Travel Tips For COPD
So, you have COPD and you’re also ready for a vacation. Like people without this disease, you want to get out and have a little fun. You want to do a little site seeing. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your travels.
Make sure to pack your medicines
Most people with COPD take medicines every day to stay feeling well. You’ll definitely want to make sure you have these medicines with you. This may entail calling your pharmacy and getting the necessary refills. It may also require calling your doctor and getting prescriptions renewed. These can both take time. So, make sure you start planning this well in advance. This also includes your oxygen, CPAP and BiPAP equipment, if you use them.
Prepare for potential flare-ups
So, what if you have a flare-up while you’re gone. What will you do? For starters, make sure you have your COPD Action Plan with you. This should include what to do if you feel symptoms. It should also include your doctors number. Some people find it helpful to have a letter from their doctors stating what works best for you during flare-ups. Also keep a list of medicines you take. All of these can help anyone trying to help you.
Learn locations of pharmacies and hospitals
If you run out of medicine, or if you lose it, where will you get refills? So, if you normally go to chain pharmacies like Walgreens, it may be a good idea to know where the closest Walgreens store is. Same thing with Walmart, Rite Aid, Meijer, CVS, etc. If you have a flare-up, where is the closest hospital? This information may prove useful should you need them. And, of course, hopefully, you don’t.
Plan where you’ll be staying
This is a very important tip here. You certainly don’t want to stay at a relatives home if they have a COPD trigger in their home. Do they have pets? Do they smoke? Do they have other potential triggers? These are things to think about before you travel. As an asthmatic, I find it best to stay in hotels I know they will be clean, and that they don’t allow smoking or pets in rooms. Or, at least, I make sure they don't. So, you can kind of scope out the scene to find out which places are best for you to stay.
Keep your COPD stuff close to you
Place all the essential papers in your purse, wallet, or bag. Do the same with your medicine. It’s also true of oxygen, CPAP, and BiPAP equipment, if you use them. If your luggage somehow gets lost or stolen, you’ll still have your stuff with you.
Plan for the worse, and ideally, you won’t have to use it
As an asthmatic, I have to do all this too. I know most people can decide to go somewhere. And then they can just pack their stuff and go. Those of us with chronic lung diseases can’t do that. We have to plan ahead. We have to be leary of where we are going to stay. And we have to make sure we have any medicine, papers, and equipment we need with us at all times.
How has your experience been navigating the healthcare system as someone with COPD?