Traveling With a Chronic Condition

December 16, 2011 by Rieshy

Or: The Never Ending Search For The Right Purse

Over Thanksgiving my entire family drove to Grandma's house which is 11 hours away. Packing for a family trip with a van load of children is always involved but when you add chronically ill children to the mix there are extra steps one learns to do.

My extra steps:

  1. Ensure that both my sons' letters of medical protocol are up-to-date and not stained with too many coffee cup rings or sticky with gum from the bottom of my purse.
  2. Pack a folder with abreviated medical records, just in case.
  3. Pack extra meds. in case I do something stupid, like trip in the night and spill the entire contents of a bottle. Not that I've ever done that... oh, wait, I have.
  4. In fact. on meds.- since one son is still on mostly liquid medication I have the pharmacist fill 4 small bottles instead of one large one. They are easier to handle, plus if he gets a virus and I've accidentally double dipped with an oral syringe I haven't contaminated his entire supply.
  5. Pack extra syringes.
  6. Pack all of the above meds. and supplies in two separate locations, just in case.
  7. Call ahead and find out where the nearest E.R. is located and do some research to try and discover whether it is staffed with monkeys or caring professionals.  I do this online at FOD Family Support Group because they are they go-to support group for my sons' particular condition.
  8. Call ahead and get the name and location of the closest hospital staffed with a metabolic specialist.
  9. Pack the car with enough food for the trip, because road-side fast food is not an option.
  10. Look at the itinerary and figure the furthest we will be from medical care and decide if that is acceptable. We have family in an area of the country that I cannot take my 5 year old to see, they are just too far from a children's hospital for me to take the risk.
  11. Find a purse that all of the above will fit into.
Then I count my blessings.  My sons can travel.  I don't have to pack large medical equipment.  

Btw, we had a great time at Grandma's.



brendamyfrienda said...

I'd love to see the purse you took!!

CristyLynn said...

Yeah, that must be some purse. My checklist is currently running through my head for our next road trip. We had a big one for Thanksgiving as well, and those are mentally really taxing to prepare for! I'm glad that you were able to enjoy yourself when you got there!
I think the most stressed I've been when traveling was the time I forgot the small round container I used for a 2-day supply of medicine. From then on I just bring all the bottles. Thankfully God supplied a very kind pharmacist along the road, well not literally of course, but in a pharmacy.
Merry Christmas!

Susan Tipton said...

Picturing a pharmacist walking alonside the road tickled me. I actually thought about you while packing. Driving 11 hours was a big deal for me- but you fly regularly around the world Cristy!

Brenda, I don't have the purse I need. I ended up with multiple, awkward and unfashionable bags. My husband likens it to his never ending search for the perfect computer case for work. Luckily for our budget- we imagine alot more than we purchase.

CristyLynn said...

About how big would this bag have to be, anyway? Now I'm really curious!

Oh, and glad I could "tickle you". :) And thanks for thinking of me! We did a 14-hour drive to NC for Thanksgiving, but we're taking it easy for Christmas and traveling just under 3 hours. I hardly know what to do with myself. :)

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