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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Making Myself a Travel First Aid and Health Kit


Every time I travel, I find I get more and more experienced, and learn from my mistakes and am able to improve things over last time. One thing I've especially learned is having to do with taking care of my health while I'm traveling, getting better and better each time. The first time I traveled abroad as an adult alone I ended up in the ER with really bad insurance and big medical bills that I had to pay out of pocket before the insurance would even consider paying me back. I learned from there to get insurance that involves no initial outlay. 

Then on my trip to Greece, I sprained my ankle, and needed to get to a doctor for crutches, but even taking a taxi to reach the doctor (since buses weren't an option with my foot the way it was) cost a lot, and it ended up being cheaper to have a friend buy me a pair of crutches instead of paying for a taxi to get to the doctor which would be free with insurance to get crutches free with insurance. I learned that insurance only goes so far when you're injured, because you still need to figure out a way to get out of the house to get medical help.

And then on my trip to the US, I ended up sick and had to find a store to get stuff to help me heal, and paid through the nose for some immune boosting items and throat lozenges at a store near where I was, because I wasn't familiar with the area or where to shop.

And so, I decided that for this trip, I'd put together my own travel first aid kit, containing basic and maybe a little more than basic medical supplies for myself. While I probably can get all these items locally, there would be the hassle of finding doctors, needing to travel to find these things, paying full price, because I'm not able to buy things on sale or price compare in a new country. Plus this just saves the headache.



In addition to my previous experiences, there was also the factor that my kids just finished having a stomach bug, and while I was spared so far, there's no guarantee that I won't get something while I'm away. So I made sure to go to the pharmacy locally and pick up some generic pepto bismol tablets and immodium just in case.
Having gotten injured in the past, and still in the process of recovering from a sprained ankle (I can walk, but my foot twists regularly and I end up in pain, so the likelihood of reinjury is high) I made sure to bring two ace bandages, as well as some Traumeel. I also made sure to bring some naproxen and ibuprofin just in case. I am still debating this, and will probably end up finalizing this in the morning before I leave, but I'll probably bring along my crutches just in case, because, as I mentioned, my foot still isn't healed.

I brought throat lozenges with manuka honey in them in case of sore throat.

And then because of coronavirus, which I am not really worried about, but decided to take precautions just in case, I also brought vitamin C and immune building supplements. And I also packed some rubbing alcohol to use to clean the surfaces in the airplane.

Then of course, this is personal to me, but I made sure to have plenty of my psychiatric meds, as well as some benzos as a backup for emergencies, as approved by my psychiatrist.

Last but not least, I also have bandaids, both large and small, tweezers, and nail scissors.
I think this is the most I've ever brought for my health and well being on a trip, but its better be safe than sorry, no? Especially with my history.

Hoping I won't need to use any of these beyond my daily psych meds, but you know how it is, when you bring an umbrella it won't rain, and if you bring all these first aid stuff, you won't need them.

Do you bring first aid supplies when traveling? What is in your travel first aid arsenal and why?

3 comments:

  1. Just remember it needs to go in your check-on bag, otherwise you run the risk of having the scissors and tweezers confiscated at security!

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  2. I recently traveled to Odessa Ukraine with my daughter and her family over the winter break.
    Because of your vacation with your children overseas blog post, I talked with my daughter on pacing ourselves to the needs of an active seven year and an 18 month old toddler. I learned so much from that post!
    I take a lot of medications including prescription narcotics. Before I traveled I saw my GP and had her write me a letter of my diagnoses and my medications in case I got stopped anywhere.
    On the last part of our trip, in the airport returning home,in Ukraine, we got stopped when I needed to take my shoes off but I could barely walk. I have a Disability Card and they pay me down,and were very inconsiderate to my situation. We also had bottled drinks in our bags - but we thought we would still be able to drink before we got through Security,however my son-in-law,for whom this was his first trip overseas, and he was helping with all our carry-on bags, did not realize my physical limitations and I got even more frustrated and more in pain with the extra walking in the airport. I had asked for wheelchair assistance at the check-in and it was being arranged for me, but SIL was nervous about how things go.
    Anyhow, I felt humiliated by Ukraine Security and I got emotionally upset and they were very impolite towards me. They also wanted to throw out all if our bottles of drinks. Yes I am aware of liquids and airports, but I also need water for my medications and airport time, airplane travel, getting off the plane, etc I knew I would need my water.
    I showed Security my letter from the GP where it showed all my medications and they had me open a closed bottle of water and take a drink from it. Then they let us go past. We had asked if there was a place to buy drinks after the Security or a water cooler. They told us No to both but after we were past the Security and in the waiting area for our flight, there were water coolers. And our flight was delayed for over an hour.
    I guess my advice to you Penny, is maybe u should ask your GP to write u a letter of all your prescription meds.

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  3. I am sure you are aware, since you travel a lot, but sometimes it is useful to have doctor's prescription/notice with you, if anybody gives you hard time about psych meds. Also, I've heard it is better to take pills in their original packaging, so the border control officers know what it is and are easier on you. Have a safe travel!

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