Woman with sunglasses and a beach hat holds up her inhaler in front of palm trees and a beach

Planning My Summer Vacation

If you are planning a vacation this summer there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are going to a humid climate.

Getting ready for vacation

I've had both left lung lobes removed during surgery, so it's of the utmost importance that I plan accordingly. Memorial Day weekend I spent three days at Lake Erie in a lake home just feet from the shore. Lucky for me I had a bout with bronchitis the week before so it did help me in my planning. I took extra care in packing. As a matter of fact, I had my suitcase open for days prior to leaving so that helped me make a list of what I needed to pack.

What's in my travel suitcase?

The number one thing I took was my nebulizer. I would have never thought to take it had I  not been sick the week before. I also packed my medications needed for my nebulizer. I also made extra sure I took my rescue inhaler. I had one in my purse, one in my suitcase and one in my jacket pocket. I wanted to be sure I had one immediately within reach so I wouldn't have to worry.

Any vacation can be fun and uneventful if you prepare ahead of time and decide what you need to take. If you are on oxygen, take more tanks than you think you will need. In fact, as a general rule, take more of everything that you may need in extra quantities. I take morning and evening medications, so I took Ziploc bags and labeled each one AM or PM. I realize this was a waste of bags but it made everything easier in the end.

Finding an accommodating place to stay

The home we rented for the weekend had air conditioning so I knew that would be my saving grace. I spent a lot of time outside but when my chest felt tight I was able to simply walk inside. We had a fire each night we were there and that didn't seem to bother me as much as the humidity. The humidity made me feel as though I had an elephant on my chest.

Most importantly, try to have a bedroom or place to sleep with no stairs. You may have stairs at home and think of that won't be a problem. But, with high humidity, it can become an immediate problem. I was lucky and there was a wrap around porch and one section was air-conditioned. I immediately claimed that space!

Enjoy yourself

And finally, have fun. If you're going with family and friend, enjoy their company. By planning ahead, you can fully enjoy your vacation, no matter how humid it is.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.

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