Traveling with Hepatitis C
Last updated: September 2019
When I got diagnosed, even going across the state line scared me. I checked a map along the route to make sure a hospital was always nearby. It may seem radical, but if you are on treatment, or are taking meds for portal vein hypertension, anemia, or whatever, the fear is real. I ended up making a few short road trips (besides the one to the doctor) and I’ve got some tips to help you relax when you are ready to go traveling with Hepatitis C.
My tips for traveling with hep C:
Getting in a car seemed safer to me than air travel. What if I got sick? After talking with my doctor, he reassured me that nothing was going to kill me at higher altitudes. I was still a little shook up, but did some air travel. If you go by car or bus, it’s easier to take every little thing you need. When I was on treatment, I was really needy and only took shorter car trips. I’m sure your doctor can advise you about car or bus trips vs air travel.
Of course, comfortable clothing for the climate where you are going is important. If you are having skin issues or rashes, you may want to take lightweight cover ups to protect you from the sun. Extra layers can help you travel in any weather, so a lightweight jacket or scarf can help you stay comfortable 24/7 on your trip.
What to eat
Finding healthy food on the road is easy, but it may not be the fast food kind. Green salads are found anywhere. Order non-seasoned grilled chicken on top and you're set. Low sodium and fresh can be your motto everywhere you go. A breakfast is easy to find, and eggs are always healthy. Keep some protein bars nearby in case of an emergency. If you’re staying with people, tell them you eat a liver friendly diet. Offer to cook your favorite recipes. They will understand that you are living with a liver ailment, and you have to take good care of yourself.
Taking your treatment
I put all of my medication and treatment prescriptions in a zipper-type bag with the original bottle from the pharmacy. That way, if something happened, information, meds, and phone numbers were all together. Any extra allergy meds, stomach calming tablets, or vitamins can go in the same bag.
Traveling can drain the energy out of some folks, like me. You may want to go out, or stay up late with friends. Have some fun, but stick with your routine when you can. Then, you won’t have to fight fatigue as much when you get home. If you find it hard to sleep in a strange place, ask your doctor for a sleep enhancer before you go.
I hope this helps you think about a weekend getaway or a camping out on your friends couch. Get there safely with the right clothes, medicine, and food. Have some fun and be sure to get some rest. You’re going to have a blast this summer when traveling with hepatitis C.