Long holidays

Ok, I have been really wanting to take a proper break after i finish uni. Its been incredibly tough trying to get through the last few years and as much as i have enjoyed it, i know by the end i'm going to be shattered! I have a mate who lives in the netherlands and I would really really love to go and stay with her for a month or two (I was thinking either a month doing a little travelling and tourist-ing, or two months and actually DO something - not sure what but something!)

the point is. my body is vaguely useless and does like to self destruct. Lets say for consideration purposes in the last three years i have had at least 30 hopsital admissions, 2 stays in critical care, been cardioverted, been on NIV, never been intubated, have home nebs, have to carry an emergency injection, have cardiac, resp and endo issues (all medicated) and am probably going to be getting Xolair (dont even get me started on the fuss thats going on with that!!) which presumably would mean an injection every fortnight or so (so either 2 or 4 times while i was there). Unless things radically change over the next year - i would be surprised if i went 2 months without an admission.

So.....do we think this is even a possibility? and if so, what would i need to sort??

I assume i'll need some kind of health insurance - which im sure will cost a zillion pounds coz lets face it, its pretty much a guaranteed thing that i will use, and possibly very expensivly, so that might be the stumbling block! free board and odgings might help though! Would I need my consultants permission to fly? Do i need his permission to even go? How would I go about getting medication abroad? Can you just go to a GP (I'm assuming my friend is registered with one)? Would i have to sort out a couple of months meds before i go? I know in the netherlands the vast majority of them speak impressivly good english, and i know my mate would happily translate (and translate my emergency info sheet for if she wasnt there) - so I think that would be do-able.

I dunno, maybe its just insane and impossible. I just wanted to know if anyone had any insights!

4 Replies

  • Hi!

    Ur in the same shoes as me. Wanted to visit my auntie in Dubai for a month. One of my mistakes was that i was not fit for flying and still went. Generally i have low o2 levels and very frequent attacks and the nurses and drs were questioning and against me going. So if ur drs say dont go then u shouldnt. I went and wished if i stayed and was wishing how can i get back. Couldnt enjoy anything. Also travel i surance is crucial otherwise u ll have to pay loads of money like me like over £100 just to see a dr for a few minutes.

    Another thing to consider is the medicines. Tell ur gp ur going away and take enough otherwise u might have to pay lots for meds like me paying about £40! For one inhaler (its not that much of a problem if u only need one but if u need to buy 5 of them things become costly)

    Also check the weather for things like humidity as the weather made my asthma literally terrible.

    The flight itself was a nightmare then got out of the airport to get a taxi felt worse got home the ac made things worse then eventually hospital it was with stepping up a huge step for asthma control including staying on prednisolone at 40mg adding flixotide and increasing seretide and starting on terbutaline syrup and now trying to come off from all of these after i came back. Best thing to do is ask ur dr before u go and listen to them i was too stubborn and didnt listen now i take the consequences????.

    Anything i left out let me know

    And hope this helps

  • Ask your resp consultant for a flight assessment, which will ascertain if your lungs are in good enough shape to cope with the altered air pressure and oxygen levels in flight. Mine aren't.

    I have only found one insurance company willing to provide health insurance for my multiple conditions, and that was AllClear. I used it four times in a nine day holiday... Cost me around £250 for the nine days but the reality is that I couldn't go without it and ultimately it was well used!

    You are an adult - your doctors cannot prevent you from getting on a plane. But it's your responsibility to be sensible in getting their support to look at the risks. The last time I flew (before flight assessment when I assumed I would be okay) they nearly had to land the plane, and if I hadn't been in such a mess I would have been so mortified I think I would have locked myself in the loo and not come out!!

    Why does it have to be flying, could you go via boat or channel tunnel/car? That's my only option now to go abroad.

    Lynda x

  • Hi,

    We were in the same predicament with my daughter.

    She has brittle asthma and endo issues and had been in hdu a month before we were due to fly.

    The bank, who we always have used for travel insurance, refused to insure her. We found sun insurance good and it cost about £100 for the fortnight cover. We needed a letter from cons saying she was able to fly.

    As for the actual flight, your cons can give you a fit to fly test. Also the airlines can provide supplementary O2 for the flight should your consultant think it necessary. All airlines can provide it with pre notification.

    With regards to meds, your GP should be able to give you enough meds to cover you for your trip. Remember though to get a letter from your GP/cons saying you are travelling with these meds (and itemise them) , especially needles etc, so that your security experience in the airport is smoother!!

    As for actual medication while away..this is something I was really nervous about. As a result, my daughters consultant increased her meds as a precaution. In the past she had been ill abroad due to air conditioning in hotels etc so we pre- empted it this time. It worked well.

    As you say, in the Netherlands you will have support from your friend. Also the language barrier isn't too bad.

    I'd say the whole trip, as long as you have prepared beforehand with extra meds, letters, paperwork and insurance, will be beneficial for you. You will be looked after.

    Go and have a great time. Xx

  • Emily, not all airlines will provide oxygen, as I discovered when I last flew. I can't find it, but there is a booklet (I got it from Papworth Heart and Lung Hospital) which details individual airlines policies regarding in flight oxygen.

    Soph, if flying is the only way to travel, I really do strongly advise you to discuss with consultant and request a flight assessment test. I see no reason why your GP cannot provide you with enough meds for your visit. When I've flown, I have had to take buckets of meds, nebuliser, liquids, syringes/needles etc, plus my enteral feed and equipment, and got a covering letter from my GP which explained that they must NOT be put in the hold, but carried on as hand luggage. This means you need additional hand luggage and most airlines won't charge for this as its medical reasons, but you do need to let them know and find out their policy. (No one even checked my meds or letters LOL).

    I was using a wheelchair last time I flew, and was also given fast track through the airport, and first on/last off plane, so that I didn't have to walk. For all that people slate Ryan Air, they were fantastic, and couldn't have been more supportive or helpful.

    Im sure if you decide to go it will do you the world of good :-) xx

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