Plan to Take It Easy
- Individuals with lymphedema should wear some form of compression therapy while flying.
- Individuals at risk for developing lymphedema should understand that risk factors associated with air travel and should make a decision to wear compression garments based on their individual risk factors.
- It is recommended to obtain a note from your physician regarding your lumphedema, in case of any security related questiohns about your bandages or compression garments.
A lymphedema related infection usually occurs unexpectedly and at the most inconvenient time. When this happens, prompt treatment is essential and the following precautions can ease your mind.
- Before you travel, see you physician and get a prescription for antibiotics to carry with you "just in case",
- Review with your physician the signs and symptoms you should watch for as indications that the antibiotic is required. Also be certain that you know how this medication should be taken.
- Have the prescription filled and take it with you in the labeled pharmacy container.
- Should an infection occur while you are traveling start taking the antibiotics and as soon as possible check with a knowledgeable physician for further instructions.
Wear Your Compression Garment
Take Your Water Bottle
The fabric of a compression garment will not protect you from a sunburn. Get a good quality sunscreen (high SPF), preferably one with a moisturizer, and use it generously on the affected limb.
Lotion and Powder
If you are going in to a dry climate you'll need to take extra precautions to keep the skin of affected limb well moisturized. If you are going into a hot and humid climate, you'll want to use powder to help control perspiration.
If you are paying in advance for a tour, trip insurance is worth considering; however, before signing up read the fine print. You need to find the part about exclusions due to pre-existing conditions. Lymphedema is a pre-existing condition because you had it before you signed up for the insurance. Under these conditions, should you have to cancel because of your lymphedema, your insurance probably will not pay.
Having lymphedema is not fun; however, it should not stop you from enjoying your favorite travel activities. In fact, having fun should be part of your lymphedema management program. So, plan ahead, take the necessary precautions, then relax and have a good time!