Sometimes I Feel Like Barbie or Fibromyalgia and Car Travel

Now, don’t get me wrong.

It’s just after 8am on Saturday, my alarm went off nearly three hours ago, and last I checked I am shaped nothing like the abnormally proportioned toy to which I refer. I am not wearing any makeup, my hair is wet and heading toward unruly, and everything I am wearing is a shade of black or gray (none of these things are uncommon, btw). Needless to say, I will not be winning any awards for style or beauty. I am just here to talk about car travel.

Today Daniel and I are taking a day trip with my folks. Although my parents have a very comfortable car, when we arrive at our destination I will inevitably be feeling like Barbie. Is it just me? Do you know what I mean?

You turn to open the car door, and you crack. You step out of the car, and you pop. You stretch to the sky, and your spine sounds like internal fireworks. Maybe, like me, you do a few squats or pull a foot to your butt, and your knees seem to snap through the motions, just like Barbie legs.

Luckily, I feel comfortable while I am seated. But, once I get a chance to stand, my joints decide they are ticked I compared them to something packaged in pink and settle on causing me pain as a fair way to get even. (Don’t they know revenge never makes anything better?)

Alright, maybe my issue isn’t actually with car travel, but rather doing anything that limits my movement for hours. And maybe my joints pop like crazy no matter what. And maybe I can’t wait to go to Pops.

So, what about you? Does car travel aggregate your symptoms? Does the promise of a fun destination make it worth it? Do tell.

10 Responses

  • susan murphy on April 16, 2011, 08:48:27

    I know exactly What your talking about. Any time I sit for 30 minutes or more it’s difficult to stand up and walk. I usually take a deep breath and stretch very slowly. When traveling I stretch my legs in the car and move around as much as possible. I like to put my feet up on the dashboard too. I’ve also put tennis balls under my thighs (sounds strange but it helps). I never thought about it being like a barbie doll, but your right!

    Reply to susan
  • Danielle on April 16, 2011, 12:32:50

    YES!! I know exactly how you feel! And this post couldn’t be more perfect timing! I’m going on a day trip tomorrow, and then a 4 day car trip next weekend! (Very nervous about that!) Have you found any tips or tricks that help with car rides? I have POTS too.. =/ Hope you’re doing well! And yes, I think it often helps thinking about the destination and keeping a positive attitude. =) <3

    Reply to Danielle
  • Tami Stackelhouse on April 22, 2011, 21:49:51

    My parents used to live about six hours away from me. I used to drive it all in one shot, just stopping once to get gas and pee. By the time I got to their house my body was completely shot. I’d have a killer headache, be totally stiff & be pretty worthless for a day or so.

    I’m a bit smarter since then. =) Now I let my husband drive & I squirm a lot in my seat shifting positions. I bring big fluffy socks to make sure my poor, cold Raynaud’s feet stay warmer. (Plus, they’re a lot nicer to our dashboard than my shoes are!) I adjust the seat often to get me in different positions when I need to. We bring a basket full of healthy snacks & water.

    I still don’t travel that well, but by pampering myself a bit I do arrive in *much* better shape than I used to!

    Now, flying… I have to factor in a day of down time to recover from that. There’s just no way around it. =( The up side is that if I can find a spa that helps with the recovery time. 😉

    Reply to Tami
  • HealingWell on April 27, 2011, 22:18:20

    Travel by car is so hard for me some days. Sometimes the trade off isn’t worth it. By the way, love your blog! I’m a new fan!

    Reply to HealingWell
  • Laurence (who has fibro) on July 16, 2011, 01:37:45

    Thanks for your blog. I just found it, july 15, 2011. I will read it. I’m a grad student. 2/3 of my degree, soo overly tired and I need to know what I’ll be doing after. I’m 32 and I feel like I’m 99.

    Thanks for yout blog.

    Reply to Laurence
  • Stacy on September 4, 2011, 10:47:42

    I feel the exact same way! I try to limit car travel to no more than an hour or two it’s just too painful. It’s easier for me to fly because I can get up & stretch my legs often. I am the same way if I sit anywhere for too long.

    Reply to Stacy
  • KB on September 25, 2011, 17:11:27

    I’m new to your blog, but love your attitude and dedication to explaining fibromyalgia and its symptoms.

    My son had a swim meet 1 1/2 hours away yesterday, so we got left at 8 a.m., got the meet at 9:30 a.m., say in bleachers from 9:30 a.m. to around 4:30 p.m. (with a few potty breaks in the middle), and got back home around 6 p.m.

    I am feeling it still today. You Barbie analogy is spot-on, except I have a few more lumps and ridges than any Barbie doll.

    Would love if you would follow my blog (, so my followers can learn more about this condition we share.

    Reply to KB
    • Kate on September 26, 2011, 11:17:55

      Thank you for your comment! How did you find me?

      Isn’t it interesting to make so many decisions based on the opportunity cost? I sometimes struggle deciding to skip and event in an effort to preserve or improve my health so I can attend events in the future. Feels a bit backwards.

      I love that one of your bucket list items is painting a ceiling in your home sky blue… my mother has done that in a few rooms of her home. It truly is lovely.

      Reply to Kate
  • KB on September 29, 2011, 04:53:38

    I did a search for “fibromyalgia” on Twitter and your profile popped up. I was glad to find it. I don’t know too many people who have it, so it was encouraging to find someone who can relate.

    Reply to KB
  • RevRuby on January 13, 2012, 01:59:07

    Never thought of it as barbie. I just feel old. I move about as well as my grandmother, and when getting out if the car I have to take deep breaths before hauling my butt upright.

    Thanks for keeping this blog. I haven’t many people who understand what is happening to me. Why in 2 years I went from working 16hr days to barely able to tolerate a 4hr shift. I’m glad I found you and a few others on twitter

    Reply to RevRuby