Being diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder may make you feel as if you will never leave the house again! Elsewhere we have explained things you can try and treatments available to help you improve your condition. There will be a day when you realise that actually you do want to get out and about again on your own but you may lack confidence or feel uncomfortable on public transport if you are no longer able to drive.
The first thing to do is acknowledge your fears and then work out ways around them. Try getting on the bus and only going one or two stops, just to let yourself get used to it and maybe take someone with you the first couple of times. Once you feel comfortable doing that, go a bit further and so on. If you feel a bit panicky or worried, use some distraction or grounding techniques such as counting the number of red cars you see, or looking round the bus and making up stories about the people.
If you are travelling further afield, it will be a lot less stressful if you plan your journey with military precision. For example, if you were going on a train journey of about an hour you could start with choosing a time when its likely to be less busy. Check the accessibility of the stations you are leaving from and arriving at. Book your ticket in advance on the internet so you don’t have to queue in the ticket office. It’s often cheaper too. Use a light rucksack to take along some water and maybe a light snack and anything else you think you might need for the journey as it can be less painful than carrying a handbag or shopper type bag. Make sure your phone is fully charged.
If you don’t have anyone meeting you at the other end, plan how you will make your onward journey. Find out where the bus stop is or the taxi rank so you know exactly where to go. There are a lot of route finder and map apps available now. On the day, make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the station as it is usually better to spend an extra ten minutes people watching whilst waiting for your train than to feel stressed and rushed.
Travelling by plane can seem like a very big deal, especially if you are travelling with children. Make the most of the services that are available. Tick the box for assistance when you book the flight so that you get help to get to the boarding gate. If you are travelling with specialist equipment, it is a good idea to check with the airline what you can take. Speak to the air crew when you board so they are aware you may need extra help. Below are some great links especially the disabled travel advice one.
We have been advised that any insurance company that uses the Protectif screening tool will recognise Functional Neurological Disorder and Non Epileptic Attack Disorder as medical conditions.
- Assistance at UK and European Airports for Disabled People
- disabledaccessholidays.com – holidays for disabled people around the world
- disabledholidays.com – travel without limits
- Disabled Go
- Disabled Travel Advice
- Insure & Go Travel insurance
- The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain
- Transport if you’re disabled – Trains