Going On A Cruise While Taking Dialysis

My son went on a 5-day cruise while he is on dialysis. When he told me that, I thought he had lost his mind. I was a nervous wreck. He explained to me that he can do “manuals” which is done several times throughout the day or nocturnal home hemodialysis which he can do at night. This is for straight 8 hours a day.

A dedicated dialysis location

Of course, he had to run this by his healthcare team. He started working on all of the details 2 months in advance. There were shipping supplies that needed to be shipped. They said it was okay for him to travel anywhere. Eventually, he had to contact the cruise ship in advance for this. Certain things that he absolutely needed for this trip.

They had places on the ship where he could do exchanges on the ship. There were certain supplies that were necessary. He needed a chair, table for supplies, I.V., pole, heating pad, scale, and disinfectant.

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But as a mom, I was also doing my own research. I didn’t know that cruise ships have a dedicated dialysis unit onboard each ship where your dialysis treatments will take place. This was good news for me, and I felt a little relieved. He had to plan well in advance, to have all his machines, boxes of fluids, sanitizers, masks, bags of dialysate, waste bags, and an extension cord. It will come in handy. Because it was a 5-day cruise, he had to get a room that was big enough for his supplies. There were cases of things he had with him.

I was impressed with the staff on the ship

The staff on the ship was exceptional. They called him in advance to go over what was shipped to them, counted each and every box, and contacted him again before the day and track him down at the port. They made sure he had everything he needed and told him to contact them if he needed anything additional. They had all his supplies in his room and went through everything with him in great detail.

Because he was traveling outside of the US, he did purchase special travel insurance and made sure it included dialysis. He had to be safe just in case anything came up. His doctors wrote him prescriptions for him just in case he wasn’t feeling well or had to see a doctor. He made sure to pack extra medications and research hospitals where he was going in case of an emergency.

Because he had to fly to his port, he contacted the flight ahead of time to see if they could provide kidney-friendly meal options during his flight. They said they could do that, which they did. Once he was in his room, the first thing he did was set up his machine to make sure everything was there and in working order. My baby also works part-time for an airline, but this was his first cruise.

CKD won't stop him

This was a whole new experience for him on a cruise ship. He loves to travel and realizes that having chronic kidney disease will not slow him down.

He has a very positive attitude about life and will never give up the fight.

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In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?

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