had hydrocephalus but it was treated with lumber puncture ) but I do struggle with being in a car now. I can cope for about an hour and then I start getting bad temple pressure pains and general aching on the left side of my head which is my surgery side.

The most I've managed in one hit is about 2.5hrs, I should have stopped for a break really but just wanted to push through and get home. I was in tears holding my head by the time we did get home. Learnt the hard way that we should have stopped for a break.

Yes, it's a struggle for me but like most things post SAH it just takes a little more planning.

Unexpected traffic problems is not something you can plan for really, although thinking ahead that these things could happen means you can be prepared.

Karen... I'm sure your'll have an amazing time in France, you deserve a lovely relaxing break.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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