Traveling with Hepatitis C
Sometimes it can feel like the hepatitis C virus keeps you tied down. Getting out of the house may be a lot of work for you. Even thinking about taking a vacation seems like it’s out of the question. Sometimes a little trip can be just what the doctor ordered. Ask yours and see if it’s ok to be away for a trip. When you’re planning, it is wise to take note of some extras when traveling with Hepatitis C.
On the Road with Hep C:
Pack your medications
If you are on treatment, be sure to have enough to get you by for the duration of your trip. If you are almost out of your medication, talk to your pharmacy. The may be able to ship it to your travel destination for a low fee. When you are sure you have enough, it’s easy to pack at least 2 weeks extra dosage. I carry it with me in a bag instead of packing it. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Drink plenty of water
Sometimes we tryto avoid stopping to use the restroom on long trips. I tend to stop drinking until we are about an hour from stopping for fuel. At the end of a few hours drive, it is easy to be dehydrated. When you are sick or on treatment, take care of yourself by drinking all the water you need.
Keep your feet up
If we have liver disease, our feet can begin to swell due to ascites. It is not so easy to put them up in the car. Try sitting in the back seat for a while. Go ahead and buckle up, but also put your feet up by turning sideways. Take your shoes off and do some foot yoga to help keep your blood circulating. All of this can help to reduce pain and swelling. By the way, none of this works if you are doing the driving. In that case, take longer breaks and try to walk around when you get to a rest stop.
Eat as healthy as possible
Do you have an ice chest? If so, this can be a wonderful way to stash some good snacks in your car. Put a water, or a jug of green tea in there with some ice. You can refill your to-go cup with delicious drinks that are good for you. Make up a few healthy sandwiches. I like to fix a trail mix with nuts, raisins, some Chex mix squares. A few pieces of fresh fruit are always a good grab. These options have less sodium and are a satisfying way to get the protein you need.
It’s safer to drive when you are awake. If your body feels sluggish, there is a tendency to let your mind wander and you might lose your ability to concentrate on the road. Pull over and nap if you feel too tired. I’ve done that even on 1 hour drives when my hepatic encephalopathy was bad.
Taking a trip to see family or friends is a great way to have fun. You can stay safe by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy snacks, putting your feet up, drinking lots of water, and packing your meds. It’s possible to do some traveling with hepatitis C when you follow these guidelines.