Make sure to see your physician before you leave home to obtain prescriptions that will last for the entire time you will be gone. Have a little extra for any delays that might happen. Talk to your doctor about your itinerary and make sure that you are physically ready to meet the demands of your trip. If you have a pacemaker or any other medical device, make sure you have a copy of the wallet card that accompanies the device. If you are a diabetic, do not forget to take your glucose meter with you and supplies. Insulin will be fine outside of the refrigerator for one month. Take along any over-the-counter medications that you might need. They can be expensive in airports and at gas stations.
If you will be flying, the medications must be left in the original containers with your name on them. Check with the airlines if you have to have oxygen or nebulizer treatments during the flight. Each airline has different requirements. Airlines will help you with wheelchairs, canes, or crutches if you need to use them. Make sure medications and necessary medical equipment are kept in your carry-on and not in the checked luggage. You may not be able to get to your checked luggage when you need them.
Depending on where you are travelling, you may need vaccinations. Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov) for the latest recommendations for each country. For some vaccines, such as yellow fever, you will need to obtain them at a travel medicine center. There are several in Kentucky.
Gay Fulkerson, MD, is a board-certified family physician and wound care/hyperbaric specialist.