Friday, June 13, 2014

Dairy Allergy Family Travels…South of the Border!? Coordinating Medical Action Plan with Local MX Medical Care

Early in my son’s life we were in Florence, Italy when an ambulance arrived at the restaurant where we were dining.  My wife and I joked that perhaps we shouldn't eat there anymore.  I realize now it was in bad taste to the restaurateur, and horribly insensitive to a soul who might be scared for his very life.  Fast forward four years, the biggest concern I had in traveling to Mexico was ensuring my son would have access to high quality medical care…should such an emergency occur.

How do I get those questions answered?

In Houston, with the Texas Medical Center, superhighways, and EMS transport around every corner; we have an extended support network of sorts.
But, outside the USA?   What hospital do we go to?  How do we get there?

It turns out, hospital names and locations were the simplest to answer, but nothing more we could really do about it.  If we found ourselves in need of emergency care we knew that we would have cross language barriers & maybe preconceptions about food allergies versus intolerance at the absolutely worst time.  This is where we sought help.  Instead of planning for emergencies, we planned for safety.

Cabo is marketed to American tourists. Tourists who think it’s fun to sit in the middle of a desert under the summer sun.  With five star management, large scale Food & Beverage operations, pools and lifeguards, they even have a U.S. trained Medical Doctor on staff.  After booking the flight and room, my next order of business was to contact the good doctor and gain his support as our champion.

El doctor was instrumental in communicating our needs to upper management.  This voice of authority cannot be overemphasized.  Armed with the invaluable FARE web resources in English and Spanish we overcame both language barriers and skepticism.  Emergency care plan(Sp)  Emergency care plan(En).

From top to bottom, the entire staff was aware of our arrival and requirements by the time we arrived!

We also included our Allergist in our travel plans, who provided additional documents describing in Spanish the various medicines we were carrying (BRAND and GENERIC NAMES) and the purpose of each.  I read stories of emergency providers misinterpreting prescriptions and dosage requirements and wanted to avoid both.

So, we were prepared with letters of introduction signed, sealed, and delivered.

Blog entries to come:
·         Online Resources that we found helpful
·         Travel Preparation Checklist
·         Travel Plan Timeline

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dairy Allergy Family Travels…South of the Border!?

For any parent of a child with a severe Dairy Allergy I know what you are thinking.  Well I know what I was thinking, “How in the world will I manage to feed my child in a country where every course has dairy as a main ingredient”? We knew it wouldn’t be easy. And, we knew that it would take some planning and coordination.   

My husband and I have always loved to travel internationally. Traveling with our son as an infant with food allergies was a piece of cake (dairy free), even traveling with him as a toddler was manageable. But now that he is five it seemed that it would be near impossible. Just the thought of taking on a trip and managing his dairy allergy in a foreign country increased our anxiety level. It took us two years to finally work up the courage and take on the trip. Thank goodness for our support group! After a few conversations with our favorite food allergy mom blogger Nuteggactly, and after reaching out to our support system, we worked up the courage.   

Once we decided we were up for the task, we felt it made sense to travel to a destination we had visited in the past. Our criteria was simply that we stay at a resort where we felt they could accommodate our needs and provide us with a comfortable stay. The goal was to get our hands around handling food allergies outside the USA and the sooner the better.  
First stop: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Here we come! AllĂ  vamos 

Stay Tuned…………………………….

Dairy Allergy Family Travels…South of the Border!? Blog entries to come: Coordinating Medical Action Plan with Local MX Medical Care; Online Resources that we found helpful; Travel Preparation Checklist; Travel Plan Timeline

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