Greek holiday

Advice from the sages please.

Spent ten days in our local Coronary Care Unit, being discharged almost two weeks ago, having been through loads of tests to gauge reaction to various medication to balance my AF, low blood pressure, SOB and LVSD.

A family holiday in Zante was booked many months ago for twelve of us including children, partners and grandchildren.

The consultant, on discharge, said that I "may" need tweaked during the following weeks but I've been fine so far. I asked, amongst a million other questions if I could go on holiday and had a very noncommittal answer, but it definitely wasn't a definite "no".

Called with GP clinic yesterday for blood tests and mentioned the holiday in passing. Two hours later while in hairdressers I had a call from her to say she had mentioned it to the GP and he was emphatic that I shouldn't travel for a month.

I'm upset, but want to do the right thing re my health and my family. If I have to stay home alone, so be it, but it would be a shame.

What would YOU do?

It's the weekend so I can't speak to the consultant. Should I go up to CCU on Monday in the hope of seeing her?

21 Replies

  • The first thing surely is to see the GP and not rely on an opinion that has been reported. It may be less emphatic. When did the month that you shouldn't travel in start?

  • The month started two weeks prior to the holiday date, and my non-professional, biased thinking is that, if my medication had needed any tweaking it would probably have shown up by now?

    Can't see GP as he has now gone on holidays. (With my luck he's in Zante, and if I disregard his wishes he'll be the first person I see) 😀

  • I would speak directly with my GP and tell them everything that has happened in detail they will have clearer advice to give you then. Also your ep is the one you really need to listen too as they are the experts. Can you ring his/her secretary on Monday and explain that you really need to speak with the ep.

    Clearly they will want to err on the side of caution to protect both you and themselves.

    Have you checked with your travel insurers and updated them on your recent medical issues. The last thing you want is to go and find you are not insured. I would also check medical provision on Zante, is there a hospital should you need it.

    I know it all sounds a lot to deal with but much better to be safe than sorry. I do hope things work out for you and you get your longed for holiday.

    Many of us have had similar experiences but once health is back on track life can resume as before. Good luck.

  • I agree with all that meadfoot has said, but also , do you know the reason your GP doesn't want you to travel, what does he think will happen if you do. If it was me I would want answers to these questions before I came to a decision. Take care of yourself.

  • Sorry, omitted to say that the GP was on holiday from 5 PM yesterday which is why he had asked the nurse to call me as he himself was running out of time. There was no explanation of why he advised this course of action and the nurse was just relaying the message.

    Puzzling, because I was diagnosed with heart failure a couple of months ago, on top of my persistent AF, the day before I was to go to Texas for the w/e and the GP at that stage told me to go, on the grounds that I hadn't known I had heart failure so what had changed?

    I've checked hospital facilities on Zante and they have poor reports until recently when they seem to have opened a new facility which gets excellent reviews.

    I think the reasoning behind the month delay is perhaps that they feel that any tweaking of medication may need to be done after discharge from hospital, but I've felt really good since coming home and the only tweaking I've needed so far is in taking an extra diuretic in the day if required to relieve breathlessness, which they explained to me in hospital and I've managed on my own.

    Thanks so much everyone for your input. I suppose I want someone to say, "Go for it. What's the worst that can happen?", which obviously no one is going to do.

  • Sorry to be a dampener but you do realize that if you go you are not insured? If you travel against medical advice your insurance company are quite within their rights to wash their hands of you. I know I usually say go for it but this is a bit serious. Your holiday insurance will probably pay out for any loss you incur for yourself due to cancellation since you have been told not to travel.

  • You will need that in writing from the surgery.

  • Which medical advice though? The hospital doctor said it was ok, and the GP said no.

    In my experience insurance companies wriggle out of agreements for any old small print anyway, which is why I seldom bother with it.

  • If you can get the EP or cardiologist to write a letter NOW saying that you ARE fit to travel then that is key because they are the specialist and that is the latest information. How ever do not rely on going back to them later in the event of a claim because they could then turn around and say they told you NOT to travel and I'm afraid that even if you had someone with you then their word would probably taken as the truth. In the past GPs and hospital had a preprinted letter with blanks for dates and names, etc though nowadays it will be a standard template that they use.

    As your GP has gone on holiday I am guessing he won't be back before you leave so as to have the opportunity to change his view after you seeing / speaking to the consultant. If that's true to close the loop I personally would alert the insurance company and I am pretty sure that they would go with the consultants view. However there is a small possibility they won't.

    As Bob says you won't be covered by insurance. If you got taken in for any reason including a car accident could you afford to pay £25,000 or £50,000 or possibly more to cover hospitalisation, fees (medical, legal, etc), repatriation by private plane, etc. Note that if you say accidentally stepped out onto the road and caused an accident that involved multiple people and cars then you could be liable for the lot even if it is not related to your heart condition!!!! Not worth the risk.

  • I'm not insured anyway. I stopped taking out insurance for travel since it's no g'tee against taking I'll, just against the expense of treatment or medical flights home which I'll gladly pay if need be.

  • There are several Brits stranded in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus at the present time who cannot afford a medical flight home and their hospital costs are mounting up there as well.

    Medical flights from Greece start from around £20K.

  • Well if your hospital says ok and you feel well, you are happy with the medical facilities in Zante and money is no object in funding possible medical expenses and repatriation, why not go for it ?

  • Perhaps you should also speak to your travel insurer to make certain that you are still covered.

  • seasider18 Thanks very much for that info. I'm aware of charges, only because my brother in law had a stroke in New York two years ago, with no previous history, and had to spend six weeks in hospital and a flight home with attendant medical staff, which his travel insurers haggled over until we relented and paid most of it ourselves. Because of this incident we are very aware of lots of other similar cases where insurers were adept at wriggling out of their responsibilities, hence my reluctance to pour more money down that particular drain.

    I would much prefer to contribute to those who provide an honest service, be it medical or in aviation, than gamble with money to feed the predators.

  • I think you are answering your own questions - have a happy holiday!!

  • I don't know the circumstances or the details of the insurer but often from what I have heard is that people take out a cheap insurance with a smaller company. Bigger ones charge more because they are less likely to reject claims and hence their cost bas is higher.

  • Your hospital stay and treatment here obviously did you a world of good as in your first post 23 days ago you were in a pretty bad way.

    The other factor to consider is the effect of the heat in Zante even at this time of year. A relapse does not just spoil your holiday but 11 others as well.

  • I think this question sort of speaks to a broader philosophical question. For me, the idea of being in a foreign country that would turn a minor medical issue into a potential stress fiesta and financial disaster would not be worth it. BUT I realize for some that they will feel very upset and distressed if they miss a holiday with family. It's a little frustrating because I would not like simply a relayed message to make this decision. I think you need to consider the realities of your situation. If getting to a good hospital within hours (or even minutes) could mean a real difference to your health, don't go. Missing the holiday is a lot less important than damaging your health or even -- God forbid -- being in a situation that was so poor that you something happened that was pretty dire. And we have to be realistic -- given this is a holiday area that is not going to have the kind of hospitals you have in the UK and it's a foreign country so there are probably going to be issues of communication/finding the best care in a hurry -- you need to find out what the potential downside of traveling might be. Get the information you need -- maybe find another consult/specialist as needed and pay to get an opinion if you must.

  • Just want to thank everyone who gave such good advice on this query.

    After prevaricating all w/e I waved goodbye to my family this morning, (well, those who live in this part of the UK, the others were flying from Glasgow and East Midlands), and wished them a good holiday, safe in the knowledge that, should anything happen to my health in the next week, I wont be upsetting them, and will be within three miles of the hospital who carried out so much work over ten days, getting my medication controlled and balanced as much as possible.

    Was tempted not to go to work as I had booked this week off obviously, but so many staff did extra hours while I was in hospital that I felt I should come clean.

    I took note of everyone's advice and opinion but one in particular hit a chord, which was the contributor who noted that my being ill on holiday would ruin it for eleven other people. That, and the fact that I felt a bit unwell for half an hour on Monday evening which brought home to me how likely it is that I'll need my meds tweaked in the coming weeks, so need to give them a chance by calling at A&E if I have a longer episode.

    Thanks again everyone!

  • I think that you made absolutely the right decision. Also you will gain some bonus points at work, even if psychologically!!!

  • PeterWh Unfortunately I'm the boss, so probably no brownie points but they're very good to me 😀

You may also like...