RVing with medical challenges

Article by John Bos, submitted by Firebird Tire in Phoenix, AZ

RV travel does not need to stop when you have medical conditions. There are many high-quality medical services available to snowbirds and other travelers. In fact, they may have more experience treating those of us that are living in “God’s waiting room” in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other popular winter retreats.

We have been snowbirding with serious medical conditions for many years. The outstanding Cleveland Clinic encourages those with limitations to continue their lifestyle for relaxation. Here are some tips that we have utilized to make the snowbird experience seamless for those with health issues.

Carry a complete record of your medications. We keep a copy in a red magnetic envelope called File of Life, and we also carry a copy in our truck. In addition to the medications, the envelope also has information regarding prosthetic knee, hip, pacemaker, heart valves, insulin pump, etc. Usually there are model numbers, dates of installation, etc. Hearing aid batteries and supplies should also be in your list along with your supply of medications.

Carry the name, telephone number, address, etc., of all medical doctors.

Carry the assess procedure, passwords, etc., for all of your medical providers. This will become more important since all providers must have their records on computer and access by the patient. You also should have all of your insurance cards at a convenient location.

Carry the ICE (in case of emergency) names and telephone numbers in your cellphone.

We receive our drugs from an ISP via mail order. We always talk to the attendant rather than trust the recorded message. Even following this method, we have had medication delivered to our snail address. A neighbor watches for packages, newspapers, etc., that may be delivered to our stick home.

Develop a buddy relationship with another camper if you are in a site for multiple days. Most neighbors are eager to assist in an emergency.

If you need to call emergency personnel to your camping location, it will be helpful if you turn on your four-way blinkers. This will aid the emergency response team to find you quickly. It is a big challenge for these services to locate a campsite by number.

We also keep a key in a magnetic case outside the RV and inform our neighbors where it is hidden.

We used to make certain that we knew where the nearest emergency room was located and directions from our site to the facility. With GPS, the directions and locations are quickly obtained.

It is very important that all snowbirds visit their primary care physician and dentist and complete any other medical appointments prior to their departure.

This list has allowed us to visit 48 of the 50 states without any major issues. You may have other suggestions that would be of value to others.

Happy trails to all of our RV friends that have medical challenges.