Traveling While On Medication

A lot of us patients with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis have to take a number of medications. When we are at home, it is easy to store them and stay organized. We have a routine and we stick to it. The medication usually stays in one spot. We usually don’t miss a dosage as we are in our routine. 

When we travel, however, things change...

Needing to adjust my injection schedule

I recently traveled to Oklahoma City to visit some of my family members. As excited as I was, I really tried to prepare myself for my medication dilemma. I said to myself, “This time I will be more organized!” Well, here is what happened.

The night before we left, I realized that we would be flying on an airplane when I needed to inject one of my medications. I typically take this medication once a week, on the same day each week. But because I'd be flying, I was going to need to switch the day that I took it.

I went on Google (which I do not recommend doing for medical advice), and it really didn’t give specifics about changing the day that I injected. I assumed that this was a problem that was dealt with before, and decided to take the chance. How bad could it be? 

Storing and organizing meds for travel

I also brought out my travel medication containers. They are different colors. The colors correlate to different parts of the day. The clear one is the morning with the most medication. The blue one is for my lunchtime pills. The pink is for my evening/bedtime pills.

I took a lot of time out of my morning before leaving to set up my medications. I was determined to stay on schedule. My stomach, however, didn’t want to cooperate, as I usually have a few bouts before heading to the airport.

The other problem with traveling when taking medication is where to store it during the day. We went to breakfast when we spent the night at the hotel. I had to carry my medication (morning meds) in my pocket.  his caused for one of the lids to open up, spilling that day’s medication into my pocket. 

I would recommend that you carry either a fanny pack or a small bag around with you. Maybe even a pair of cargo shots can help.

Missing medication doses while traveling

On this trip I did not take my morning medications. The morning medication sat in my rental car. Take a guess what time I took my morning medication? 7pm! Why you ask? I took it late because we were walking around the city zoo. It was hot, plus I didn’t want my pockets full. My fault! I don’t know why I did that. 

I did not feel a difference with my Crohn’s, although my spacing between medications was way off. I did not even take my evening medications, nor my lunch. The whole day in terms of taking my medications was a waste. I was so busy that I didn’t even have time to set a reminder on my phone.

Luckily, when all was said and done, I was OK. But this could have potentially led to some pretty bad health consequences.

So what do you do when you are on vacation? Do you have any tips to make traveling while on medication easier?

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