Saturday, February 1, 2014

Packing Tips for Traveling with DBS

The reservations are confirmed and your trip is only a few days away. You are excited because you will be spending time with family or friends and seeing new things. All you need to do is figure out what to take and pack it.

My Wonderful Husband and I travel light. We have a GO bag packed and in the closet by the door. It has almost everything needed to spend a night away from home: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, combs, shampoo/conditioner, razor, a nightlight and a small flashlight. There is a list of items to add; prescriptions, DBS remote, jackets, hat, cell phone chargers, camera and a second list of things to do before leaving home; turn off the air conditioning and the water, set the alarm. All we have to do is grab some clothes. This is great if we are driving our car and staying out for one night, but if we are staying longer or flying then things become more complicated. For example:

We just returned from a 5 day/4 night trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Our daughter and grandson flew in from Orlando to meet us there. It’s only 300 miles from Yuma, so we drove our car. All we need is extra clothes, right? No, because we’ll be gone for five days, I needed to bring extra batteries for the DBS remote and my camera, the original pill bottles and the pill splitter. The DBS remote goes through batteries like crazy, so I purchased rechargeable ones and found a charger that can charge both AAA (for DBS) and AA size (the camera uses these) at the same time. The flashlight uses the same size batteries as the camera, so they all can be recharged during the trip, if necessary.

Some people carry their DBS remote with them everywhere, I don’t. At home it stays in the cabinet with the pill bottles and when I travel, I leave it in the hotel room. 

I currently take 1/2 of a carbi/levodopa 25/100 mg tablet twice a day and 1 thyroid pill. I can easily fit a couple days worth into my little pill holder, which fits in my purse. However, the instructions on the bottle says take a whole one 4 times a day. Why? Because of cost. The price of 90 pills (a 3-month supply) is the same as for 360 pills (a whole years worth). My Doctor understands this and gladly writes the script this way to save me money, since I don’t have drug insurance coverage. I just keep my fingers crossed that I don’t end up in an Emergency Room and have to show them the original pill bottle. At four times my normal dose, I’d be a dyskinetic mess.

Here are a few other packing tips:

Print out a personalized info card, stating that you have Parkinson’s and what symptoms YOU may have happen in an emergency. I have a large one in the glove box of our car and a smaller one in my purse, both in bright neon green, so they are easy to find.   

Make sure you have your health insurance cards and phone numbers (including after hours contact info) for all your Doctors, especially your Neurologist.

Take at least an extra week worth of all prescription medicines, in case you get delayed returning home. I keep the extra receipt from the pharmacy with my insurance cards, it has the dosage and prescribing Doctor info on it.

If you have a cane or a walker that you use at home, even if it’s only once or twice a month, take it with you. You will be staying and walking in unfamiliar surroundings and falls can be deadly. Wear good comfortable shoes, forget the fancy stylish ones. No one looks fabulous with a broken ankle.

We have a nightlight and a small flashlight in our GO bag; both come in handy when you need to go to the bathroom at night. Hotel rooms are notoriously dark.

I always refill the GO bag items when we get home from each trip. It's easy to add to the small shampoo and conditioner bottles.When your toothpaste gets to where there's only a small bit left in the tube, throw it in the GO bag. I do the same with almost gone deodorant. If you are flying, their may be size restrictions, so you may have to purchase travel size items.

Like a good friend always says, just remember to take your glasses, teeth and drugs, everything else…they sell at Walmart. 

No comments:

Post a Comment