Ask The Nurse, Other News // 4th June 2019
We often get questions and queries about holidays on the Infoline and Ask The Nurse services, especially in the summer months. Holidays are a great way for patients and family members to relax, destress and feel less like a patient/carer and more like a person. However, thinking about going away on holiday can be quite daunting. The uncertainty of living with myeloma can often make planning difficult and can mean holiday preparation is more complicated than before. Therefore, in this month’s blog, we share some of our top tips to make travel and holidays less daunting.
Involve your healthcare team
We always recommend that patients talk to their healthcare team before they start planning and booking any holidays. Your healthcare team will be able to confirm whether you are fit to travel and can offer specific advice regarding your circumstances (e.g. whether you need vaccinations, your access to treatment). Your team can also help ease the planning by supplying details for your travel insurance, making sure you have enough medicine for your trip and helping to plan appointments, so you don’t miss any necessary check-ups or treatments.
Tailor your trip to best suit you
Everyone’s idea of a relaxing trip is different. Some people like sun and sand whilst others like art and culture. When planning your trip, it is important to think about what a good break for you would be. Consider the things you like doing and tailor it to what you feel able to do. If a big trip abroad seems too daunting, you can start off small and have a weekend away somewhere that is a short drive away. If you are worried about your mobility, look for trips with less walking and ask your travel provider for assistance. If you are worried about infection, you may want to avoid public transport or crowded places.
Stress less by planning more
Patients and carers often worry about something going wrong whilst they are away. For example, some patients may be worried about losing their medication or what to do if they start to feel unwell. There are several things you can do to feel less stressed and prepare more fully from the outset including the following:
- Make sure you have the right travel insurance. Some policies cover illness or accidents that occur whilst on holiday, but don’t cover pre-existing conditions like myeloma. You can read more in our “Travel insurance and myeloma Infosheet”
- Take your travel insurance policy with you and make sure you know where the policy number is and how to contact the insurance company if you have any questions.
- Taking a written list of any treatment(s) you are taking with you can be helpful. If you need to get more medication or are asked which medicines you are taking, you can simply provide them with the written list, rather than worry about remembering the names and doses of each drug
- You can also ask your healthcare team for a letter containing details of your condition and any treatment you have previously taken. You can give this letter to any healthcare provider to make sure they have the information they need to take care of you. Having it written down means you don’t need to remember everything, and you won’t worry about missing something or giving the wrong information
To find out more about travel and holidays you can watch our “Holiday Planning and Travel Webinar” or read the travel section of our “Infopack for living well with myeloma”. We also have a “Travel insurance and myeloma Infosheet” with a list of travel insurance providers who have previously insured myeloma patients and our top tips for finding the best policy for you.
Best Wishes and Happy Travels,
The Myeloma Information Specialist Team