I have the great pleasure of having my friend and yours write a blog for us today on how to get going in an efficient and effective way when getting ready to travel- you all know her as the ‘Parkinson’s Humor’ author and Queen YumaBeV.
In the last few months, I have been doing some more frequent travel and I too have begun to keep some of the items like toiletries ready to go. Although, I wish I could keep my medicines already to go since this is what takes the most time to get together; but they are too costly to keep around in separate container and risk the chance of them going bad. however, for shorter trips I always carry my Vera Bradley pill box in my purse so I don’t have to worry about getting my medicines organized if traveling for less than a week. The one thing I am seriously considering especially since I have to travel via airplane is getting security clearing ahead of time to avoid waiting in line and going through hassle of always being patted down because my leg is so rigid it light up the screen as me possible having some sort of metal. I figure I should carry a note at least saying I have a “bum” leg or something… it would be easier if had DBS since then I could avoid that x-ray altogether. Here are some great tips for traveling for those of you that do have DBS implants.
Packing for Traveling with Parkinson’s and DBS: By BeV M. Ribaudo ( Yuma Bev)
The hotel reservations are confirmed and your trip is only a few days away. You are excited because you will be spending time with family and seeing new things. All you need to do is figure out what to take and then 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 and a razor. There is a list of items to add; prescriptions, DBS remote, jackets, cell phone charger, camera and a second list of things to do before leaving home; turn off the air conditioning, the water and set the alarm. All we have to do is grab some clothes and go. 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.
Pill bottles and pill splitter
Packing these is the easy part; just toss them in the bag. It’s what to do with them once you get there that is the problem. At least for me it is.
I carry a small fanny-pack type purse. It’s barely big enough for car keys, ID’s, cash, credit cards and my cell phone. My shoulder won’t tolerate anything heavier and if my shoulder starts to hurt, I can put it around my waist. Here’s a photo of it next to a business size envelope.
So, what did I do? I left the car keys and DBS remote in the hotel room and squeezed the camera into my purse. Some people carry their DBS remote with them everywhere, I don’t. At home it stays in the cabinet with the pill bottles. I use a daily dose pill holder that fits easily in my purse.
I currently take 1/2 of a carbi/levodopa 25/100mg tablet twice a day and 1 thyroid pill. I can easily fit a couple days worth into my little pill holder. 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’s a few other packing tips:
Print out a personalized info card, stating 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.
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.
We have a night light 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.
Like a good friend always says, just remember to take your glasses, teeth and drugs, everything else…they sell at Walmart.
I rely on local drugstores and retail stores like Walmart as well when ever I forget or intentionally leave at home things I know I can easily find in my travels.
for more tips look at my previous blogs…”Tips & Tricks: Traveling with Parkinson’s Disease – Part Deux” & “Tips & Tricks: Traveling with Parkinson’s Disease.”