Med Schedules & Time Zones

There are lots of things to consider when you’re not in ‘your Kansas’ anymore; med schedules & time zones being 2 of them for me.

As a heart transplant recipient, I will take anti-rejection medications every 12 hours sharp for the rest of my life. It’s not a big deal; it’s become part of my daily routine [and] it’s a time each day to give thanks for my donor, her family.

Because these meds must run on time, I set my alarm for 7 am and 7 pm, 7 days/week, 52 weeks/year. I do not ignore these alarms as these medications prevent my body from attacking, damaging, and potentially rejecting, my beautiful, healthy heart.

So, where am I going with this?


We are heading to Maui later this summer to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, our silver anniversary: how CRAZY it that?!

I am SO excited; however, in the past when we’ve traveled to Hawaii, I have kept my medicine on ET which meant I was taking my meds at 1 am and 1 pm; a schedule that is fairly inconvenient most days [and] nights.

This time I am determined to flip the script by adjusting my medication schedule [and] my sleep-wake cycle to ensure my meds are taken on time and to minimize the impact of the time zone change on my body, my stamina.

But, how?!

Well, a spreadsheet, of course! 

The problem, however, is that I don’t think in spreadsheets. Thankfully, my husband does, so he created the ‘Maui Med Plan’ and I must tell you it’s quite impressive. It’s SO impressive that I’m including below. It includes ET, MT and Island Time so that I don’t get confused about the what and when of my medications no matter what time zone we find ourselves in.

Logistically, ‘Operation Maui Meds’ is set to begin 10 days prior to departure with the goal of a 7a/7p Maui med schedule upon our arrival and a return to my ET schedule 10 days after we get home. This will be accomplished by offsetting the time I take my meds in 30-minute increments each day.

Drum Roll, please

Here is the piece d’ resistance:

Beloved’s attention to detail is a much-appreciated act of service and a sweet expression of love. What can I say, he knows me [and] he loves me anyway: WIN-WIN!

He knows that traveling falls well outside of my southern comfort zone. It is my Everest and it is only with the loving support of my family, my friends that I keep climbing.*

*Thanks to my friend, Sean Swarner, for the Everest analogy and for the challenge to scale my Everest.

Some may think this is overkill; however, with a time change of greater than 3 hours, I believe it’s wise and necessary to ensure the therapeutic value of the meds. I value my heart far too much to take risks with my rejection meds.

You may do things differently and I’d love to hear how you handle your meds when you travel; I’m always open to new ideas.

Now, I’m off to make a few playlists and download a binge-worthy series from Netflix.


PS Always a good idea to take more medication than you will need in case your trip is extended unexpectedly: just sayin’!

2 thoughts on “Med Schedules & Time Zones

  1. Oh my …and I am laughing.

    In these parts I am king of the spreadsheets, as my whole life is on them in some way, shape or form. But, I bow down to the Master (John) …… 5 years ago when we went to France, I talked to many wise and brilliant Dr’s and CNP’s to get a handle on the 6 time zones that we would travel through. (I thought this would be an easy question as I knew many others had made the same trip) Bottomline through all these ideas and discussions boiled down to this – “Take your meds twice a day, as close to 12 hours apart, adjust the times as you see fit and have fun.” The day we left I moved up my times by a couple hours, and then took them a little late when we arrived a CDG at 8am (France time), I stayed on the 8am/8pm (France time) schedule until we left and them reversed the process on the way back home. Yes, a bit too much, then a bit less than ideal in the system, but it all balanced out.

    The important thing is to have FUN!!!!!!! (But take your meds twice a day.)


    1. I knew you’d get a kick out of this post, and yes, the whole point is to have FUN which is the reason for the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet alleviates any and all anxiety with regard to my meds so that I can have fun without wondering if I’m taking too much, too little, too early, or too late! I’m just a little obsessive about the med part of this; keeping it real! 💞


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