The Grateful Patient on tour

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In a few short weeks the husband and I will be hitting the road for 6 concerts in 3 different states in 9 days and cover almost 2,000 miles.  It will be a marathon for sure but I can hardly wait.  Thanks to nugs.net I’ve already been listening to last summer’s shows and am so pumped to do it again!  Living with serious health conditions and chronic illness always makes these trips somewhat more complicated but I know with some planning and a bit of discipline I should be able to survive our tour dates alright.  I’ve never been one to shy away from an adventure because of my health issues.  We typically hit as many concert dates as we can possibly squeeze in each summer and lessons learned along the way continue to make the next tour more successful than the previous one.

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The boys view of us in Irvine, CA 7/26/16

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Alpine Valley, WI 7/10/16

Lesson #1  Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise…unless your a rockstar then throw that completely out the window.  A difficult part of going on tour for me is staying up late, sometimes very late.  Just about the time my body is telling me it’s time to go to sleep, concerts are generally getting underway and when the house lights come up at the end of the show and we make our way back to our hotel it’s usually nearer to the time I wake up.  Getting plenty of rest is essential for my health and overall well being whether I’m on the road or at home.  This forced upending of my regular sleep schedule is tricky but I always travel with some essentials that help my body to recognize it’s time to go to, and stay, asleep making the transition easier.

  • Sleep mask – it makes even light filled room dark, signaling to my body and mind it’s time to rest even if the timing of the rest seems odd
  • Earplugs – blocking out the noises of unfamiliar surroundings helps quiet my mind
  • Pillow – yes like Linus and his security blanket, I travel with my own pillow.  To me  few things on tour can be more irritating than being unable to sleep because of an uncomfortable and unfamiliar pillow – not to mention the annoyance of waking up with a neck or head ache, I avoid those pitfalls by bringing my own.
  • Calm app – I love turning on this app as I’m getting ready for bed, you can select music, stories or nature sounds that can help quiet a busy mind still buzzing from the evening’s proceedings.

The comfort of having all of these familiar things along on our trip really help me to rest and recharge at the end of the day or grab a refreshing nap before heading out to the next show.

Lesson #2  Hang out with rockstars, don’t try and party like one.  Being on the diminutive size of things means I’m a lightweight…a really serious one. Tailgating and socializing with friends and fellow concert-goers is a big part of the fun of being on tour but trying to keep up with everyone else’s partying can get little ol’ me in trouble.  A beer…and I do mean ONE beer (yes I’m a very cheap date, but I do like expensive beer!) is all I can handle, after that I stick to my trusty Pellegrino or TAZO bottled green tea.  I know, I’m seriously crazy, but going on tour is a marathon, not a sprint and I can’t have a hangover stopping me in my tracks.  As a bonus to anyone coming along, I am happily and always the designated driver.

 

Lesson #3  Bring your own drugs.  No, I don’t mean THOSE kind of drugs!  Anyone who has been to a concert knows the distinctive haze of who knows what people are smoking floating in the air.  As an asthmatic, concerts and especially indoor concerts, can be a challenging scene.  It sounds super dorky but I always pack 2 inhalers in my purse for the show.  I’d much rather be a dork than not be able to breathe or get bronchitis!  Also before we leave on tour I ask my doctor to prescribe a Z-pack or similar antibiotics to take along just in case I feel a sinus infection or bronchitis coming on while away from home.  It’s much easier to head infections off at the pass rather than scrambling to find a doctor in an unfamiliar city or state and go through the routine of explaining my compromised immune system etc etc etc.

 

Lesson #4  Have fun, dance like nobody is watching and enjoy the adventure.  So, after reading through all of these things I’m sure I’m sounding kinda stuffy for a Deadhead going on summer tour.  Maybe I’m not as bananas as some of the other member of my tribe, but there are few things in life I enjoy more than being at a concert, listening to music being played live by amazingly talented musicians, singing and dancing and soaking up the joy in the atmosphere.  Traveling along the road and experiencing all of this with my best friend beside me…and sometimes the corgis too…is what I live for, and makes all of the packing, planning and discipline worthwhile.

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Beautiful Alpine Valley, Wisconsin 7/9/16 & 7/10/16 (yes, that’s really a ski hill behind the concert venue, it is quite a sight to behold when you walk in)

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Irvine, CA 7/26/16

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NBA legend Bill Walton, we see him all the time at shows, this pic from San Diego, CA 7/27/16 Read Bill’s wife Lori’s great blog about Why they are Deadheads here

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San Diego, CA 7/17/16

I don’t let my health limitations hold me back but rather use them as a challenge to get creative with handling them and get on to where I really want to be, on tour!  After these 6 shows, we’ve got 2 more to go later in the summer but those require a flight and well loyal readers, that’s a whole different story…stay tuned!

 

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