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Old 08-29-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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Heart Disease & Camping

Is there anyone in the forum who camps with heart disease? My wife is a transplant recipient and was curious if anyone had any experience or tricks how to cope with this but also enjoy the country. We've already stocked up on the hand sanitizer
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
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I have had 5 bypasses (one surgery 20 years ago) and 8 stents placed over the last 7 years but really don't have any issues. I just have to take it easy and realize I'm not 21 anymore. Can't compare my situation to your wifes but hope she enjoys her time camping as I do mine.

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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Interesting question. Sorry I don't have any advice. But I am curious to see some answers from those who do.
I suppose your concerns are because of the anti-rejection medicines and the reduced immune responses in a varied environment. It had never occurred to me that it might be a concern. Like I said, I'm curious to see what others say.

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Old 08-30-2011, 05:17 PM   #4
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I camp with heart disease; but I was wondering why you say "heart disease", when you also said she is a transplant recipient. Wouldn't that mean that she no longer has heart disease, because that heart has been replaced??? She would need the anti rejection meds and the like though.
I have congestive heart failure, and the left heart chamber is scar tissue, so my heart only pumps a 25% ejection fraction, which means I get wore out pretty quickly. I have been told by my doc that I need a transplant; but as long as my ejection fr. can be held above 15%, I cannot even get on the list. So....I just live with it. I take pills for water retention and cholesterol, watch my sodium intake, and generally take things slow and easy- usually. I have a pacer/defibrillator, and use a bipap breathing machine every night. I can still camp at a non powered site, as I have a battery pack for this.
I just thought that it is a bit of a different situation between my heart issues, and your wife's, so that is why I said this, in my opinion. I have a pull behind TT, and power everything, except the jacks that I use a drill for. Good Luck, and happy camping, Randy
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
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Yes my main concern was the anti-rejection medicines and her reduced immune system while camping. I had said heart disease because I didn't think I would get many responses if I had asked for transplant advise specifically. She had the same restrictions and similar meds before she had the surgery about a month ago. She can already do more than she could in quite some time. Basically anything that could cause an infection she would need to stay away from (ex: baiting fish hooks etc). One thing also we were told to be careful of is soil. Wipe the dogs feet, wear gloves when gardening etc. I figured we would keep plenty of hand sanitizer around. I thought about some of those sticky pad mats for the entrance to try and keep dirt off peoples feet. Of course we have two small kids so that may not work well. I've found a lot of tricks and suggestions on this forum and thought I would throw this out there and see if anyone had ideas or advice to try. Thanks for your responses, Travis
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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well at least camping is nice and relaxing, so it will be a nice de-stresser for her!!! sounds like you are doing all the right things, enjoy the camping trips!
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:16 PM   #7
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I am still waiting for a transplant! It has been 4 years now. We just parked it a sight for now!
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:24 AM   #8
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She should do well, I would add a couple of suggestions, in your planning stage of selecting campgrounds, I would also try to find out what kind of emergency services are available in the proximity of your destinations. Usually you can contact the state health departments and learn about the various EMS services, are there Paramedics, or are there EMT's on the ambulance services, is there an air ambulance service, and do they offer memberships for their medical necessary flights? If they offer memberships it is usually $50-100 per year, and they will bill any medical insurance, then write off the out of pocket expenses.

Are the local hospitals capable of critical care, or are they considered a critical care access hospital? (The difference, a critical care access hospital works to stabilize a critical patient while trying to arrange for transfer to a hospital that is capable of critical care)

You have a unique situation, but as you state you have small kids, this means your wife is more likely able to adapt, granted the possibility of rejection.

Good Luck, and happy camping
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