Summer is upon us and that means it’s vacation season. There is no reason that familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) or elevated lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), should interfere with making amazing memories and adventuring all over.
As long as you make the appropriate preparations, you can be sure your vacation is seamless, relaxing, and doesn’t interfere with your health.
#1. Talk to Your Doctor or Specialist
Checking with your provider is always a good idea if you’re having any concerns about traveling. You may need to request more than 30 days’ worth of medication, or re-schedule any apheresis treatments.
#2. Check on Medication Restrictions
If you’re flying, you’ll want to check TSA restrictions. Medications like PCSK9 inhibitors are liquids that need to be kept cool in your carry-on, and you may need to present it to the TSA at security. Know ahead of time to avoid being held up at the airport.
Some countries also have restrictions on medications allowed to enter their country. It’s unlikely common cholesterol drugs are restricted, but it’s a good idea to check against the list ahead of time.
#3. Use Travel Accessories that Make it Easy to Carry Your Medicine
How many of us have hastily packed for a trip and thrown all our pill bottles in a big Ziplock bag? There’s an easier way to save space and keep your medicines organized. Pill cases, injectable coolers, and other travel accessories truly help the packing and traveling process go so much smoother.
#4. Keep Your Medical Information in an Important and Easily Accessible Place
Consider the safest place on yourself when you’re traveling – probably where you keep your phone, your money, plane tickets, etc. That’s where you should keep your medical information. It’s a good idea to write down your condition, your medications (name and dosage), and the numbers of your providers on a piece of paper kept near your important documents. If traveling to a foreign country, consider writing it in the local language, as well.
#5. Don’t Forget Your Health Care Cards
This refers to more than your health insurance ID card. If you have any stents or medical equipment implanted, you likely have cards with important details for medical providers to know. Keep these close to your other medical information.
#6. Make a Plan
No one wants to think about hospitals when getting ready for a getaway, but it’s an important and responsible thing to do. Let any travel companions know about your condition and where they can locate your health care information. It’s also a good idea to know the closest hospital (in-network, if necessary) to where you’re staying.
#7. Have Fun!
While FH and high Lp(a) may require a few extra pre-planning steps, remember this is a vacation. Enjoy the sights, check off your bucket list, eat the dessert, relax, and enjoy your trip!