The Importance Of Knowing Your Limit

In September 2023, I spent five days abroad, and I must say I enjoyed a well-deserved break and sunshine as London, England is always wet and cold approaching winter. I did all of the regular things you need to do before leaving for a vacation and, of course, preparing my medication for chronic kidney disease.

Traveling as someone with chronic kidney disease

I even brought medicine to help with travel sickness, calm tablets, and stomach medication. This trip as a CKD patient made me realize many things, mainly that I need to know my limitations as a traveling sick person.

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When I’m on the plane, my legs, arms, and fingers swell up. I have pressure socks but the rest of my body still experiences swelling. I didn’t realize how much anxiety I got on planes until this trip. It was uncontrollable, and there could be many reasons, from side effects or medication to feeling over-stimulating.

Nonetheless, it was not a great experience on the plane ride. As a kidney patient, my doctors have advised me not to buy anything over the counter if I haven't had it checked by my renal doctors, so I didn't want to take anything for the anxiety, without checking with my doctors.

The first limitation

When it came to the first day of our trip, we wanted to make the most out of the day by going to the beach and swimming in the sea. This presented the first limitation I experienced. Walking on the beach and going into the sea, I was already worried about the sensation and sensitivity of my feet. The stones/sea boulders that started at the top of the beach into the sea were so painful on my feet that it was uncomfortable and unbearable.

Due to my balance being terrible, I had to have my two friends support me walking into the sea and out of it, but my luck, I hit my foot on a giant sea boulder that broke my small toe, leaving me the rest of the five days with a limp needing to wrap up the toe.

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The preparation I had to make to endure and try to enjoy the rest of the holiday was to buy sea shoes, and it was my first time hearing about the existence of these shoes. When I put them on and went into the sea, the difference blew me away, and that was now something I know will be added to my list of purchases for sea/beach trips.

Managing my diet while away

Overall, the food situation when on holiday is always a challenge or concern as patients shouldn’t be eating buffet or food that’s left out for too long. That’s the advice I received when I had my kidney transplant, too. That meant I had to be extra cautious and eat right when the food was hot and first open the restaurants at the hotel, and if that weren’t the choice, we would try to find something else.

The trip made me realize I need an extra hard from someone else when planning holidays that I know will be a struggle for me physically to do, which means creating a list and having someone else check it who knows my capabilities, what I can do, and what I can't.

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