To be a serious Travel Blogger there is often an expectation that you travel all the time. That travel becomes part of your identity, your career and your lifestyle. For us that will always be difficult.
Just before the new millennium, T became very sick on returning from a huge European adventure. He wasn’t expected to live and was in a coma for just under a month. It was life changing. When he did finally wake up, his life plans changed. Shortly after he became an organ recipient and has become immune suppressed as a consequence along with a number of other health challenges.
When we began our family we knew that travel would be a big part of our lives. We didn’t want a chronic health condition to define us nor restrict us completely.
As a transplant recipient T has quarterly blood tests and specialist appointments, monthly hospital visits and ongoing observation. We can travel out of Australia for three month periods at a maximum. His specialist will not approve many of the destinations on the typical Bucket List so we have reframed ours to suit what we want to do together. So how do we go about travelling with a chronic health condition.
We do travel. We try to make the most out of every opportunity and have a “glass half full” attitude. Australia has one of the best health care systems in the world so we know we are in safe hands traveling almost anywhere right here. We take advantage of local travel options too. Uncovering many of Sydney’s secret destinations is so much fun! Showing the kids what we have right here is fostering their love of our home.
Before a big trip we do a lot of research. We need to ensure that T’s pharmaceutical regime can be followed (some countries have restrictions on the drugs that can be brought into the country); that bottled water is readily available and the likelihood of things like gastro are minimal. This has ruled out many destinations that we could travel to quite regularly on a shoe string budget. A trip to Hong Kong saw T spend a week in Westmead Hospital on our return!
When we do venture abroad we read the fine print on our insurance policies (T is automatically excluded from 3/4 of them!), check with his specialist, research the medical requirements and then plan. Europe, the Pacific Islands and the USA have all been visited. Japan is next.
The Kid Bucket List is all about adventures together. Even with health complications you can have a world of experience together. We hope to write more on Travelling with a chronic health condition in the coming weeks and months. What would you like to know more about?