For me, travel is very important. I need to travel for work and I like to travel for leisure and relaxation. However, traveling while on dialysis requires a lot of logistical planning. For me, I like to take the planning process in stages. The best plan of action can be found at Kidney.org
The information here is exactly how travel plans are arranged from start to finish.
There are also times when someone wants to go on a cruise. Typically, most cruise lines do not have a dialysis unit for shorter trips. However, if someone wants to go on a cruise for 7 days, there are cruises where someone can get dialysis. To learn more about this, one should go to Dialysisatsea.com
One of the biggest questions that come up is how does insurance cover this, if at all. The dialysis treatment cost is a flat rate determined by the length of the cruise and is billed separately. The dialysis patient must pay their dialysis bill prior to the cruise. Unfortunately, Medicare and Medicaid have never covered dialysis for any cruises, however there are many supplemental insurance companies that will reimburse a percentage. Once one returns from the cruise, they are provided with an itemized statement of the dialysis treatments, so they can file a claim for reimbursement.
The cruise lines can run 4 people at a time. There is always 2 staff with 4 patients. The team has their own nephrologist traveling with them and they see everyone on every time they dialyze and anytime they are needed
While traveling it is still so important that people continue to follow their diet and make sure they eat and drink properly. It is easy to slip up when on vacation.
I have travelled many times while on dialysis for work and for vacation. It can be stressful during the planning stages and that is why it so important that a person works with their social worker and/or travel coordinators. Once the planning is done, travelling is a stress-free. Just make sure to follow up with the transient clinic.
https://www.americanrenal.com/dialysis-centers/patient-stories (resource for stories about dialysis)
I’ll admit that I was scared. It was the 15-gauge needles, thick needles, that dig into your arm.
It was all the people in chairs, some snoring, some watching TV, some looking off into space — all hooked up to a machine — with their blood draining from their arm or chest through a tube to the machine.
It was the technicians, in white lab coats, and nurses, in blue, some wearing masks and protective eye wear. It was the people who arrive by ambulance and in wheelchairs who cannot walk in on their own.
But it was truly the needles, and the pain, and it motivated me to do what I do best: Ask questions. I asked the doctors and nurses questions. I asked the technicians questions. I talked to the dietitian. I talked to the social worker. I talked to the nurse practitioners and everyone else who came by my chair.
The chairs are comfortable, and they are heated. Each station has its own individual television. The clinic provides WiFi access to anyone who has a laptop, iPad or other device. The clinic also provides patients with a bag that includes a blanket, pillow and other items.
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