For people with chronic disease, you will have to take extra precautions when it comes to travelling. Of course, it will also depend on your severity. As I am asthmatic, there are certain things that I will do pre-travel, things that I will pack and points to watch out while travelling.
1. Pre-Travel Medical Check-up
It is important for travellers to get a medical check with their doctors before travelling; to ensure that they are in pink of health for travel. You may need vaccination for certain countries you going to. Ask your doctor for any special instruction that you need to adhere to while travelling.
Whenever I need to travel, I will visit my Respiratory Physician about five to seven days before I travel. Firstly, I want my Respiratory Physician to confirm that I am fit for travel; my asthma is well controlled.
Secondly is to take some preventive measures. I would be given a steroid jab to help my asthma to be within the control range. I will also be prescribed with some steroid, prednisolone, for standby, in case my asthma flare-up during travelling. At times, if I am travelling to region with high risk of flu, I am also given some flu preventive medication like Relenza. Relenza is a dry powder inhaler to be inhaled twice a day. There are times when I am given some antibiotics for standby as well.
2. Packing Medication and other Necessary Stuff into my Luggage
It is important for the chronic disease patient to take their medication regularly even if they feel well. The patient must ensure that they pack all required medication with more than enough for the trip. If you need to take certain measurement, do pack medical equipment along.
I will pack more than enough of medication for the trip, at least about five to seven days more of supply. Without failed, I will have a few days of medication in my hand-luggage, in case the check-in luggage got delayed. Or, in case, I have an attack on the plane. I will pack some surgical and N95 masks, to protect myself against pollution or a ill passenger beside me on the plane or train.
3. Find out A Clinic and Hospital in the City I Travelling To
It is good to have a clinic and/or hospital address on standby. Just for standby.
4. While on the Plane, Take Some Precautions
For some who are taking medication that may clot the blood would need to exercise often, especially on a long haul flight. This is to prevent Deep Veins Thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a fatal condition. A blood clot may form in the leg and the clot may travel to the lung and cause the lung to collapse and result in death.
And of course, I will put on a mask when there is / are sick passenger(s).
5. Take Medication as Instructed by Doctor While Travelling
During the trip, remember to take the medication, don’t miss any dose. If needed, take the preventive or standby medication per your doctor instruction.
6. Take Good Care of Yourself
Watch your diet, beware of the trigger. Monitor your symptoms and signs. Take regular measurement if necessary.
Don’t let your chronic disease dampen your travel spirit and it should not prevent you from travelling. Take good care of yourself during the trip and enjoy the trip.