If you’re going to manage an illness while traveling, you’ve got to understand your bodily cycles sufficiently. First, ask yourself: can you truly travel with your ailment? If you can, it’s not an issue of “if”, it’s an issue of “how”. Even Stephen Hawking was able to travel around the world; but he had funding, and he had mechanical assistance.
Anyone with any disease can travel; provided they have resources. The difficulty comes in what resources you have available. If you’re in a wheelchair for inoperative or missing limbs, there are handicapped options which many travel agencies are obligated to respect. Especially in the United States, there are options for those with even severe disabilities.
Certainly chronic illnesses may not debilitate you so totally. If you’ve got Crohn’s disease, traveling comfortably may be as simple as avoiding intake of food for a day or so before you get on a flight. There are restrooms on the plane, but they can be exceptionally constricting. If you haven’t eaten anything, you won’t have to evacuate anything; just ensure you’re hydrated.
Many diseases can be managed by not eating prior travel. This won’t always be an option, though; what if you’re traveling on a boat, and you suffer from seasickness? Well, in that case, you may want to buy some dramamine before the trip starts. The key is, know what kind of travel you’ll have, know how long it will take, and what supplementation is necessary.
For example, you may need to plan around nutrition and diet for CKD or similar conditions. Increasing Vitamin D intake can be a great way to offset CKD symptoms; if you’re traveling regularly, ensure you’ve got proper quantities of the right vitamins readily available. Different illnesses may require different vitamins.
Rest is also a considerable factor. Thankfully, for many who suffer chronic illnesses, travel is an ample opportunity to get much-needed sleep. Unless you’re piloting the vessel providing you transit from point A to point B, you’ll be able to snooze through most the journey. Even if you are driving, knowing your own metabolism can help you manage transit comfortably.
Conducting Yourself In A Foreign Land
The next consideration is how to conduct yourself when you’re actually in a foreign place. For one thing, you’re not going to have immediate access to your regular doctor or pharmacist. This means you’re going to have to have enough medicine available for an emergency. You want two backups for worst-case scenarios.
If you’re flying, keep one little satchel of vitamins and medicines in your regular luggage, and if it’s not too cumbersome, carry two additional stores of such supplementation on your person. If you can keep a little “clutch” which includes, say, insulin shots or an epinephrine pin in one pocket, and another little cigar case of the same medicines in your carry-on, you’re set.
You need “failover” protection; “redundancies” as the tech people call them. When you’ve got backups, if you lose your luggage, you don’t lose your medicine. If you have a bout of “cerebral flatulence”, as it were, and leave your clutch behind in a bathroom at a venue you don’t have the ability to return to, your third “backup” case will still be on your person.
Lastly, look into the options for medical assistance at the location where you’re traveling to, and at varying points along your journey. Know where you can find assistance in the event of an emergency you have no control over. This is your fourth backup.
If all else fails, know where you can get what you need in a hurry. A comprehensive approach like this should make it possible for virtually anyone, even with the most dire illnesses, to travel.