Big plan change after big news.
April 1, 2019 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Just got some tough news and we need to make new honeymoon plans. Looking for recommendations on a low stress plan.

My fiancee just got an MRI result back and probably has MS. We're not 100% sure yet but seems likely based on the opinion of the on-call neurologist. We'll find out more soon. Her symptoms are currently mild and have not created any physical limitations as of yet. We're working through the tough stuff but want to keep thinking about fun plans. We're both 32 and located in the Midwest.

Our original honeymoon plan was going to be a multi-week wilderness canoe trip following our late July wedding but right now that seems like a bad idea. We want to have some alternative options that we can quickly move on and not have to spend a lot of time planning once we have a better understanding of the diagnosis. We're thinking something all inclusive somewhere warm. Bahamas? Virgin Islands? Something tropical and easy. Any good recommendations would be appreciated. Or maybe this is a bad idea? There's still a lot we don't know about her health. Overall goal is to have more to look forward to.
posted by sewellcm to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry to hear that...I might pick Hawaii over the Bahamas at that time of year, both because it could be slightly less hot and because of hurricane season in the Atlantic.
posted by pinochiette at 3:08 PM on April 1, 2019

I'd keep an eye on Vacation To Go's 90-day ticker for cruises -- there are lots of great deals, you can sort by date or port or part of the world, and a cruise seems ideal for your situation, in that you could be lying low on the ship the whole time or out and about enjoying every excursion, depending on how things are going.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:11 PM on April 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

MS affects everyone differently and I hope that this is as far as your fiance’s goes and the condition stays mild and manageable. However, in case it doesn’t, I would definitely not postpone this trip. If she’s not showing symptoms now, I doubt much will have changed between this and a few months time when you’re married so do the wilderness canoe trip!

This is the time when she should be doing as many physically challenging enjoyable things now because you don’t know what the future will bring. You can always do the cruise thing later if you have no other option.

My father in law has MS. He’s travelled around the world, swim, cycled, and really pushed himself. He’s now limited to cruises etc but for a good 25 years after his diagnosis, he made sure to make the most of his body’s capabilities while he could.

Congratulations on your wedding and try not to stress too much about the diagnosis until you know more and don’t put off your lives while you can still live it.
posted by Jubey at 3:35 PM on April 1, 2019 [60 favorites]

Having seen friends with MS - and yet not knowing your situation - I agree with Jubey. If you two feel the need to scale back a bit, think of a guided whitewater rafting week in Idaho (Snake or Salmon), followed by somewhere doing nothing maybe?
posted by sheldman at 3:56 PM on April 1, 2019 [5 favorites]

Firstly - sorry about your news; it sounds like it's a beginning and these things can (but aren't always necessarily so) plotted with twists and turns punctuating periods of waiting.

Secondly - I assume you're both American?

Thirdly - firming up the diagnosis while accommodating to a new normal will, as you've alluded to, make adventures off the beaten path (and far from reliable health care) probably more anxiety inducing than desirable. This will probably change over time but, yeah, not having to worry about it just now is probably a good move.

With those in mind - it's already been noted that hurricane season starts (officially) June 1 so potentially getting stranded in the tropical americas might not be great. Late summer is becoming fire season in Southern California and parts of Mexico. The hot parts of Australia that time of year (for most values of hot) might be in as might Hawaii. Those are pretty comfortable.

Another alternative, though, is looking at the EU. Lots of cities, lots of climates and geographies. Lots of places with decent healthcare, pretty good service in English many places and lots and lots of airports. Going somewhere like Venice gets you an airport, isn't far from the beach communities of the upper Adriatic, has decent ground transportation to other locales and doesn't tie you into committing to an all-inclusive like a Mexican Resort.

I would consider, though, looking at your travel insurance and healthcare policies though. I'd add, though this one is less pragmatic, considering what the two of you would like as an alternate theme. I haven't lived this exactly..... but, well, life is complicated y'know? My partner & I have had reason to scale back certain activities on an acute basis; and then on a more permanent one. You find your way, somethings get easier, some skills get better but they begin with building new plans. You might have to pick a little different path but don't let the now steal from the future.

Anyway; not everyone gets to plan the same honeymoon twice. And you get to do that together. Best of luck and bon voyage.
posted by mce at 5:54 PM on April 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Nthing the Hawaii idea. If you go somewhere like Kauai, it would be fairly easy to decide closer to the honeymoon if you want to have an active trip (hiking, SUPing, surfing, kayaking, diving) or a more relaxed trip (lying on the beach with good books) depending on how she’s feeling at the time. That way you’re not locked into either type of trip until maybe a week or so before (if you need to book dives or horseback riding or surf lessons) or even day by day while you’re there (just decide to/not to hike based on how she feels that morning).

Good luck, and congrats on the upcoming wedding!
posted by bananacabana at 6:49 PM on April 1, 2019

I was diagnosed with MS in September. You can see my full freakout and all of the wonderful MeFi support I received in my history.

I also have very mild symptoms and was very worried about what might happen to me. I wasn't able to start my meds till last month and everything stayed exactly the same. As far as I can tell, MS is a pretty slow burn - which is why is often takes people so long to get diagnosed.

Also, I saw my neurologist today. She said that even before the recent development of current medications, the average time it took for people to need a cane was 28 years. With meds, obviously it's even slower.

MS is super individual so obviously I can't speak to your fiancee's situation fully, but I don't think you should cancel your trip IF it's something she still really wants to do. Make sure she doesn't get too overheated or anything, but really this is the exact time for her to embrace and appreciate everything her body can do. Exercise is awesome for MS. That being said, a new diagnosis sucks so very much so an all-inclusive could be a good chill out time too.

Anyway, feel free to MeMail me with any questions ever! Sending good vibes your way.
posted by thebots at 7:06 PM on April 1, 2019 [12 favorites]

I might avoid the tropics, partly because hurricanes, but also partly because heat, which can make MS symptoms temporarily worse. In the days before MRIs, they used to confirm the diagnosis by having the patient take a hot shower; symptoms worsened = MS until proven otherwise.

The EU is a great suggestion. There is lots of outdoorsy stuff to do in Scandinavia, for instance, that might scratch some of the "wilderness hiking" itch, while still being easy to plan.
posted by basalganglia at 11:35 AM on April 2, 2019

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