Travelling with Tablets – Long weekends, a week’s holiday and flying
Hello everyone, my name is Clair Willcocks, I am 27 years old and I am Galen Medical Nutrition’s new PKU blogger. I am an adult with PKU and I was diagnosed with Classical PKU 8 days after birth. I am on 5 exchanges of protein a day and currently taking the PKU EASY Microtabs substitute 6 times a day.
Since life has pretty much gone back to normal when it comes to travelling, knowing how easy the PKU EASY microtabs have been on days out, I was really excited to put them through their paces when it comes to going away on long weekends, a week’s holiday and flying. With my previous substitutes going away anywhere was less than ideal.
Last year I was lucky enough to fly abroad to Belfast to meet the Galen sales team, and I was been able to go Tunbridge Wells with my mum for a long weekend of retail therapy! As I did in my previous blog, I want to compare my experiences of travelling before with my substitutes vs travelling now with the PKU EASY microtabs.
Long weekends are great fun but I always find them awkward to pack for, as I have to find the right size bag to put a weekends worth of clothes in and a big suitcase is silly just for a few days. However, if I’m on holiday in England I always have to pack for every eventuality of weather, as it doesn’t matter if it’s July or October, we could still get pouring rain or a heatwave! So not only do I pack for the required amount of days but always extra.
Of course, I then have the PKU element of going away – making sure I bring my prescription food incase I get hungry on our days out adventuring, so I have exchange free snacks. Then as well as fitting a weekends worth (and a bit more) of clothes, PKU snacks and treats, I of course have to make room for my supplements too.
When I was on the premade supplements this was always a nightmare as they were so bulky and made my bag so much heavier carrying around all that liquid. Also in the same principle as the clothes, I would always pack extra just in case something went wrong or I got stuck due to travelling issues, so it meant even more weight in my bag.
Another issue was that I was always paranoid one of the drinks would break, getting liquid all over my clothes, so I would keep them in a plastic bag but the fear was always there! When going camping I’d leave my bag of drinks in the car to save room in the tent, but it meant that in the summer the drinks would start getting warm throughout the day, which made them even more horrific to drink!
The powdered substitutes were a lot easier to pack as they were flatter, lighter and were less bulky, however, a weekend away still meant taking over 10 sachets of powder plus extras which would still take up precious room in my weekend bag. I also still had all the inconvenience of having to make it up while out and about, cleaning the shaker out and carrying around bottles of water to use to drink (and wash out the shaker if I was camping).
Going for a week away had all these problems but fivefold, as not only did I have to pack for a whole week’s worth of clothes, snacks and allow room for any souvenirs I may buy; but also a week’s worth of substitutes.
When it comes to flying its always an anxious time while my bag is being scanned through security as I can’t help but think they might start to ask questions about what this suspicious powder or fluid is I have so much of!
As travelling usually takes up the majority of a day, as well as having it in my suitcase, I also needed to have the substitute in my carry-on bag, so I always had my dietician’s letter with me to explain why I needed to take liquid and powder onto the plane. I’m very lucky I haven’t had any drama with airport security yet but I know people that have and it’s something I’m still anxious about every time I fly.
Now with PKU EASY Microtabs
Travelling for days or a week with the PKU EASY microtabs as my substitute is now so much easier. For me, one pot of tabs is two days worth of substitutes so for a small trip away I only need to take one pot and for a week I only need to take three pots. I still take spares just in case something goes wrong but the pots weigh barely anything and take up very little room. It’s what I’ve always wanted for going away, something discreet, light and not bulky to carry!
Airports are still a little nerve-wracking to go through but an interesting effect of having tablets is that people are more likely to take tablets more seriously as a medication rather than a drink pouch or powder. I’ve found this not only at airports, but also out and about at concerts, restaurants or even in the workplace. Even when I am pouring out large amounts of tablets and it can feel like I really stand out, people seem to better understand the concept of taking tablets as medication and just leave me to it. I don’t find myself having to explain what the tablets are actually for, not as much as I had to with my drinks. To be considered a valid form of medication, the tablets are enough.
As said previously, the PKU EASY Microtabs make it so much easier to take my supplement throughout the day as I travel, as all I need to take them is a bottle of water. Sometimes once I’ve got past security I can buy water in any newsagents, or even when I’m on the plane! However, trying to make room while on the plane to make and shake a powdered drink is certainly not so easy. With the premade drink, I’m always wary of the smell that comes with it, if it stays on my breath or if other people in seats near me can smell it, it’s not like I can crack open a window while at several thousand feet in the air!
Day to day usage as explained in my previous blog is just so much easier, as I just carry just one pot in my going ‘out out’ evening bag or in my back pack, with a bottle of water or any fluid. Then it can be taken whenever, wherever; a restaurant, on the beach, at a picnic bench on top of a hill, at the side of a path in the middle of the countryside with no drama or fuss meaning I can truly be in the moment, whether that is at a meal with my family or on an adventure, lost somewhere in the wilderness.
The biggest compliment of the tablets I have, was when I went away with mum for the weekend. She turned to me late in the afternoon and asked if I had my tablets that day (old habits die hard!) which I of course had been taking when we did get a spare moment, such as with a cup of coffee or at a meal, but even my ever-vigilant mum hadn’t even noticed me taking them, because they were just that quick and easy to take!
That’s why I love the PKU EASY Microtabs, they do exactly what our substitutes should do. Our substitutes are something that we have no choice over and they have to be taken every day, multiple times a day for our health, so they shouldn’t have a huge impact in our everyday lives or be a huge fuss because we’ve got better things to be doing like living our lives! They should be as natural and easy to fit into our routines and lives as brushing our teeth or having a morning tea or coffee and the PKU EASY microtabs do just that.< Back to Blog