The Shlep

I am especially good at packing efficiently. What I don’t like becoming is the pack mule, especially since my back is fragile and doesn’t respond well to heavy bags. Especially in transit.

Lately I’ve been going back and forth from NYC (where I live) to Washington, DC – trying hard to put the word “care” into “health care”. There I meet with organizations, physician groups, industry experts, lawmakers, staffers and others discussing ways to improve access-to-care. As we continue to grow, our organization represents communities of people with arthritis (and other chronic conditions) and we remain committed to making those voices heard. More on that later.

 

To the important stuff: the trip from NY to DC is really easy. I can literally go door-to-door, from my apartment to my hotel, by traversing the New York subway, Amtrak rail, and DC Metro, usually in under four hours. Much easier than flying, and I get to keep my shoes and belt on while in transit. I know the right door of the subway to stand near (closest to the exit), which trains are the best (and at what time of day) and I make great use of the time with my broadband card. 

I am especially good at packing efficiently. What I don’t like becoming is the pack mule, especially since my back is fragile and doesn’t respond well to heavy bags. Especially in transit. So I can determine exactly what to pack for any length of stay, and a diverse set of meetings, downtime and working out. This week I did a good job packing light. Having heavy bags is a luxury people like us with arthritis do not get to enjoy. I packed so light for this trip, that I forgot underwear. All the while I’m thinking to myself “I am a rockstar, this back is so light” – well, I learned the hard way why.

End of the world? No. Embarrassing? Yes. TMI? Definitely.

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