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 !"

1 comment:

  1. Very well written!! its has covered all the points which are much in thoughts of a post transplant recipient..Rita has definitely shown that how imperfect life can be lived in the most perfect way.One need to have courage to do that...unexpected Situations keep coming how you deal with them ...that's what makes the whole difference...and truly Rita has done the mastery in it.More power to you my wisdom lady !! :))...keep writing and sharing :))