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Travel Issues After Transplant

Hello transplant friends, I am 11 months post kidney transplant. I am finally set free after ten years of PD. I plan to travel and visit my family in China and stay there for about a month. But I have a question about taking my medication in a country that is in a different time zone from the US. China is 16 hours ahead of US, how should I schedule my medication time? My coordinator says to stick with the US time at 9 am and 9 pm, but I really do not want to get up at midnight to take meds. I wonder if any of you have this kind of experience before, or if you have any suggestion on how to cope with such situation. Oh, one more question, do I need to wear a mask all the time while I'm in the airplane? Thanks, my friends, I really appreciate your input. 

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  • 1. I will say stick to your meds. use an Alarm and just take the meds at same time.

    2. Mask: I have never used. I live in Delhi and it's so polluted. Still, i am okay. Just be cautious. 

  • I was on a short trip to Japan last year from the west coast of the US.  I wanted to keep my meds on schedule, so I just wore 2 watches:  One on Japan time and one on US time.  I did wake in the middle of the night to take meds, but I have no problem getting back to sleep so it wasn't a problem.  If you are on a 16-hour time difference, you could move your meds by 1 hour each day for 4 days or 1/2 hour each day for 8 days so you can get back on the 12-hr schedule.  Whatever works for you.

  • I understand from other similar questions on this forum that you should try to adopt your medicine schedule to the current time zone you are in.  Also wear a mask on the plane.

  • Stay on your timeline here and after you get to China, just correlate the times, and convert to the appropriat time there. I would wear a mask unless you are eating or drinking something. Avoid anyone who appears ill. Lots of hand sanitizer and coldeze or "anti-germ" product. I also wear a mask in large crowds... doesn't hurt to be extra careful! Have a great trip!
  • The main thing with immune suppressants is that they be taken 12 hours a part.  Whether it's 9 and 9, 10 and 10 it makes no difference.  For a particular long flight you do need to keep up with number of hours as you will be going through several time zones.  Once you get there try and gradually get back to the 12 hour schedule that works best for you.  You have an hour or so either side of your designated medicine time that you can take your immune suppressants.  Sometimes we do forget so as long as you take in that time span you'll be fine.  Just no double doses.

      As far as masks, with all those people in one confined space the air inside a plane may not be that clean so I think it would be a good idea to wear a mask.  But you certainly don't have to wear one all the time.  Just keep in mind that the air quality in China is horrendous at times, so you need to clear the travel with your transplant team before you go.  They may want to go ahead and prescribe an antibiotic and other measures that you will have on hand if complications develop.  I also would encourage you to keep your meds with you in your carry-on not checked luggage.  Anything could happen and that bag get lost. Have a safe trip.

    Liver Transplant 2015

  • When, I travelled to US from India after my transplant, I had changed to the local US time. It was realtively easy since it was 12.30 hrs difference. I just repeated my morning meds and it was all back to normal. I would suggest you try to move to local time since you are going for a month. 

    • Wow, I feel so relieved after reading your suggestion. Thank you so much Rushi.

      • Had transplant of kidney in Jan 2014. I live in bangalore, India and have been to US at least 10 times and to Thailand, Dubai  and couple of places nearby. As Rushi said, I also change the AM to PM and try to make sure to adhere to the 12 hour schedule. I have flown within US from east coast to west and central (Vegas, Dallas) and I have traveled inside India many many times also and I don't wear a mask. I am careful about what I drink and eat though. In bangalore, I do eat out but not street foods. I keep a sanitizer and keep on cleaning my hands frequently.  Its all about trying out and seeing what works for you. All the best!

  • When I did something similar my hepatologist ( I had a liver transplant) said it was fine to just skip the few hours and go on schedule. The important thing here is taking the meds. Skipping a few hours on rare occasions will not make a difference, In fact, I'm sure anyone who's several years out can tell you they miss a dose every now and then. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

    • Thank you Ono, very good suggestion, I think I might have been worrying too much. I forgot to take meds once and I was scared to death. I'm so glad you shared your experience with me, now I believe its OK to schedule my medication time in China time zone. Wish you health and happiness!

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