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Author Topic: Trippin’ with NxStage  (Read 2564 times)
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Brent & DJ

« on: October 26, 2009, 12:15:49 PM »

Trippin’ with NxStage

From Orem Utah to Kentuckiana.

We started by letting our Home Hemo nurse know we were planning the trip. She contacted our NxStage representative and between them they ordered the supplies we would need while on the trip. NxStage sent the supplies to our friend’s house in Indiana. They arrived the day before we left. There were an overwhelming number of boxes !

We traveled to the Salt Lake airport with the cycler, packed in it’s shipping box, along with the IV pole, warmer frame, two suitcases, a poc (portable oxygen concentrator), laptop and other carry on bags, in the back of our tiny Mitsubishi Eclipse. We had the epogen and insulin in a cooling pack from a lab shipping kit in one of the carry on bags.

When we arrived at the airport, the skycap handled everything. She brought us a wheelchair and checked all of the equipment and bags at curbside. Although we had all of the doctors letters and such they tell you to bring, no one ever asked to see it. We were required to get the poc pre-approved by the airline so it was probably on our ticket or record somewhere. They took our word that the other boxes were life saving medical equipment.

When we landed in Louisville Kentucky we were pleased to see everything had arrived Ok. As in Salt Lake, a skycap helped us load everything into the rental car, a large Dodge Journey SUV.

We headed off to the first stop of our vacation, a two hour drive to Vincennes Indiana where the supplies and good friends were waiting. While we were there we had our first public home dialysis session. There were about 15 people in the living room with us watching (lol). We had a problem getting the venous line to prime, but a quick call to our home hemo nurse, Melody, got us going in no time. It’s comforting to know that wherever we are the nurses we’re familiar with are always in reach.

A few days later, we were on the road to Scottsburg Indiana to see family and meet a brand new nephew. The remaining 5 days worth of supplies, plus cycler, our suitcases, etc. filled up the large SUV with little room to spare!

We set up base in a hotel in Scottsburg that had a small kitchenette. That made it easy to keep the epogen and insulin cold. It was more convenient to run a drain line to the kitchen sink than the bathroom without having the line in danger of being stepped on. We used the scales in the hotel’s fitness room to keep track of weights.

We rarely use bagged dialysate, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that we made a mistake. One session Brent forgot to turn on the warmer. Cold dialysate really gives you the chills, temperature dropped to 96.6 and breathing was more difficult than ever. Luckily we discovered the problem in time and got me warmed back up.

Leaving from Louisville airport was almost as smooth as leaving Salt Lake. The skycap took all of the equipment and bags and got me a wheelchair. Again, no one asked to see the doctor’s letters or questioned anything. They did double check the brand of poc to make sure it was on their approved list.

Arrival at the Salt Lake airport went as smooth as the other times. A skycap handled everything for us and got the equipment into the car.

We’re looking forward to traveling again in the future. This definitely was not the traveling nightmare we feared it may be.

Here are a few things we learned.

   1.      Do your prep work. Although our paper work wasn’t checked, and our equipment wasn’t challenged, we had confidence that we had the papers we needed if it had been.

   2.     Our poc wasn’t ideal for sleeping. It always alarming several times during the night.

   3.      Eight action packed days of vacation is tiring! We had to slow down on our plans to give me some rest time.

   4.      It’s obvious, but a smile and being friendly and courteous goes a long way when dealing with the airport personnel.

   5.      Don’t forget to tip the skycaps!

Courage isn't always a lion's roar
It is sometimes the heart
at the end of a day saying...
"I will try again tomorrow"

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My Space- www.myspace.com/deejaypoetrywoman
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 01:38:46 PM »

Thanks! I am currently planning a potential trip next summer.  If the transplant doesn't happen, we'll be doing three weeks through the mountain west.
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Going through life tied to a chair!

« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 08:14:10 PM »

It is great to know it can be done.


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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 06:39:58 PM »

Thank you so very much for posting this.  Very thorough and informative.
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