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PAylor

Traveling with health conditions

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Hi all,

We have been very active RVers for nine years.  We do own a home but travel at least six months of the year.  We've been to Alaska twice, every state in the lower 48 as well as BC, Alberta, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland. We mix volunteering with touring.    It has be been such a wonderful adventure. 

One year ago my husband was diagnosed with mylodisplactic syndrome (MDS), what they call pre-leukemia.   He is what they call low to intermediate risk right now. He has been stable since his diagnosis.   At some point he may need a bone marrow transplant but for now he just requires shots every one to two weeks.  Needless to say it put a crimp in our travel last year. 

We were able to get away for six weeks.  It took lots planning and record transferring.  Everything went well though.  We are currently on another six week trip.  The planning and record transfer has been much more difficult. 

His doctor says that he could stay stable like this for four or five years.  Also any health decline will be slow so no risk of a sudden problem. 

We want to try another big trip to Alaska.  I am sure that many of you have health conditions but continue to travel.  I would love to hear positive stories about your experiences.    

Thanks in advance!

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I am sure you have done all this but it never hurt to check.

Can he give himself the shots? I have RA and give myself a shot once a week rather than see the doctor for an infusion monthly.

Does the doctor have any alternative? Maybe get a second opinion.

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He has to have bloodwork done every time.  Plus there are insurance restrictions.  

At this point we've had three different doctors confirm this is the best course of action.

 

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I don't have any advice for you, other than to never give up. I can share a success story, which I hope will encourage you to keep on with your RV efforts.

Back in 1999 as we were preparing to go on the road fulltime, Pam was diagnosed with COPD as well as some major stomach issues. After much consulting with her doctors we moved forward with our plan and in early 2000 we sold the house and hit the road. Fortune smiled on us as leaving the large cities behind got us out of most of the air pollution that had been aggravating her breathing problems and her health actually improved. We continued to return to the area long enough to make regular doctor visits but with her improving health, we had only minimal travel restrictions and fewer as she got better. While the improvement was not permanent, we had 12 wonderful years on the road and today the problems she started to travel with are controlled, her breathing problems are nearly resolved, but arthritis has forced us from the road, but we do still manage trips of several months in our RV. Those years on the road were some of the very best of our 55 years together. 

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First, do make sure you take all records along with you.  Second, make sure you have insurance that allows you to get treatment anywhere and does not require referrals for specialists.  (Can you change your policy? I chose the original Medicare and a supplement from United Health Care that enables me to see any doctor anywhere.) Third, you might see if you can contact doctors along your route ahead of time.  This would be a lot easier if you only have to get the shots every two weeks instead of one week.  See if this is possible.

It is going to take a lot of planning, but I know someone who needs to see an oncologist every month and so has seen doctors all over the country.  And once you get doctors arranged along your route, it will be easier the next year.

Edited by Solo18

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We've known a couple folks who were full-timing and on dialysis. They kept traveling and seemed to have no problem getting treatment.  Best of luck to you!

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