Traveling is so much fun! I love going to new places and seeing exciting things. Walking around and experiencing a new world (needing a breathing treatment), changing up my normal routine (forgetting to take my meds).
Traveling can be an amazing relief from the daily grind, a great escape from everything. But when you live with a chronic health condition like COPD -- you take it with you.
I'm pretty excited. I'm getting ready to go on a vacation and I can't wait. Soon I'll be packing my bags for sun and sand, a bathing suit for the beach, a dress for a night out to dinner -- and a nebulizer for breathing treatments.
That's right, my COPD doesn't stay home, so this little piece of medical equipment has to come with me. I've tried going without it. It seemed bulky and heavy in my luggage, and to be honest I felt embarrassed about having to take it, so I left it home. Boy did I regret it! I had so many issues during that vacation that I considered going to the ER just for a breathing treatment. I learned then not to leave my medical necessities at home anymore, no matter how it looks.
When flying, I've never had any problems going through TSA with this odd-looking device in my luggage. I guess they must be used to seeing medical equipment like that. But I did get pulled aside once to look at my meds, so be sure to have yours in their bottle with the prescription label on it.
Fortunately, my COPD isn’t advanced enough that I have to travel with oxygen, so I don't know airport policy for traveling with it. If you have to travel with oxygen, a preflight call to TSA might be a good idea. I've also read that there are some risks involved in flying for those with more severe COPD, so I’d recommend a preflight checkup with your doctor.
Travel with COPD can be safe and still extremely enjoyable, but some other chronic conditions might require a little extra attention. Be sure to do your research beforehand so you can be fully prepared for every step along the way. Talk to your doctor to make sure your body is ready for the conditions you’ll encounter as you travel and at your destination. Most importantly, know your body and listen to what it tells you with honesty and caution.
When you have a chronic condition, a little preparation can mean the difference in a good or bad experience. I wish you the best trip, with amazing memories. Just remember that your health condition goes with you. Prepare accordingly and you’ll be more likely to have a great time.
Photo Credit: Virojt Changyencham / Moment via Getty Images
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