Holidaying after brain: Hi all, as summer is... - Headway

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Holidaying after brain


Hi all, as summer is approaching we're looking to update our holidaying feature for the website. Do you have any advice for managing the effects of your brain injury whilst still having a great time on holiday?

13 Replies

Hi, the main thing i would say is to remember to factor in rest time to help combat the fatigue.


we book only us accommodation that isnt too far away from attractions, but beware if you do that in seville......the walls are very thin and even my ear plugs couldnt keep out the noise.

Talk to a travel agent , even if you are not going to book through them. The question of general noise and crowds as well as any other special requirements or needs condition of kerdbs etc cannot usually be found on normalreview sites.

These generally concentrate on state of pool and food in the hotel and seldom mention the general area.

Also mentioned by others plan your time and include rest time. Apart from that remember to enjoy it.



Holidaying used to a tad worrying, and probably still could be in some ways.

In the past I have had problems with some holidays.

I have a VP shunt installed and it has blocked up whilst away on holiday.

One year I went to the Lake district and on the day we left I was sick before we even got it in the car.

I assumed this was just nerves or something.

Each morning of my stay I was being sick but by the evenings I would feel fine.

We must have stayed a few days before cutting the journey short and heading to hospital.

On another holiday we went to Wales and to begin with I felt fine.

I went up Mt. Snowdon and the next day we went to Llandudno and that is when I began to feel the effects of my shunt blocking.

My focus was weird, I felt nauseous. I had a pounding headache.

I did see a doc in Wales but he did not know a lot about the shunt and was getting information from the computer right in front of me.

He did say that another person in Wales had a shunt but they have had no problems with it.

From what I have read on the internet, altitude could be a problem to the shunt. The higher you are in the world, the thinner the air and the more pressure the shunt experiences.

I was told by a neurosurgeon to avoid any deep water diving and contact sports.

My GP once said that when you are under the weather, the blood thickens and becomes sluggish and could pose a problem for the shunt... He then recommended that I get the flu jab.

A few years after all that and from doing my own research on plant-based foods, I found out more about the pharmaceutical industry and how they are dangerous.

I no longer take the flu jab as it would likely do me more damage than good in the long run.

After eating more plant-based foods and getting rid of sugar-laced processed foods I am feeling so much better in myself now.

I had never been abroad before until 2017 where I got my first ever passport (Which took some schtick in getting).

I and my parents went to Norway in September 2017.

We loved it there so much that we went again in May 2018.

My parents were a little worried in case anything happened with my shunt.

I however was not worried that something would happen with the shunt.

I feel so much better after having a more plant-based diet that I wasn't worried so much about the shunt.

I used to get frequent headaches but don't get them so much now.

I have had little holidays away with my parents, just weekend trips but haven't had any problems.

I've actually just come back from a holiday as well, we spent 5 days in Kent and a day trip to Brugge.

It was a coach holiday so we got over to Brugge via Le Shuttle.

It was a weird sensation to be under water and I was thinking of my shunt as well but I was fine.

Dont try to do everything you used to do. That applies to everything in life of course, but somehow it seems wrong to not "make the most" of this precious, long awaited time. Be brutally honest with yourself ( and your companions) For example, it is unlikely that you will sleep as well as you do at home ,so those rest times will be vital during the day. Maybe you can nap while others go shopping, or to the pool. And try not to feel abandoned when they do that. It is the lesser of two evils and part of life now.

god i wish i could go on holiday havnt been able since bi but i could leave were i live

the thought of going on holiday i couldn't cope just my type of bi but i could emigrate

so say someone said ed hers a flight all paid you would be with someone all the time to get mri brain and spine second opinion i would and get to hear results off professional

id go .but if someone said a week to spain all paid anything you want i would say no ?

and would leave here relocate say russia sweden id need a few days and id go obviously set up for me . and to go to airport now i couldn't ? but god one thing about holidays

do what you do everyday here when on holiday and you can still enjoy yourself

and i bet its takes ages adjusting to going for some and a lot will over do it on hols

but we have the best are brain s tell us in are fatigue its saying take it easy now we no our limits as we all no .and all our family here and angels on helpline nottingham i hope everyone going on holiday this year a good holiday its cheerd me up a bit writing this thx eddie

Not been on hols since shunt was fitted in 2010 ..Scared to be honest xx. I must get over this fear I have as we used to fly non stop before SAH. After you and good luck xxxx

For myself it’s about reasonable expectations, and leave space for Duvet days particularly if flying etc, as the experience is shattering.

This said had some lovely holidays but equally some that have been overwhelming.

My experience totally Roger, even now approaching four years post tbi, I can have a succession of 4/5 days, as last week Half Term in most schools and had my granddaughter to stay which was quite an active time, great fun, but this weekend I knew would have to be catch up time, ie yesterday allowed myself to sleep until 11 am, pm nap and bed by 10 pm. Slept through until 10.30 this morning, and know from previous experience that I will most likely go to bed happily before 10 pm. Guess this type of pattern is here to stay now, and am fortunate to have found ways to work around. Prior to my accident this would have been an unheard of sleep pattern for me.

My TBI took place while I was on holiday in Poland, brain haemorrhage and multi skull fractures. My son flew out immediately and dealt with holiday insurance issues and my returning to the uk. My Travel Insurance Company wanted to put me on a regular flight, but my son knew that I needed to be in a plane that flew under a certain altitude. He did eventually succeed and I returned to the uk by light aircraft, but he did have quite a battle getting to speak to the correct medically qualified within the company. Nearly four years ago now.


I wouldn’t mind gettin away for a holiday but my fatigue and anxieties keep me close to home. One day soon I WILL push myself to get away 😁


I was on holiday in may to gran canaria. It was the best holiday i have ever had but also the hardest.

If i was to advise anyone then i would say, keep your time as structured as you can. Make sure you have rest times factored into your day and dont try to go with the flow or keep up to speed with everyone you are with. If you do this you will be exhausted beyond exhausted. Know your limits and what you can tolerate at home socially and keep the same limits applied abroad to help manage fatigue levels. Then you can maximise your enjoyment 😊

Iv been a few times n sleep on afternoons if needed

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