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6 Tips for Attending a Concert With a Chronic Illness

I love concerts, but they are difficult with my chronic illnesses. I recently went to a Shawn Mendes concert (which was amazing) and I wanted to share the tips I use when going to a concert.

Pack Paper Towels

My POTS makes me sweat a lot and going to a concert can make anyone sweaty. I opt out of wearing makeup, which would distract me as I’d worry about it getting messed up and needing to fix it.

Bring a Doctor’s Letter

It’s a pain having to prove you have an illness when it’s invisible, but you don’t want to spend a bunch of time trying to explain to an employee at the venue. People can be jerks, so get a letter from your doctor that lists your illnesses. You can use this to hopefully gain access to an elevator or get let in earlier. For the Mendes concert, I didn’t show the guy outside the venue because he seemed like he wouldn’t believe me and the line wasn’t too long.

Take Extra Meds

For my conditions, I find taking an extra Adderall, nausea meds and migraine meds help. Bring any medications you might need in a stressful or emergency situation.

Preferably Attend an Indoor Concert

I will only attend concerts that are indoors and have seating. The heat, sun and humidity make outdoor shows miserable. With the Mendes concert, the blowing of air conditioning felt heavenly while dancing.

Eat Before

My diet requires me to eat before any event. If possible, bring in your own snacks, but many concert venues will not allow outside food. Even if I could eat the food, waiting in line is a pain. It just depends on whether the food is worth it for you. For example, I will wait in line for hours in the desert for Dippin’ Dots. But keep in mind, waiting in line can drain the energy you need for dancing.

Buy Merch Outside the Venue

If the opening act is popular, the merch line might be shorter. Or if you can get your hand on the setlist and see a few songs that aren’t your favorite, get merch during them. Another option is you can pay someone and buy them a cheap ticket and have them wait in line for you. The easiest option is to get knock-off merch outside the venue, or buy your merch online before or after the concert. This may save you money as well!

This story originally appeared on Kate’s blog.

Getty image by Marcus Milo.