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Should I or shouldn't I do dialysis on a cruise or even travel at all?
I get this question a lot, being that I have traveled when I was on dialysis while I was waiting for a kidney during the years of 2002-2005.
Some facts first of all. close to 700,000 people are being treated for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and the number 1 cause of Kidney Failure in the United States is complications from Diabetes, whether it is type 1 or type 2; especially since Diabetes effects all the systems in our bodies from our blood to our bones. I know so much because I have been type 1 (juvenile diabetic) since they discovered in me at the age of 13 years of age. Now being in my 50s, I have suffered many of the complications associated with it.
This is one of the many reasons that Nelson and I specialize in servicing all clients who want to travel, especially the ones with special requirements.
So treatment of ESRD is Dialysis, there are 2 types. 1 is HemoDialysis which is done 3 to 4 times a week; for 3 to 4 hours per treatment.
The other is Peritoneal Dialysis - A soft plastic tube (catheter) is placed in your belly by surgery. A sterile cleansing fluid is put into your belly through this catheter. After the filtering process is finished, the fluid leaves your body through the catheter.
So let's get back to the question at hand that I get asked about traveling on dialysis. Should I our shouldn't I travel on dialysis.
The answer is?
You should, if you are healthy and well enough to do so. Some people going through Renal Failure are very sick after treatments, some are just fine and go back to work right after a treatment.
Myself, it all depend on that day. So we always planned with my doctor, had gotten travel protection no matter what and knew what was paid for and not paid for by my health insurance prior to making any official plans.
Because so many people are able to travel with the better care that people are, but you also have the issues of so many people are on dialysis, you need to plan sooner then later so that you can dialyzes on your trip.
There is only one way to arrange a cruise for those on dialysis. Through a company called Dialysis at Sea . The only cruise lines that works with them is Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruise Lines.
What You Need to Do To Book Your Cruises
A few things to remember, when decided to travel anywhere and not just on a cruise ship. Is to plan at least a year out. Yes, a year out!
Remember if you are reading this and you or a family member is on dialysis you know those centers are full, so when planning your trips, you need to arrange to do your dialysis.
This is done with your support team which is your Doctors and the Dialysis Staff, they are the ones that would work with myself and the destinations to get all you medical records and prescriptions to the centers or the cruise ship.
You may have to alternate days or alternative destinations so you can do your treatments.
You need to make sure you are covered for this meaning insurance. Dialysis on a cruise ship is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, some supplemental insurances cover it or check your company benefits if you are working to make sure this is covered.
It can be around $1200 and up depending on how many days you have to do you dialysis, and it must be paid off at the same time of your cruise during final payment.
I recommend travel insurance, I do this anyway, because if you need to cancel your trip due to pre-existing conditions, or other reasons you are covered.
Should you have other questions and concerns, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to help.
Cheryl Echevarria writes about what things to help her clients when planning their next Dream Vacation, especially our clients and future clients that travel independently but has a special need for arranging them. Whether it is a medical issues or a access or disability.