Tips for Going to Live Music With a Chronic Illness
Last updated: February 2023
Last week was my first time since becoming this ill that I had gone back to my happy place: live music. When I was in remission concerts used to be my life. I used to throw myself into the pit and dance and scream my butt off. Obviously since then, my body has changed quite a bit, so I had to come prepared.
Always prepare for the worst case scenario
Our body and health can be unpredictable, so when preparing for a concert or an all-day festival, it's best to assume the worst so that you can be prepared for anything. What does that mean for you? For me, it meant bringing a mobility aid for physical support, earplugs, halls, OTC meds, water, a jacket or hoodie and having someone I trust with me in case something goes wrong. In the coming paragraphs I will explain the importance of each.
My mobility aid helped me ride the waves
Because I brought my walker with me, I was able to sit down wherever, whenever. Whether it was watching the live music itself or waiting in the long lines for the bathroom, I had the opportunity to choose comfort no matter the case. Not only was I able to take breaks when necessary, especially when my feet started to get really sore, but it also gave me that physical support when I did choose to start jumping around and dancing a bit. I was able to ground myself.
As I always say: it's better to bring it and not need it, than to not bring it and be absolutely miserable and do your body harm.
I prepared a care package in my bag
Before I left I made sure to make a checklist of the things that I use the most when my body starts to take a turn. This could mean something different for everyone, but for me I have 4 staple items in my bag wherever I go (also a mask but that's obvious!). The first are my noise-reducing LOOP earplugs. I use these the most when my fatigue starts to flare up because the more stimulation there is around me, the worse it starts to get. So when going to see live music, I knew there would be a chance that it would all get too much. Thankfully I didn't have to use them that much, but I was prepared for it nonetheless.
The next thing I always bring is an obvious pair: medication and water. I always bring Tylenol, Gravol (called Dramamine in the States), and Benadryl everywhere I go in case I start to feel more sick or have an allergic reaction. You never know when your body will turn the tables on you. Water is crucial...staying hydrated is the most important part!
Lastly is a hoodie or a jacket. I personally bring these because I am temperature sensitive, so more often than not I end up getting really cold. Even if it's an indoor event, sometimes it can get chilly! But I recommend wearing something light underneath in case it starts to get toasty.
I brought someone I trusted for support and in case I needed help
This is the most important tip because you never know what can happen. If you're especially struggling with your health, having someone you trust nearby to help you out can make your live music experience that much better. Whether it's to push you to the bathroom because your body is too sore to move, or to simply go grab you some water so it saves you a trip and helps conserve your energy, having that one person you trust with you makes the world of a difference. They will be there to help you out and make things easier for you so you can enjoy yourself more!
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?