Yes, You Can Travel as a Dialysis Patient, Part 2
Last updated: December 2021
In Part 1 of Yes, You Can Travel as a Dialysis Patient, I mentioned the first 3 tips to travel successfully as a dialysis patient. Here are the remaining tips to ensure you have a worry-free trip.
Consider using a wheelchair
Yes, you read right – order a wheelchair. This can be done when you book your flight. A wheelchair is needed because sometimes the airline staff will check your suitcase and the machine will go on the plane. Guess who has to transport the machine that is at least 40 pounds between flights? You. Having a wheelchair ordered will ensure that you get to rest comfortably while you and your machine (usually placed on your lap) make it to your next gate on time without a sweat, literally. I remember one painful time in particular that I had to stop and start while carrying this machine to my transfer flight. That was the last time I made that mistake.
Make a packing list
For me, I must make lists when I travel because more than once I’ve forgotten crucial equipment necessary to complete my treatment. So, the day when I pack, I take time to make a list. That list usually includes the number of each item I need to complete treatment during my stay. I make it a habit to cross off the items that I’ve packed, so there’s no question it made it in my bag. Even with organization, something can be missed. This is where having a dialysis center with supplies nearby can help. I’ll never forget the sweet dialysis nurse in Washington, D.C. that let me borrow a power cord of ALL things so that I could do my treatment. Quick Tip: Always get extensions for your drain line and the line that gets the solution in your belly. Usually, you have no idea how close your bed is to the hotel bathroom and those extensions come in handy.
Mind your time
You made it through the airport with your machine and now you’re ready to enjoy your time away, but you still have one more step before you hit the streets. Make sure you have enough time to do your treatment, which is your first priority. It can be easy to let the time run away from you, so do your best to plan activities and outings that align with your prescribed time on the machine.
Travel is a great way to escape stress and still enjoy life while on dialysis. Follow these steps, and create a few hacks of your own, to make it a memorable trip for you and your travel companions.
Have there been things you have learned along your lupus journey that you wish had been explained to you by a healthcare provider earlier?