Not for all the tea in China--or so I thought

I recently planned and participated in an 8 day trip to Beijing for work. A small group of faculty and staff took a smaller group of current undergraduates to meet up with Chinese students who are about to leave China and become freshmen at the university where I work. Our mission was to prepare these new students (and their parents) for the cultural transition to an American institution of higher education where choices are seemingly endless and self-actualization is highly prized.

I had traveled to China in 2006 (many years before my PsA dx). So I knew that traveling to China is tough. I anticipated that traveling to China with PsA would be tougher yet. This time around I took a fistful of supplements with every meal to help to keep my immune system supported. Thanks to probiotics and digestive enzymes my stomach suffered none of the usual ill-effects of traveling. And massive doses of Vitamin C and Coldban kept sniffles and sore throats in check. I rested as much as I could but most days were very full and went from 6:30am to 9:30pm.

On the days we held our programs with Chinese students I was in full work mode for 10 hours. On the "off" days our activities took us all over the city and we averaged 7-8 miles of walking a day (even when we spent over an hour each way on the subway). SO I definitely got my exercise!

The pollution is Beijing has been pretty severe lately but while we were there we had very hot (96-98°F) but pollution-free and clear blue-sky days. We got very lucky. I was ready to wear a mask when I was outside. I'm grateful I didn't have to.

The trip east to come home really messed me up and I have spent the last week getting over exhaustion and jet lag. I'm now back on a regular sleep schedule (thank you Ambien) and I'm no longer looking or feeling like an insomniac who suffers from narcolepsy.

I was VERY concerned for my health on such an intensive work-filled trip and now I'm through the other side with very few ill-effects (and seemingly no worse off than many of my colleagues) I am relieved to have learned that PsA didn't ruin trip. And I hope to participate in this effort again in years to come. The trip we piloted this summer in Beijing will likely happen every year. And we will inevitably expand our efforts within China and also to other countries where we have a large population of incoming students (Korea and India, for example). I look forward to planning and participating in those trips in the future.

Traveling is still possible with PsA.

That's excellent! It sounds like a really intense trip, but worked well. And you're looking great in the pic.

Super to hear, Jane! What an exciting adventure. I have travelled successfully with my constant companion (that would be uncle Arthur – aunt Rose died years ago). :wink:
You haven’t done too badly if you have recovered from the jet lag already!

Don't you look terrific there! Hydrating and everything! You go girl!

I needed this right now.

I needed to read this today. Thanks for letting me know that travel has is not lost.