Travel and RA. Do they mix?
My oldest kids are preparing for a trip. I’m happy for them, excited for them, and a little bit nervous about the whole idea. This is the final step in a project my kids have worked on with a local food bank.
Some of the fish hatcheries milk salmon for their eggs, then donate the fish to our food bank. Some of the salmon is given away fresh (over half of it is distributed locally), but the remaining fish is shipped to needy people all over the world. Volunteers clean the salmon, chop it up, and seal it inside cans (much like tuna you can purchase at the grocery store).
The food bank’s director has arranged for our volunteers to travel overseas and distribute the fish that they’ve worked so hard to can. They’ll distribute food in dozens of cities and villages across the country. From dirt-poor huts up in the remote mountains to the 12,000 people living in the city’s garbage dump, thousands and thousands of people will be fed.
Yesterday I took my two oldest kids to meet with a doctor at the travel medicine clinic. Vaccines are required for travel to foreign countries, and I would have to stop my meds in order to get any immunizations to make the trip possible.
I’m really not sulking about this, since I need to keep my younger kids home this time around. It’s just bugs me that I can’t go. This has never come up in anything I’ve read, and it hasn’t come up in the plethora of conversations I’ve had with my doctors. I can’t get vaccines to make foreign travel a possibility.
Some of those vaccines are good for a lifetime (Hep A), and there’s no reason that I couldn’t have gotten those shots before beginning mtx & enbrel. If I could do it over, I would. Since life has no do-overs, I’ll just file this away and know that if I ever have to stop my meds for any reason, I’ll see about getting every immunization known to man before resuming the drugs responsible for this predicament.
Any tips from people who’ve combined foreign travel with RA would be greatly appreciated.