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Medical considerations

August 1, 2010

Mom has her own transport chair for going to the mall or the farmer’s market. We decided the easiest answer for this vacation would be to rent a wheelchair for use on the cruise.  Holland America uses two companies for medical equipment, so after emails requesting quotes, I reserved a standard chair from carevacations.com for $70 for the week. The standard chair has the bigger back wheels, meaning it’ll be using to push and manuever, unlike transport chairs with all wheels the same size.

These companies also rent motorized scooters and oxygen, among other things. The best thing, from my point of view, is that the chair will be waiting in our cabin when we embark, and we simply leave it in the cabin when we disembark. No fuss, no muss.

The other medical thing we had to think about is medications. Mom travels by air yearly, and always keeps her pills in her weekly pill box with no problems. However, since we’ll be across the country among strangers instead of staying with family, and will be dealing with security at an airport we’ve not familiar with, she’ll be traveling with her meds in their original bottles, and I’ll put them in her pill box once we get there. Better to be safe than sorry: it wouldn’t be a great start to the vacation to have TSA confiscate unknown pills.

I’ve heard that pharmacies will print labels on smaller bottles for travel, to avoid lugging some of those big bottles. We may try this, even though many of her meds come from via mail order. Even if there’s a small charge, it’ll be worth it.

I’ve also had her get written prescriptions for everything, as an extra precautionary measure. Imagine if the bag of her meds went overboard somehow!

As for me, the trip finally nudged me to get a medic alert bracelet. If anything were to happen, I don’t think Mom would remember to tell anyone that I was on blood thinners. (I had DVTs and a pulmonary embolism in January, and thanks to a newly-found genetic disorder, I’m on Coumadin forever.) Here’s the bracelet plaque: isn’t it pretty?

I’ve also bought the dreaded compression stockings for the flights. We were originally scheduled for a Chicago layover, but the flights got changed and now we’re going from Dulles to Seattle, so it’s a much longer flight. Once again, better safe than sorry.

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