One of the biggest inconveniences of having CF is the difficulty in traveling with all of my heavy equipment. Want to road trip for a day? You have to grab at least the puffer and flutter, along with pills and water. Want to spend the night somewhere? You have to evaluate if you're healthy enough to skip doing a Vest treatment or two and just use the puffer/flutter. If you are, you have to take that breathing stuff, pills for two days, a separate pill container for the pills taken at times other than mealtimes, kleenex, juice and snacks for blood sugar and calorie purposes, insulin, and anything else one might need for an overnight trip. If you're not healthy enough to switch out a Vest treatment for a puffer/flutter, you have to also take the Vest, Vest machine, and nebulizers and machine, along with inhaled medicine. Going on a trip any longer than that and, well, you might as well sit down and write a packing list so you don't forget anything vitally important.
Usually, I'm pretty good about remembering everything I need for health purposes on trips. Sure, I look like a pack mule when I go away, but I almost always have every medical thing I need.
Notice how I said, "almost always"…
This weekend, I went to my church's college ministry fall retreat on Friday and Saturday (which was incredibly amazing, by the way). I was not planning on taking my heavy-duty medical equipment to fall retreat, so as soon as I got back from fall retreat, I unpacked my car and repacked my car/suitcase before heading to College Station to hang out with my twin sister at A&M and go to their football game against UTEP. I had my list all written out about what I needed to remember to grab while repacking the car. However, I forgot some much-needed treatment equipment. I brought my Vest machine but left the Vest itself at my apartment, making the Vest treatment useless. I brought my puffer, flutter, and all of my inhaled medicine but left all of my nebs in Waco. I brought my Cayston medicine but left my Cayston machine. So basically, I could not do a "real" treatment in College Station. (Thankfully, I brought all of my pills. Otherwise, I would have been in major trouble.) Therefore, by the time I got home from College Station this weekend, I had not done a Vest or nebulized treatment in about 48 hours. Oh. My. Goodness. Praise God for the invention of the Vest and for inhaled medicines. After just 48 hours, my lungs were screaming out about their need to get some help. I had to sit down for awhile just to catch my breath after standing in church for about five-ten minutes. If I ever questioned what would happen if I just stopped doing breathing treatments altogether, I have my answer. It would not be good.
Packing when you have CF is a pain. You can't be spontaneous, and you certainly need to take the time to make sure you have everything you need. Otherwise, you could be in some major trouble. I know I definitely learned my lesson this weekend. Excuse me while I go try to recover!