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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

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[For]Got Meds?

Aug 1

Posted by: ACHA
8/1/2012 11:07 AM  RssIcon

By Alissa Butterfass

In July my family went on vacation. As usual, I was the designated packer. I was smart enough to make a checklist two days before the trip and organized enough to pack the kids’ stuff the day before we left—remembering everything from bathing suits and goggles to toys and stuffed animals, even Children’s Tylenol, Benadryl, and Motrin.

The day of our trip, I finished packing everything else—clothes for me and Hubby, an assortment of suntan lotion, saline solution, and more. I was a veritable packing machine. By 11 a.m., we were on our way. Woo-hoo!

But 1.5 hours into our 4-hour road trip I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to pack something. My heart medicine.

Apparently I was smart enough to write a checklist, but not smart enough to actually check it before we left—oops!

Hubby’s first reaction was, “We’ll go back and get your meds.” Now, any of you with young kids who have taken long car trips with them know just how appealing that idea was (i.e. not at all). I suggested I just go the four nights without my medicine. My husband absolutely refused.

Luckily, I was able to get a prescription called into the local pharmacy at our beach town destination, and within minutes the problem was solved.

But it got me thinking…. What do other people do in similar situations?

A friend who practices emergency medicine told me travelers frequently come to the ER specifically for medicine that was left at home. Her advice:

  • Bring a list of your physicians’ phone numbers and know their after-hours policy and whether they are licensed to call in scripts at your destination.
  • Keep a list of all of your medicines, with dosages, in your wallet.
  • Do not expect an entirely new prescription. Most likely, the ER doctor will only write for a few days’ time to tide you over until you can contact your own physician.
  • Do not expect an ER doctor to write a script for controlled substances such as pain killers.

      And a bit of advice of my own: Remember to check your checklist!

      Alissa Butterfass was born with transposition of the great vessel, which was corrected with a Mustard procedure at age 2. In addition to being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, wannabe author and chocoholic, she works part time as a senior marketing manager at a Fortune 500 company and volunteers as the Co-President of her local chapter of a nonprofit organization.

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