Multiple Sclerosis: Travel Planning
What to Bring continued...
Walking stick.Even if you walk with ease, think about whether a walking stick or other aid would help you save energy.
Cool or warm gear. Prepare for the weather and remember to bring your cooling vest or hat and gloves.
You can also adapt gear to help you keep cool. "A patient who took a mountain biking trip to Utah in the middle of August filled a CamelBak two-thirds full with water every night and froze it. Then she filled it the rest of the way each morning," Jung-Henson says. "That was her hydration and cooling."
Before You Leave
Put these on your checklist:
Vaccinations. Don't get on a plane, train, or bus in flu season without a flu shot, Jung-Henson says.
Travel abroad may call for additional shots. Not all of them are right for people with MS. Your doctor and a travel clinic can work with you to weigh your options.
Medication schedule. Work with your doctor to decide when you should take your drugs if you'll be in a different time zone. Set alarms on your phone to remind you.
Referral. No one plans to see a doctor on vacation, but just in case, ask your doctor for the name of someone you could call at your destination. Consider packing a CD of your most recent MRI. Know the password to access your electronic medical records.
Navigating the Airport
Call TSA.The Transportation Security Administration has a special help line called "TSA Cares" for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions: 855-787-2227. Call 72 hours before check-in to find out what to expect at the airport. Tell them if you'll be carrying needles for injectable medication. You can also request a passenger support specialist who can help you at the airport.
Foreign airports. Research in advance their policies on needles and medications.
Use a wheelchair. Even if you don't usually need help walking, you might want to consider asking for a wheelchair and any other accommodation that will help you save energy and move more quickly to the gate and onto your flight.