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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Yes I take lots and lots of drugs!

Travelling with a Health Condition - Part 1 - Medication/Tablets

Intro - I don't like talking about it and not everyone knows, but I have a health condition known as Chronic Renal Failure - Basically my Kidney's slowly deteriorated from birth and I now have an active Kidney transplant for the last 9 years. I have to take various anti-rejection drugs daily to stop the transplanted organ from being rejected by my body and I know that someday this transplant will fail and I will need another one. CHEERFULL STUFF I KNOW! :p Anyway, enough of that - It's part of my life and I am happy with who I am.

Travelling with a health condition can be trialling and you need to be prepared, much more than a regular holidaymaker. These articles will aim to share my experiences and give advice for those who are in a similar situation. My main piece of advice however is to live your life to its fullest extent - there is so much to see and do and we really are on this planet for a short amount of time.

Part 1 - Medication/Tablets

This is possibly the most important thing to remember for me as I have to take tablets every day at a fairly similar time - If I forget my tablets or they get lost in transit, my trip is pretty much over. I take several precautions pre-trip to ensure my tablets will arrive with me! Listed below are some bullet points I feel are important when considering your medication:

  • Make sure you have plenty of tablets at least a week before the trip
  • Take at least double the quantity of tablets you require for the trip
  • Split your tablets between your case and hand luggage
  • Take a covering letter from your Doctors/Hospital listing your tablets
  • Consider different timezone when taking your medication
  • Don't forget to take your medication even if it means setting alarms

Follow these steps above and it will make your tablet management so much easier and stress free! I order my tablets monthly, so I always ensure I put my prescription in ready to collect a couple of days before my trip - this way I know that I will have a full stock of tablets.

Taking double the quantity of tablets is a no-brainer - if you loose one set of tablets, you have a second set as a backup! Splitting tablets between your hand-luggage and case is so important too - if you have two sets of tablets in your case, and your case goes missing, your still stuck! I always put one set of tablets in my case, and one set in my hand luggage - this way I know I have a fail-safe if one set goes missing.

Taking a Doctors letter that lists your tablets is also a must - In the event that you get searched at customs and your tablets are flagged, it is so much more reassuring to have an official letter that explains why you have them as opposed to trying to nervously blag your way through explaining without proof. Make sure the letter is up-to-date and shows all your recent medication and personal details.

Finally, if you are changing timezones and your medication has to be taken at specific times, I find it is best to alter the times you take your tablets incrementally to fit the change in time. For example, if I were going to India which is approx 5 hours ahead of England, I would start taking my tablets an hour later a couple of days before I left and then gradually take them an hour later each night. This method is less destructive on your body and routine.

Looking after and remembering to take your medication can be a great responsibility, but I am a firm believer that if you just take a little time to prepare adequately then you will have no problems whatsoever!

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What is Aim Focus Shoot? My travel blog! Aside from travel reviews I also maintain a regular blog with different travel & photography articles such as photo essays and memorable moments.

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