Jump to content

Need To Make Major Travel Decision


desiree942
 Share

Recommended Posts

What would you do? Looking for the POTS perspective:

One of my life long goals has been to go to Africa on a Safari and that opportunity has suddenly come up for next summer to go with a my friend and her mom. A year ago and I was so much worse that I NEVER would have considered it. But I have been more stable the past few months and am giving it some serious thought.

I still work full time, I don't pass out, just some presync and I haven't has a major episode in over a year and a half. I have flown several times the past year and do ok. But his is MAJOR flying and some serious travel -- 14 days. The tours are by car not a lot of walking from what I understand.

I am fearful that if I don't push myself to go I will look back regret it and feel like POTS has won again! It's hard to know how I will feel in a year but the trip must be booked in January. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being my pre POTS life and 1 being days of being in bedridden with POTS I'd say I am now functioning some days at a 7. I am blessed to be doing better and I also don't want to set myself back ---- looking for some input.

My other MAJOR concern is that I could have a bad reaction to the vaccines. Anyone heard anything about the vaccines and POTS? I will ask Dr. about this but first I need to do some research on my own. Thanks!

CDC vaccines:

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to East Africa. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

* Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.

* Hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11?12 years who did not receive the series as infants.

* Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to East Africa.

* Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June, (see see Map 4-9 on the Meningoccocal Disease page).

* Rabies, pre-exposure vaccination, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.

* Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors

* Yellow fever, a viral disease that occurs primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The virus is also present in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travelers to endemic areas and may be required to cross certain international borders (For country specific requirements, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country.). Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10 year intervals if there is on-going risk.

* As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi, i nt to thailand with pots and had all the vaccines about four months before, they caused more problems than the pots!!ha ha.

no honestly, iust felt flu like afterwards i stayed in bed fr a couple of days and then i was ok. they may make you syncopal, just from my own experience.

i had typhoid, malaria, hep a and b, polio, diptheria - think that was everything!?!

the travelling was difficult, 19 hour flight and a three hour stop in qatar, total of 21 hours travelling. also the heat and humidity was awful, i know i couldn't cope at the moment.

all in all though - trip of a lifetime and i'd do it again tomorrow.

my advice is ask the doctor about possible side effects of the vaccines, be prepared and GO FOR IT!!!! what an amazing opportunity!

love and hugs becks x x x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I am kinda stuck in the same boat but my trip is in Jan. this year, so I really need to figure out what I am doing....I haven't felt too great lately either, but I don't know if I'll ever get this type of opportunity again...

Jacquie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well it's sounds like a once in a life time opportunity, I would probably go for it.

You can do some things to make it more successful. Because of the heat in the summertime, you might want to look into a cooling vest. Figure out hydration, possible medications, doctor's that might be available to you in case of an emergency and a doc back home that can back you up if needed.

As for vaccinations, every one is individual and it's hard to say how you will react. Personally, vaccines that have a mercury preservative in them are a problem for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, that sounds like a great opportunity! You never know how POTS is going to treat you in the future, so if you think you can make it through the trip now, I say, go for it! If it is a life goal to go to Africa on a Safari you might regret it later if you didn't take the opportunity. Would you be able to block out a day or two on the trip to just stay at the hotel and rest if need be? We recently made a 6,000 mile road trip to move cross continent and we blocked in many days for me to rest and crash. That helped a lot.

As far as the vaccines go, I've only had two of the ones you listed after the onset of POTS. I had the Hepatitis B shot, and whatever is in the booster shot. I didn't have any adverse reactions to those. If you're worried about the mercury preservative, you can request shots without them.

Let us know what you decide.

Rachel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is a somewhat difficult question to answer. I used to do a good deal of international travel in my "better days" with POTS. I was not concerned with travel to Europe as the medical care would be pretty good. I am not sure what it is like where you plan to be. There were times that I went to developing countries in Asia and the Americas. However, I was attending meetings in an official capacity of the U.S. government so I could have the resources of the US Embassy if need be. I would also be attending at the invitation of health organizations with access to better than normal medical care.

The international flights did a number for me. Heat - not so good; steps - not so good; not drinking enough - not so good. You get the idea.

When I was really suffering from POTS, we cancelled a big trip to Israel even though health care is good in Israel. We thought the heat would not be so good for me.

Whatever you decide, I would be sure to take out travel insurance and make sure you have a full complement of all your medications. Be sure that you always have plenty of liquids.

You need to be the determiner of whether you should embark on such a trip. You know how you feel, how you have been feeling and how well you can manage a flare.

I am sure there will be other opportunities to go to these "exotic" places.

By the way, the Yellow Fever vaccination is not effective. The U.S. State Department does not mandate that vaccination for its employees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in South Africa. You have to go. It is going to be wonderful. A few things I would advice you on are:

Clothes, as little as possible the heat is un bearable some days.

Water, drink as much water as possible and don?t drink the water when travelling. Not even a little when you brushing your teeth.

Food, pack food to eat constantly to keep you going.

My next concern would be water and insects. You need to stay out off certain rivers and be prepared for Malaria. Sprays, nets, soap... etc. My husband has just had Malaria and it?s horrible.

You have to go Africa she beautiful. She will take your breath away. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would do the trip. I am biased b/c I lived and worked in Botswana for 2 years and I LOVED it and would so love to go back. Where in Africa are you going--since you say Safari, I assume eastern or southern Africa?

I guess there are some issues to keep in mind, given that you have POTS:

the long airplane ride--keep well-hydrated and move about as much as possible. This is advice for anyone but really important for you.

Africa is generally hot and generally very dry. You will lose fluids faster than you may be accustomed to at home. I would bring powdered re-hydration salts to mix with drinking water there.

If you are on prescription medications keep in mind that not all prescription meds will be easily available, depending on the country you are visiting.

Depending on the country and where in the country, medical care may be poor.

If you are going on a "package" tour, it is very likely that all your basic needs can be very well-accomodated -- you will stay in comfortable accomodations, have a variety of foods to eat, your schedule will be predictable (e.g., if your vehicle breaks down, another vehicle will be available; meals will be on a schedule, etc.); medical evacuation is possible if a life-threatening event occurs.

Traveling Africa on your own, which is mostly how I experienced it, is a completely different experience. I would not recommend that kind of travel for someone with significant health problems.

I would not worry about the vaccines--unless you have had problems with vaccines. The vaccines will ward off diseases that would be far far more problematic than any likely response to a vaccine--but if you are concerned, talk to a doctor.

What about malaria prophylactic? What will you take? I might be a little more concerned about that-how it might interact with other meds or with POTS.

Hope you can go--Africa is amazing and the experience will change you in some way for the rest of your life.

Katherine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone for your replies -- I value all your input, ideas and suggestions. Sometimes I feel isolated living with POTS because the people around me don't have the same persepctive on how POTS effects our daily quality of life. I learn new things and meet new people every day, one of the benefits of POTS. Thanks again!!!!

I would do the trip. I am biased b/c I lived and worked in Botswana for 2 years and I LOVED it and would so love to go back. Where in Africa are you going--since you say Safari, I assume eastern or southern Africa?

I guess there are some issues to keep in mind, given that you have POTS:

the long airplane ride--keep well-hydrated and move about as much as possible. This is advice for anyone but really important for you.

Africa is generally hot and generally very dry. You will lose fluids faster than you may be accustomed to at home. I would bring powdered re-hydration salts to mix with drinking water there.

If you are on prescription medications keep in mind that not all prescription meds will be easily available, depending on the country you are visiting.

Depending on the country and where in the country, medical care may be poor.

If you are going on a "package" tour, it is very likely that all your basic needs can be very well-accomodated -- you will stay in comfortable accomodations, have a variety of foods to eat, your schedule will be predictable (e.g., if your vehicle breaks down, another vehicle will be available; meals will be on a schedule, etc.); medical evacuation is possible if a life-threatening event occurs.

Traveling Africa on your own, which is mostly how I experienced it, is a completely different experience. I would not recommend that kind of travel for someone with significant health problems.

I would not worry about the vaccines--unless you have had problems with vaccines. The vaccines will ward off diseases that would be far far more problematic than any likely response to a vaccine--but if you are concerned, talk to a doctor.

What about malaria prophylactic? What will you take? I might be a little more concerned about that-how it might interact with other meds or with POTS.

Hope you can go--Africa is amazing and the experience will change you in some way for the rest of your life.

Katherine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If POTS has taught me anything positive it's that you never know when you'll wake up one day and be very very limited. I kick myself now for not running as hard as I could, or appreciate all the standing I did at work, or just being able to have a conversation without losing my breath.

GO!!!! Ice your legs and neck down daily if you have to, but GO!!!! If you pass out on a safari, lay there a while, come to, then keep experiencing the wonders of your trip! Say to your body, "You're not keeping me down THIS TIME!"

~Leigh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...