I’ve been traveling more this past year than ever before. It’s both a blessing and a curse each time I leave for a trip on my own without the rest of the family. The anticipation of having some solitude and quiet time is fantastic. On the flip side, I’m a typical control-freak of a hemo mom: I’m usually stressed trying to coordinate everything like arranging child care for the kids while my husband works, and making sure there are groceries in the house. Let’s not even talk about the voice in the back of my mind whispering, “What are you going to do if Thomas bleeds while you are gone?” (It’s happened and it was a wonderful lesson to me that Thomas is quite capable of asserting some independence and self-care.)
While traveling by myself is a mixed bag, traveling with the family in tow can be an outright hassle. In the lead-up to a recent family vacation, I was in tears the afternoon before the flight because we weren’t anywhere close to being ready to leave for several days. By 9 PM that night, I was standing in Target buying my youngest child new clothes because it was simply easier than trying to summit Mount St. Laundry in time for our 6 AM flight. I was ready to just cancel the whole trip because getting prepared for the vacation was the worst kind of start to a “relaxing” family trip.
Luckily, packing for Thomas, whether it is for a vacation or even a hospital stay, hasn’t been too much of a stressor for me. I learned many years ago that having his factor shipped to our destination a day ahead of our arrival helps a ton (and has given his grandparents who live on the other side of the country a glance into just how much stuff we need for all these infusions). I created a packing list that is saved on my computer; a quick print out of that list ensures that I’ll remember to have everything sent ahead. The same list is used to pack a carry-on bag of factor and supplies – we always travel with at least one day’s worth of factor in our hands. Sure, there have been times over the years when we forgot an item or two, but the nice thing about having pre-arranged shipments to our destination, plus having the carry-on, is that we almost always have enough of an item to survive twenty-four hours until our specialty pharmacy can send more.
‘Tis the season of traveling to grandma’s house for turkey and pumpkin pie – just as sweet of a treat is knowing you have everything you need for infusions. I’ll share my packing list* below as a guide to help you give thanks when you don’t leave anything behind.
|Co-Ban or Co-Flex|
|Sterile Dressing Change Kits/Port Access Kits with sterile gloves & mask|
|Hand soap and sanitizer|
|Travel Letter from HTC|
*My son has a port and we do peripheral vein sticks sometimes so this list assumes we’ll be doing some of each kind of infusion.
Sonji lives with her husband, Nathan, and three children Nora (11), Thomas, (10), & Natalie (7) in Colorado.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.