Monday, July 29, 2013

Danny's Top Five-- Kidney Transplant Travel

Have a kidney transplant? And planning a trip?  Do not despair!  Danyelle is back with five tips for traveling with a transplant.  And just in time too! I'm scrambling last minute to pack up for my trip.  When will I ever learn.  Anyhoo, enjoy!

1.  Bring your medicine. Double check to make sure you have enough medicine to last you for your entire trip. And it's also a good idea to pack medicine for an extra set of days.  You never know what can happen!  If you're flying, do not pack your medicine in your checked luggage.  Take it with you in your purse or carry-on bag to the plane.  
 
2. Hygiene is very important, and planes and airports are filled with germs.  Your first line of defense:  washing your hands!  Definitely be sure to wash them before touching your face and eating food.  If you don't have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes will work as well.  Definitely, add several packs of those to your carry-on bag.
 
3. Depending on where you're going, definitely check with your doctor to make sure you're up to date on your shots and vaccinations.  And if you have a kidney transplant, make sure your doctor knows where you're going and that they don't have any additional instructions for you.
 
4. Hydrate, and hydrate safely.  Known countries like Mexico and many in Europe don't have incredibly clean and safe drinking water systems.  For that reason, it's best to drink bottled water at all times. If you're in the United States, do what you feel comfortable with, bottled water or tap. But definitely make sure you're drinking plenty of water, between 1-2 liters, especially if you're going to a place with a warmer climate.
 
5. Always check to be sure you know health information in case of an emergency.  You never want anything to come up, but sometimes having a kidney transplant can be unpredictable.  First, make sure you scout the area where you're traveling to for the nearest transplant center.  In Jewel's case, the nearest transplant centers are in Phoenix.  This is important to know because not all hospitals have the facilities or physicians to treat patients who have undergone transplants.  Second, look for the nearest hospital.  This hospital doesn't need to have a transplant center, but it will be good to know in case any other problems come up.  And third, keep a list of your medicines and contact information for doctors and transplant coordinators with you at all times. 
 
And obviously, take lots of pictures to remember the amazing moments!