Monday, May 09, 2011

Traveling with asthma doesn't mean giving up on vacations

One of the questions that comes up fairly often is how I manage to go so many places despite having asthma. This is one question that I'm always glad to answer.

Traveling with asthma or any other chronic disease can be tough. Extra planning and thought has to go into every trip. I always think about what I might need in a 'worst case scenario'. A well thought out asthma plan is a must for successful travel.

My planning goes a lot deeper than just having my inhaler accessible at all times. I take the time to type out a printed sheet that lists all of my medications with dosages. At the top of the page, I make sure to put the name of the practice of my general practitioner plus the name of doctor and phone and fax numbers.

In addition to traveling with asthma it gives information on my other medical challenges. This list also has any other medications used on a regular basis and the contact information for at least two family members.

Traveling with asthma sometimes means having to take a nebulizer treatment. We purchased an adapter to use in the power point of the car. Now I can take a breathing treatment when it's needed.

Smoking is one big issue that triggers my asthma. Booking nonsmoking rooms and using the nonsmoking areas of restaurants helps. Some of my friends who smoke have started using the Smokeless Cigarettes and I appreciate their efforts.

Traveling is fun but when you have asthma it can be important not to travel alone. That mile walk from the car isn't a big deal when you can breathe. Add heat, pollen or the random perfume encounter and the trek can be practically impossible.

Traveling with asthma isn't always fun. The possibility that a trip might be cut short always exists. This is possible for a cross country road trip or a backyard picnic.

I'd much rather be doing something fun than sitting at home waiting for the next asthma attack. To me, visiting someplace new is worth the risk of an asthma attack. How do you feel about it?