PDA

View Full Version : Trip to Italy



Jem
06-19-2006, 02:24 AM
I am going to Italy next month with my husband and children. It is our gift to each other in celebration of our 25 wedding anniversary. I was wondering if anyone has tips to share with me about traveling and avoiding germs. I have read how airplanes carry tons of germs that can be especially dangerous to cfer's. I do remember someone posting not to consume beverages with airplane ice as there is bacteria in them. Is this true? Any other recommendations for what I should do or bring with me would be most appreciated. Thank you! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">

NoExcuses
06-19-2006, 02:43 AM
1st off, congrats! Italy is fabulous. I was there two years ago.

2ndly, are you able to fly long distances with one lung? The air in airplanes can lower O2 sats. I'm sure you have already looked into that, but I never assume anything.

3rdly, don't drink tap water or have ice cubes in your water on the plane. Drink only bottled water. Don't forget coffee and tea- these items are made with airplane tap water too.

4thly, I don't worry so much about airborne germs on planes. Cuz really, there's nothing you can do about it. But what I do worry about is dehydration. It is so easy to get dehydrated on a plane (and not realize it, especially on long flights). Dehydration gives PA a great opportunity to grow. This goes for walking around in Italy as well - it's super hot there this time of year.

5th, contact the CFF and identify local CF centers/hospitals in the cities in Italy where you are going. So in case something happens you'll know right where to go.

6th, remember that if you don't have the latest version of the Vest (www.thevest.com) you will need a transformer, and not just a little plug that converts the shape of your plug.

7th, check to see if your compressor works overseas. I have a PARI ProNeb ultra, and it doesn't. I found that out the hard way in Austria this past winter, and I was stuck with a $300 European version. Cash.

8th, find a way to boil/sanitize your nebs. I brought a deep flyer with me (it heats water to boiling point). It takes up a ton of space, but when it comes to our health, who cares? last thing I want is to pay for an expensive trip to Europe and then have an expensive hospital bill + time off from work. Staying healthy will make your trip more enjoyable.

9th, carry all of your meds on with you on the plane. ALL OF THEM. Your nebs. Your compressor. Your Vest. Everything. My stuff was hung up in SFO while I was in Austria for 3 days. And the wonderful thing was there was nothing to stress about because I had all of my meds with me. So I could enjoy myself for those 3 days, doing meds, staying healthy, etc. Don't let the airlines tell you that you're carrying too much on. Federal Law requires medical equipment to be carried on the plane.

10th, eat some prosciuto & melone for me in Italy.

<b>
ENJOY YOUR TRIP!!!!!!</b>

Jem
06-19-2006, 03:08 AM
Buon giorno Amy! Thanks for taking the time to write these great tips for me. My O2 sats are at 98 with one lung so traveling should not be a problem. I went to CA several years back and didn't have a problem. I also have the latest version of the VEST (that's great that no converter is necessary with that model) but I will check out my nebulizer, which is an "Inspiration 626".

All your thoughts are wonderful and I especially like your idea on how to boil/sanitize my nebs and I agree that when it comes to our health it is well worth the extra effort. I will also carry on all equipment and meds on board with me. And I will most definitely eat some prosciutto & melon for you in Italy.
Grazie Amy <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">

CowTown
06-19-2006, 05:45 AM
Congratulations on your 25th anniversary! That's wonderful, hope you have a super time.

My husband and I just went to Italy last month. The first thing I can think of to recommend is bring 2 of the largest size adapters (the ones that go into the wall). If you want to do your vest at the same time as your breathing machine, then you'll need 2 of those things. For me, I only brought one with me and had to take extra time doing them back to back instead of at the same time.

Secondly, have a super time and enjoy eachother!

CowTown
06-19-2006, 05:53 AM
A few more things while I'm thinking of them.

1. If you happen to stop in Germany as a layover or something (we did), for us they were far more cautious about all the med machines. Bring with you a note from your doc explaining that you need all these meds and machines. Also the Vest user manual or a xerox copy of their info with phone #, etc. We ran into a weight limit only passing through Germany which my med bag exceeded. They finally let us go with it onboard but it was quite the scene.

2. Amy mentioned about the breathing machines. I took the Pari Trek and everything worked out smoothly. Eventhough the Pari Pro Neb Ultra is the best machine for the medicines, at least with the Pari Trek I could take the meds.

Think that's it. Have fun.

anonymous
06-19-2006, 07:24 AM
Wow! I didn't know any of those tips especially about the ice cubes!

I don't have anything to add but have an amazing time and come back and tell us all about it<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">

Sue 24w/CF

Jem
06-19-2006, 09:45 AM
I am so glad I posted this question. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">&nbsp;I am really getting
some good ideas here. &nbsp;Thanks Kelly for your congrats, advice
on the adaptors and how to prepare myself for a layover. &nbsp;I
happen to own a new pari trek that I received from a friend who
&nbsp;didn't need it so that can be an option for me&nbsp;<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0"><br>
<br>
Thanks for your congrats too Sue. &nbsp;I am really getting excited
about going and with all this advice I will be able to enjoy my
trip more.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>
<br>
Any more tips friends?<br>
<br>

NoExcuses
06-19-2006, 12:47 PM
PARI Trek is not approved for Pulmozye or TOBI, so be careful. The particle size is too large.

You won't be getting the full dose (and when you don't get a full dose of antibiotics, you are promoting resistance, which can be a HUGE issue in CF as you know).

EnergyGal
06-19-2006, 02:14 PM
Amy you are like an online doctor so much knowledge. thank you

LouLou
06-19-2006, 04:04 PM
The latest edition of CF Roundtable newsletter was all about travel. Since you have some time you might want to order this back issue. Check it out at <a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://www.cfroundtable.com/">http://www.cfroundtable.com/</a> if you aren't already subscribed it is one of the best $10 I spend each year.

One tip I remember that was really helpful and I'm still trying to figure out how I could do it is to take all medicine in original bottles and to bring a list of all your Rx's, with all the details (dose, frequency, etc.) and on that list have the phone number of your doc.'s back in the states and in each country you'll be in.

You may consider doing the Ho2o, alcohol or bleach methods for cleaning so you don't have to worry about boiling in a foreign place. Personally for me the residue that develops on boiled nebs freaks me out.

I have noticed a marked decrease in the number of infections I have caught post trip (most likely from the plane) since I've been wearing an allergy mask on the plane. Sure people look at you weird, but it gives you an opportunity to tell them about CF and lowers my hysteria level when I inevitably sit near a young child screaming and spewing their germs.


Have a safe and healthy trip.

Why isn't that they don't do partial lung removal anymore?

luke
06-19-2006, 06:51 PM
Janet,

We went to Italy on our honey moon...It was nice. I actually bought a new nebulizer while I was over there, only 50 euro I think. That is so much cheaper than I sell them here! I wouldn't t mind to let you borrow the machine if you need it, just let me know. A word to wise not CF related..they do have 110 outlets in the bathrooms for us filthy Americans but most of our 110 appliances actually pull 120 so be sure to bring a converter for your hair dryer and such....and of course if you take a converter for your hair dryer it will also work for your nebulizer. The only other suggestion would be travel insurance to cover your medical costs in the case you get sick. I didn't get it because I didn't think about it but it makes great sense.

Have a great time and tell the pope hello for me

luke

NoExcuses
06-19-2006, 11:08 PM
<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote><i>Originally posted by: <b>LouLou</b></i>

You may consider doing the Ho2o, alcohol or bleach methods for cleaning so you don't have to worry about boiling in a foreign place. Personally for me the residue that develops on boiled nebs freaks me out.
</end quote></div>

I considered doing that on my last trip as well. Problem is that you have to rinse the alcohol or bleach off with something - sterile water. So you either have to carry the sterile water with you (and if you're traveling for a long time and you're on multiple meds using 6-8 nebs a day, that can be cumbersome), or boil water out of the tap in the country you're in, and then rinse.

Be careful of rinsing with tap or bottled water .... PA is everywhere!

Jem
06-20-2006, 12:22 AM
<p class="msonormal">Thanks <b>Amy</b> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0"> about reminding me that
the Pari Trek is not approved for Pulmozyme which I am
taking.&nbsp; I will just bring an adaptor for my regular
nebulizer.&nbsp; Also thanks for the sterilization
information.&nbsp; I like using distilled water when I boil my nebs
at home (this way there is no film left on the neb cups) &nbsp;but
I don't think I will be able to acquire it easily on my trip so I
will just have to boil the water that's available.&nbsp; I have
purchased disposable side streamers for the pulmozyme treatments
which were cheap and I can bring those but for the HS I need my
Pari LC Plus which will need to be sterilized after each
treatment.

<p class="msonormal">&nbsp;

<p class="msonormal"><b>Lauren</b> - I looked up the CF roundtable
web link you suggested and it looks great! I subscribed and also
requested the travel back issue.&nbsp; I am looking forward to
getting it.

<p class="msonormal">I appreciate all your tips and the time you
took to respond.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">

<p class="msonormal">&nbsp;

<p class="msonormal"><b>Luke</b>--&nbsp; Thanks for your offer to
loan me your European nebulizer.&nbsp; I think that I will just
bring the appropriate adaptor but is was very sweet of you to
offer.&nbsp;<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0"> I will look into the travel insurance which sounds
like a wise investment. &nbsp;And yes, &nbsp;I will certainly say
hello for you to the Pope.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"><br>
<br>
I appreciate everyone who took the time to write to me. &nbsp;Thank
you and if anyone else would like to share their tips I would love
to hear them!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border="0">

Jem
06-20-2006, 12:29 AM
Lauren your question: <b>Why isn't that they don't do partial lung
removal anymore?<br>
</b><br>
I am not sure what the answer is to that question. &nbsp;I can only
share my experience. I had one lobe removed at age 19 and the other
lobe of the left lung removed at age 40. &nbsp;Both times it was
because of chronic hemoptysis. &nbsp;The lobe they removed 7 years
ago only had 11 % function and they said I wouldn't miss it.
&nbsp;They were right, I do not miss it and I do not miss the
multiple hospitalizations I had 2 years prior to removal. &nbsp;I
have not been hospitalized or on IV's since. &nbsp;You would never
guess I had I lung.&nbsp;&nbsp;My PFT's are 45 and I work hard
trying to keep the one lung I have as healthy as possible.
<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border="0">&nbsp;<b><br>
</b>

Momtana
06-20-2006, 01:36 PM
Has anyone heard of a sinus spray that protects against viruses and bacteria? A school teacher told me about it (she's not been sick from her 3rd graders this year since she started using it) and she tells me that people who work on airplanes use it as well. She purchased it at our local food co-op. That would be something good for the travel bag.

Momtana
06-20-2006, 08:03 PM
Here is the nasal spray that was recommended to me: <a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://www.xlear.com/xlear/">http://www.xlear.com/xlear/</a>

littletally
06-20-2006, 08:17 PM
So when everyone travels you take everything medical with you on the plane? Do you take notes from the doctor? What do you do if the flight attendents or security people argue with you or tell you you have to put it in with the luggage and cannot take it as a carry on? I've had that happen to me a couple of times when I had a note explaining what it was. I do not have the newest version of the vest but it only ways about 35 lbs and fits in the overhead compartment. I've seen people with alot more than that take it on the plane. Any advice for ways to pleasantly get on board a plane? Please help!

Nikki
26/f/cf

Jane
06-21-2006, 12:58 AM
Janet,
I have absolutely NO tips, unfortunately not a recent European traveler. But I AM a wanna-be. Italy is my dream. Have a wonderful time celebrating your anniversary. Can't wait to hear all about it. What is your itinerary?

anonymous
06-21-2006, 02:51 AM
<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote><i>Originally posted by: <b>littletally</b></i>

So when everyone travels you take everything medical with you on the plane? Do you take notes from the doctor? What do you do if the flight attendents or security people argue with you or tell you you have to put it in with the luggage and cannot take it as a carry on? I've had that happen to me a couple of times when I had a note explaining what it was. I do not have the newest version of the vest but it only ways about 35 lbs and fits in the overhead compartment. I've seen people with alot more than that take it on the plane. Any advice for ways to pleasantly get on board a plane? Please help!



Nikki

26/f/cf</end quote></div>

You don't back down. You don't take no for an answer. Because as a disabled person, you know your rights under Federal Law. End of story.

-Amy

Jem
06-21-2006, 09:16 AM
Thank you Laura for your suggestion. &nbsp;And Jane to answer your
question we are going to be staying in Rome, then making day trips
from there. &nbsp;We have several tours lined up at the Vatican,
which I am very excited about seeing. &nbsp;<br>
<br>
Thanks to you&nbsp;Amy for answering Nikki's question. &nbsp;You
really know how to make one feel empowered. &nbsp;As you said:
"<b>You don't back down. You don't take no for an answer.
Because as a disabled person, you know your rights under Federal
Law. End of story</b>."---&nbsp;I like that!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border="0"><br>
<br>
Thanks everyone for your good wishes and wonderful suggestions.
&nbsp;My trip will be more enjoyable because of them.<img src="i/expressions/heart.gif" border="0">

catboogie
06-21-2006, 11:28 AM
hey girl,

couple of things i wanted to add.

one, plan how you are going to keep your pulmozyme cold. if you stay in a nicer hotel it shouldn't be a problem but remember, refrigeration is NOT as common over there--you are a LOT less likely to have a fridge in your room. and in some places it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find ice--that is an american thing. if i were you i would take some freezer thingys with you that you can freeze when you have access to refrigeration and will keep your medicine cool during traveling, etc. if there isn't a refrigerator in your room, ask the front desk--they usually have one you can use. just don't let them stick it in a freezer--that is too cold.

two, i do think it is a good idea to have a written statement and contact information from your doctor about all of your medicine and equipment. and of course ask him where a good cf center is near where you will be staying.

three, i know the stuff about nebulizers can be confussing. just make sure that the model you take works on both AC/DC current. and of course you will also need a power converter so that your plug will work in their outlets.

lastly, there have been some good suggestions about cleaning nebulizers. keep in mind there are a lot of different things you can do. some are more or less of a hassle, and will do more or less of a good job too. boiling is great but requires a lot of extra stuff to take. depending on how long you'll be gone, you could probably get away with taking a bottle of isopropyl alcohol to us. then all you will need to do is buy bottled water (sterile if possible) to wash them with soap, and then soak them in alcohol and let them air dry. you would want to make sure you have a container to soak them in, and some antibacterial soap and maybe even some paper towels. i guess either way there is a lot of extra stuff to take, i just found this to be more simple.

also, take a lot of vitamin c. it will help your body with the extra stress of travel (especially before or after airplanes) and it's good to have on hand if you start coming down with something. and depending on what you usually take for infection, it's a nice mental safety net to have some cipro or something on hand if you would need it.

HAVE A GREAT TIME!!

laura

Jem
06-22-2006, 10:48 AM
Wow Laura!&nbsp; Thank you for taking the time to share your
traveling tips with me. I think I will be well prepared between
yours and the others I have received.&nbsp; I am looking forward to
having a GREAT TIME in Italy!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border="0"><br>
<br>
P.S. Congratulations Laura on the Canes winning the Stanley Cup!
They were AWESOME!!!!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-cool.gif" border="0">

catboogie
06-22-2006, 01:47 PM
momtana,

i like your name by the way! i think that pretty much any saline nasal spray is used for the prevention of viruses and bacteria. of course you can also use it if you are sick and trying to clear out your nose a bit. i recently bought some simply saline at the drug store and it states its use is for prevention.

laura

Momtana
06-22-2006, 06:49 PM
Laura, Xlear has xylitol and tea tree oil (as a preservative) in it and claims to work against bugs in the air. The Momtana name has been given to me by my daughter's friends at college in upstate New York. It's been hard for me to respond to this nickname because I don't feel like a Montanan though I have lived here for 14 years. So I'm trying to get used to it.
I am Laura, too.