Sunday, April 20, 2014

If I could go anywhere I would go to.....and this is how I would get there :)

Today's National Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge topic is: If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why? We also know traveling with a chronic illness can be challenging, so any tips for others that you can share would be great!

This one is gonna be kind of short. I've already taken my night meds, so I'll be out soon. But wanted to get it in today.

If I could go anywhere in the world I would definitely go on the 14 night Mediterranean cities cruise tour through Royal Caribbean. Not that I've thought about it or anything. Not that my best friend and I keep trying to figure out how we would save the money up for it or anything. Not that I know that it goes to Southampton, England;  Malaga, Spain; Cannes (Monte Carlo), France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Valencia, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; and then back to Southampton, England. No, I have never thought about this before at all. Not one bit.

Well, know that we know where I would go, how would I get there? And, better yet, how would I do on the trip. Well, I'm not as versed as packing and figuring out the security of cruise ships. However, I did go on a cruise to the Bahamas right when I was getting sick and we didn't know what it was yet and I actually felt better on the water than off. I was so scared with how much I was going to the bathroom and such that it would make for a horrid trip, but I behaved better on the trip than at home. Maybe it was the fresh, crisp, ocean air all the time. Or maybe I was just having too much fun to notice it.

Anyway, I did, however, just get back from a week long vacation where I had to fly with tube feeding equipment, liquid medications, a wheelchair, and 2 devices implanted in my body.

With a few simple preparations (way in advance) everything at the airport went very smoothly and I was highly impressed.
1) Call your enteral feeding company and see if they have a form that you can fill out that goes to the TSA to let them know everything that you are taking with you that is medically necessary.
2) Call the TSA cares hotline 72 hours before you leave and let them know what kind of accommodations you will be using and what you have implanted.
3) If you need to use a wheelchair for just at the airport due to the long distance walking, call your airline and arrange for a wheelchair escort. But be ready to tip them. They will expect it. Also arrive early because sometimes it takes them a while to get to you.
4) If you have liquid meds you can bring them in the big bottles but I put them in gallon size ziplocks so I could easily pull them out and hand them over to the TSA agents to scan and put them back in.
5) If you have a feeding tube you will also need to unhook just long enough for the TSA agent to search your pump bag and make sure your formula isn't explosive. My hold alarm never even went off in this process.
6) Before you walk through the scanner tell the person on the other side I have a medical device implanted here and here so that they are not surprised when stuff shows up on the screen, then they are a lot less suspicious and are a lot nicer in the "search" process to make sure it really is a medical device.
7) As soon as you get through security, get a gigantic bottle of water so you can make sure you are hydrated.***I even had 2 liters infused the day before to make sure I was good and hydrated.
8) Wear your compression stockings to help with the blood pooling on the plane.
9) Bring a blanket with you on the plane to help with thermoregulation.
10) Board when they say people with disabilities, you have one, it doesn't matter if they can't see it, then you aren't struggling with your carry on and climbing over people to get on the plane, you can be nicely relaxed in your seat while everyone else is hustling to get on the plane.
11) If you have medical supplies make sure you bring them all. Including the IV pump holder that goes on the IV pole. That's what I forgot.
12) You are allowed one free bag on the plane as long as everything in it is medical. Take advantage of that. It can be carried on or checked.
13) If you have a protocol letter from a doctor of what to do in case of an emergency, bring that with you, along with a list of all your meds, all your doctors phone numbers, and emergency contacts.
14) After you've checked everything once, twice, and three times...make sure that you just sit back, relax, and have some fun and enjoy your hopefully very symptom free trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment