This is a post that touches me very closely from a few weeks ago for the second time I operate the heart. The lives of many people changed dramatically since the time when they are notified that suffer from a chronic condition. In many cases, these conditions lead to changes in lifestyle, diet and general habits of the people who suffer.
And although many of the changes are radical and traumatic, having a chronic illness does not mean having to stop traveling. In many cases, take simple precautions before, during and after the trip, just for anyone, regardless of their health status, may have a fascinating and rewarding experience. Traveling with a chronic illness is a little cumbersome but possible and sometimes even recommended.
As commented above, my life has changed since a few weeks I intervene to replace me aortic valve causes. While the experience of going through open-heart surgery is never pleasant, it was not the first time that I submitted to cardiac surgery because three years had my first intervention.
The difference between the operation of my childhood and this is basically where the first was “corrective” (doctors worked on my atrophied valve) and this time that I implanted a titanium prosthesis within the heart. As a result, from now on I will have to be treated with blood thinners for the rest of my life .
Obviously this is going to cost you in my traveling life, especially in terms of destinations for travel. The availability of treatment in the places I travel and availability of primary care in an emergency up several notches in my traveling priorities (although wifi in the enclosure is still topping the list).
For this reason I have compiled many general tips for travelers with chronic illnesses who do not want their condition prevents them from seeing the world.
Note: It goes without saying that this entire post is based on general recommendations and that each person should consult your family doctor or specialist to discuss your particular case.
TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH A CHRONIC DISEASE
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Some of the questions to ask your doctor or specialist are:
– Can I travel with my condition? And I can travel to the destination?
– Medicines: Do I need any strange How do I buy?
– Do I need some extra vaccine?
– Special care should I have at the destination.
If possible, ask your doctor to print a report detailing your condition and medications to treat it. This can be useful at the airport when boarding with treatment in the baggage or if, as in my case, you need to request a manual review of the impossibility of going through the metal detector. If you travel abroad, it is best that the letter is in English or carry a translation.
VIEW THE DETAILS OF YOUR CHOSEN DESTINATION AND THEIR ADAPTATION TO YOUR CONDITION / PATHOLOGY
There are many factors to consider when you are clear that you want / can travel to a particular destination:
– Level of development : not the same travel to India to Sweden.
– Availability of primary care : visits remote villages or stay in major cities How long will you stay?
– Distance of the main hospitals : In case you far from any major city, have clear alternatives.
– Is it possible to buy medication? : Is there a local equivalent? Do I need a prescription?
Another thing to consider is if your pathology travelers can enter the country. Some countries have strict laws on access for visitors with communicable conditions such ashepatitis C or HIV. Other countries may have strong regulations against access of certain medications such as analgesics.
AIM EMERGENCY PHONE WHEREVER YOU TRAVEL
And keep them in your wallet and your travel bag. It includes the number of medical emergencies, private ambulance (if you go to a country where abos numbers are different), hospitals, etc.
HIRE A GOOD TRAVEL INSURANCE
Read up on the fine print and make sure you cover your condition derivatives or pathology. You can find a complete travel insurance.
Basically there are three types of travel insurance:
Cancellation insurance covers the cost of your trip if for example you have to reschedule or cancel by find too ill to travel. Health insurance covers the travel costs of health care provided in other countries. Medical evacuation insurance covers transportation high quality hospitals if there is an emergency. This type of insurance is suitable if you are in rural or remote areas.
TAKES THE MEDICATIONS YOU’LL NEED
Make sure you do it in advance and prepare a good travel kit with medication and any type of accessory you may need to treat your condition or to find more comfortable during the trip.
As a general rule, never forgot your medications. The bags are lost more often than you think. Check with the airline if you can access the full treatment plane in hand luggage.Normally there is usually no problem, but it might require prescriptions. In the case of traveling with diabetes or any disease whose treatment requires syringes, lancets and other sharp accessories, the doctor’s letter explained above is vital to avoid problems at the security checkpoint.
INFORM YOUR FELLOW TRAVELERS IN YOUR CONDITION
Although it may not always be a pleasant topic of conversation, as far as possible, it is best if you are traveling in a group or couple people around you know about your condition to help if you need it. Let them know what they need to stay healthy during your trip as possible, to have copies of your medical records.
If traveling alone, inform a relative or friend of your travel plans and make a travel document with your medical details and contact family and / or doctor (see next tip).
CREATE A DOCUMENT WITH YOUR HEALTH DATA
As I mention in my article about the strange things that are not lacking in my backpack, it is super helpful to keep a small laminated card with the details of your condition and other important medical details and medication you are taking, your blood type and your number travel insurance. It is important to keep this card in your wallet at all times to be found by anyone who can assist you in an emergency. Do not forget to write down the phone number of a contact person and / or your family doctor or specialist.
For example, in my case, the biggest problem I have when traveling is that the risk of bleeding, being treated with anticoagulants to thin the blood is higher than normal, so my travel document rebound the information about my medication and the fact that I can not cut.
Depending on the severity of the disease, when traveling with a severe chronic illness, you can choose a bracelet with the necessary information.
LEARN THE LANGUAGE
It is not necessary to speak fluently, or even that you know have a conversation in the local language of the place you visit, but it helps to know some basic phrases related to your health , such as “ I have diabetes (or disease X) ” “ Where you are the hospital? “or” I’m on warfarin (or drug x) “, etc.
Should not be possible to learn the exact phrases, you can take them on paper aimed to show local if needed.
DURING THE TRIP
PLAN YOUR ALARM CLOCK OR MOBILE PHONE NOT FORGET MEDICINES
When we travel we are very likely to forget things due to change in our lifestyle and routine, so it’s best if we leave technology to the task of reminding us that it’s time for our medication .
If your treatment is subject to a strict schedule, remember to adjust based on the hours that have passed since your last dose and not to the local time (assuming there is time change).
AVOID ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR CONDITION
It seems silly but needless to say, if you’re traveling with a heart condition , do not jump in parachute or bungee jumping practice. This applies to all chronic diseases.
CONSIDER WHAT YOU EAT
If your condition requires a special diet or you restrict the intake of specific foods (diabetes, hypertension, food allergies, stomach ulcers …), make sure you do not eat. Especially when it comes to traveling to a country with which you are unfamiliar kitchen.
Ask the salesperson or waiter if you are eating contains no ingredients compatible with your condition and if you are not sure do not consume .
KEEP YOUR MEDICINES IN OPTIMAL CONDITIONS
Make sure you keep your medicines out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place. If some of your medicines nacesitan kept refrigerated, ask the staff housing that keep yourself or use the minibar if you have one.
IF YOU NEED TO
Both travel with asthma as with any other disease or condition that affects your energy levels and ability to be moving, if you feel exhausted or tired, simply stop and rest. Do not force yourself beyond your means or it will be worse.
AFTER THE TRIP
BACK TO THE DOCTOR FOR A GENERAL REVIEW
Now that you’ve enjoyed your trip, it’s time to check that everything went well. Make an appointment with your doctor for a routine examination, analyzes, tests, etc.
At the end you will find that traveling with a chronic illness is not that complicated, just it requires some organization.