Recently I travelled to Japan with my husband and our 4 year old daughter.
Travelling with a chronic illness like Cystic Fibrosis (CF) can be scary if you haven’t done much travel before.
You really need to think and plan ahead before you go off on your adventure. I always make sure that I have letters typed up from my medical teams that outline what medications I will be taking with me on my trip. I bought this new product called ‘Fess’. It’s a nasal spray with tea tree oil in it, it says on the packet it’s supposed to keep the germs out of your nasal area. Well I sprayed it before I got on all my plane trips and while I was using the Tokyo train lines. I am happy to report that I did not catch any viruses while overseas.
In Japan the smog and pollution was pretty terrible, most locals always walk around wearing face masks to protect themselves. I didn’t bother doing that as I was only there for 8 days. I did monitor my lung function twice daily and it remained stable. Japanese people are very clean and conscious of germs – they carry face washers with them and use those if they are sick-covering their mouth and noses. I carried hand sanitizer with me everywhere and used it often.
Eating can be little tricky once you have had an organ transplant, there is a list of foods we can’t eat. Rice is a high risk food after having a transplant. I did eat rice while in Japan and made sure it was cooked in the wok at a very high temperature. I also ate pork again after it was cooked in a hot wok at a high temp and at an eatery with a very high turn over.
We had buffet breakfast in our hotel so that helped us by not having to find a safe eating place in the mornings. Big chain hotels have western breakfast options as well as the local cuisine (Miso soup, broccoli, fish and rice). We had bacon and toast, water and coffee. They did have hard boiled eggs on offer, but they were sitting out on the bench not in a fridge so I avoided those. I didn’t find it too hard to navigate around the different foods, just make sure you eat what you’re comfortable with!
Do some research of the temperatures and weather of where you are heading. In my case the weather in Japan was summertime, so I packed extra Hydralite for those hot days at Disneyland.
We had a fantastic holiday. I love travelling and seeing how other cultures live. Tokyo is an eye opener as there were so many people there and they are just beautiful people.
Plan ahead when traveling and make sure you have a great time 🙂
Here are my tips for travelling:
Letters from medical teams outlining your medications
Details of the nearest hospitals
Vogmask (I didn’t have one but know others who use them when flying)
Always carry medications and travel documents with you in your hand luggage. Take extra medications in case you lose some. I take Ciprofloxacin or Bactrim with me as a backup in case I develop a cough. (Check with your team)
Water, water, water. Stay hydrated!
Here is some more content of ours on Overseas Travel and Medication.