Traveling with a nebulizer.

Traveling with a nebulizer

With 3 kids with asthma, we have learned to always be prepared. One thing we learned is to check our destination for Urgent Care centers BEFORE we leave on vacation.
We found Urgent Care centers near Disneyland, the Grand Canyon and Washington DC – just to name a few places we have traveled!
I always find the closest hospital or urgent care near our destination – just in case. If there is an accident or illness while we are traveling, I want to know where the hospital is ahead of time. If I’m in a panic because one of the kids is having problems breathing, the last thing I need is to fumble with my phone and quickly try to find a local Urgent Care Center or hospital.
Last weekend, we went to see grandma. My teenage daughter had a cold, but is usually okay just using her rescue inhaler (Albuterol.) I asked my daughter if she wanted to pack the nebulizer for our trip, but she said she would be fine. When the kids were little we ALWAYS packed the nebulizer – even if no one was sick. Two of my three kids have difficult to control asthma (they were hospitalized 12 times when they were little). So, we always felt at ease knowing the nebulizer was there if we needed it.
So, we decided not to bring it this time. Not the smartest decision we have ever made.  My daughter used the nebulizer in the morning, but still wasn’t feeling well by the time we arrived at grandma’s 4 hours later. She used her inhaler there, but I could tell she was still having a tough time.
Having traveled to grandma’s frequently over 20 years, I knew right where the Urgent Care was located. I told her we could drive there and get a treatment with a nebulizer. She said no. What is it with teenagers?!  It’s not like Urgent Care is my favorite place to go either! I decided to use my Parent Veto Power and override her bad decision. We went to Urgent Care.
I am so glad we went! Not only were her lungs still really tight, but she also had an ear infection.
I told Urgent Care doc that we were traveling and had not brought our nebulizer (I also told her I felt like an idiot….) She reassured us that we were good parents and tracked down a Home Health Care that could deliver a nebulizer (at midnight on a Sunday!) We debated whether to rent the nebulizer or just buy it. But – since our nebulizer is 16 years old, we decided it would be safe to have a new one. Who knows how much longer ours will last?
Daughter felt so much better after using the nebulizer. When she is sick, the nebulizer seems to work better than her rescue inhaler. I feel the same way. It’s easier to just sit and breathe in the medicine mist, rather than trying to suck in hard when using an inhaler.
I was so glad I knew where the Urgent Care was, so we could calmly drive there while Daughter was having a hard time breathing.  Can you image being in a new city, having a kid struggling to breathe, and being in a panic because you have no idea where the Urgent Care is located? I knew where it was and that insurance would cover that visit.
If you are traveling soon, make sure you find the closest Urgent Care or hospital BEFORE you leave. Our insurance company also gave us Out-Of-State insurance cards so we are covered during an emergency.
You may not need it, but better safe than sorry.

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