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Home parenteral nutrition (HPN)

Traveling with parenteral nutrition

Until a few years ago, people being fed through parenteral nutrition, traveling was impossible and even after that meant a great challenge for quite some time. It’s no surprise that many affected are still scared to be away from their homes. It isn’t seldom that patients are fed parenterally for 30 years or longer and thereby never leave their home. Often, there is a lack of support and encouragement – and, not the least, a lack of practical experience.

beautiful bay with blue sky
Rachel Neal from England

Once I finally hear the waves, feel the wind and the sun, I feel healthy. After all the planning and preparation, I am unbelievably thankful.

Planning your trip is key

More and more people who are dependent on parenteral nutrition are daring to meet the challenges coming along with traveling. Santra, Rhona, Rachel, Marek, Ratislav and Artur talk about the kinds of fears and obstacles they have overcome, experiences they have made, and tips they give others for their journeys. 

 

Regardless of where their travels take them, how far they travel, and whether they are gone for three or 30 days – all HPN globetrotters agree on one thing: thorough planning is key.

 

Rhona from England doesn’t spare any effort to visit the places she is longing for time and again. She admits that travel preparations take a great deal of energy:

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“It is hard work and all kinds of organization is necessary to travel with HPN. But regardless: nothing is insurmountable. Besides, I know that brand new – and mostly wonderful – experiences are waiting for me.”

Rhona from England

Consider the following when choosing your destination:

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The climate

The climate

A temperate climate without high humidity

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The hygiene standards

The hygiene standards

... adequate hygiene conditions.

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The medical care

The medical care

... access to an Home Parenteral Nutrition center.

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The sanitary facilities

The sanitary facilities

... accommodation with running water.

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Refrigerator availability

Refrigerator availability

... access to a refrigerator with constant temperature.

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Have a pleasant trip

Have a pleasant trip

... lots of fun and relaxation!

A backpack against travel nerves

Your backpack might not be the flying carpet but it’s the next best thing because it makes traveling with HPN possible in the first place. To give you wings and not weigh you down, it should be light weight, made of innovative materials and have an intelligently designed interior.

"For me, traveling means no longer being controlled by the circumstances surrounding my disease, but being able to live my life."

Woman with thick winter coat and hood who holds a camera on a boat
Santra Lacy from Finland

At the same time Santra confirms: "Of course, there are always moments where you have to deal with fear. For me, for example, it’s a nail-bite every time my bags with HPN disappear on the conveyor belt in the direction of the plane. After we arrive, I wait nervously for this small box whose contents keep me alive, and then I am incredibly relieved once it finally shows up." 

 

Also Rastislav from Slovakia is familiar with dicey situations. Once, he just couldn’t find his disinfection spray and was already prepared to find a pharmacist, when he eventually could retrieve the spray in his backpack. 

Man with cap who stands on a straw round bale and spreads his arms
Rastislav Chrenko from Slovakia

"HPN keeps me alive. But it also gives me the opportunity to meet people and to get to know other countries. This is wonderful because it gives me so much energy and joy."

Artur from Poland reports that he became nervous when his return flight from Portugal to Warsaw was suddenly cancelled and he wasn’t sure whether his supply of food would suffice until he got home. It did.

"For too long I believed that I couldn’t travel anymore. But then I dared to do it – and it was the best decision I have ever made."

Man who sits on a mountain and looks to the valley
Artur Kamiński from Poland
Husband and wife with two children who stand on a bridge
Marek Lichota from Poland

"The vacations with my family are infinitely precious moments. I hope that they remain present in my children’s memories for some time."

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