Saturday, July 13, 2019

Travelling with Discipline , Eating with Caution - a Key to good Health.

To travel or not to travel or how to travel , that is the question !

"Work, Travel, Save, Repeat"

This should be the Mantra for all of us. However, today we focus on Travel. Being someone with CKD , travel can be quite daunting with the various restrictions that are imposed on us. There was no travel in the few months while I was on dialysis except to Madras , which was an overnight medical related , to meet Dr. M.K. Mani at Apollo Hospital . Post transplant, travel began , a year later ,  at a slow measured pace within India. Two years later ,  we were courageous on venturing Abroad , as was Dr.Gandhi, with my progress. He was very clear though  , since he was confident about the hygiene & quality of food , in Europe , I could go there. Since then, travel has picked up momentum with every journey.

Life - It will never be perfect , make it work ! And that's what one learns with every expedition. Its easy to say, Throw caution to the wind, but the question to ask yourself is - is it worth it ? Over the years , my experience has taught me to be Responsible. " Calculated risks " , that's the call ! Every trip has taught me something , which is why , travel today is a piece of cake . No trip is intimidating , it's always an adventure , a memory to be captured in my camera. Following is an amalgamation of a check list that I have formulated, helps me travel unafraid.

Packing , travel begins the minute you begin packing your bags! Always make sure the following are organised before you leave for any trip.

Handbag ( with you in person at all times)
*Medicine : one full strip of every life saving medication, that you take on a daily basis ( Steroids, BP, Diabetes , etc)
*Sanitizer & a small bar of soap / soap strip
*Snacks :A small bottle of Water , Biscuit  packet/ snack bar , small pouch of dry fruits ( to munch on, in case hunger pangs hit )

*HankyTissue packs
*Prescription of your Doctor , incase of medical emergency while travelling 

*Medicine : The quantity of tablets/ medication ,depends on the number of days that you are travelling for , then , add an extra weeks supply . A packet of some Basic meds : fever, cold, sprain, body ache, headache, allergy, electoral powder ( in case of dehydration ) , loose motion, vomiting, motion sickness . 

Once you have hit the roads, be it a holiday or for work - one needs to be attentive to these main elements -
*Eating : No salads , Only hot food, No fresh juice ( unless absolutely sure about hygiene), Fruits wash with filter water , Wipe plates & all cutlery well before using. Incase , worried about the next meal , best to carry packed meal, either from home or hotel. ( Paratha's, Thepla, sandwitch & such ) 
*Water : Filter & boiled if possible or a good reliable company mineral water. Buy these , as far as possible from a Chemist  
* Toilet/Washrooms : ~Make sure its clean , indian style toilets are more hygienic. At times its easier to relieve yourself in the wild , than a filthy washroom.~ Sanitize the toilet seat before you sit ( wipe it clean ).~Wash your hands properly once done , hygiene , remember is , Priority !  

*Alarm for Medicine: We all carry a smart phone. Depending on when you take your medication , always set an alarm for each day . Put it on snooze & stop the alarm ,only after you have taken your meds. 

*Electric Water Kettle : Request the hotel to place a water kettle in your room , if they haven't . Most convenient to boil water. Also , if you are staying with family , Boil the filter water.

*Chef: Either restaurants or hotels, always speak with the Chef & specify your diet essentials. More often than not , they will always heed your request. 

Incidents/Situations, which are valuable lessons -
*We were flying to Nairobi. The KQ flight had a technical snag & we were moved to a hotel for the night. Next late night, we flew to Nairobi. On arrival, my bags were missing. I got my bag the next day. The reason , I mention this episode - had I not kept the strip of medicines in my handbag , there could have been a medical crisis for not taking my medications on time.
*Juice : Sugar cane juice be one of my favourite. And have had it a few times by making sure I cleaned the machine with filter water , before allowing them to remove the juice & only if I did not see any flies around!

The first few years while travelling , I always carried a portable water filter from Zero B. It was the size of a cup , compact & perfect for travel. It no longer in production, which they hadn't stopped! 

Travelling overseas 
Travel Insurance : A must when travelling outside the country. 
International Time Zone & Medication: Setting an Alarm helps one not miss a dose & adjusting the Time Zone to few hours difference. When 24 hours Time Zone , then best to have an extra dose to adjust to the current time zone. 
Vaccinations & other such medical requirements, in accordance to the visa required need to be complied to. 
At all times, counter check with your Doctor in regards to medications ( eg Diamox, recommended for acclimatization to high altitude conditions , like in Leh )/ Vaccination ( eg Yellow fever for African countries ) &  keep your doctor updated on your travel plan for any medical issue , if travelling to a destination you are unsure about.

Trains (Play safe with fast trains aka Express trains-Rajdhani, Duronto, etc , High speed trains-Shatabdi , etc)
Travel by train has been on rare occasions & short distances, for eg Delhi Amritsar, Bhubaneswar Calcutta - the Shatabdi category. A few trips have been over nighter's , like the Rajdhani, to Delhi, Indore. Precautions that I have taken , while on train-
*Washroom: Have requested the TT to get someone to clean the washroom, if so required & they always help.*Always rinse your mouth with Filter / mineral water. *Carry meals from home - the meals provided in the trains, might not be the best. *Drink hot tea or coffee , if u feel the need. At times , eating freshly made snacks at stations , are safe.

My Travels have included , water sports , hiking , cruises, driving holiday & much more.

"Do not let the Wanderlust be intimidated by the doubts of restriction , let the adventure begin with the strength of discipline & caution !"