You might or might not have thought about how Kawasaki Disease could affect you in the future. Below are just a few of the things you might want to consider as you get older.
Will Kawasaki Disease affect what kind of job I can do?
You might have questions about whether or not Kawasaki Disease could affect what type of job you choose to do in the future.
No lasting heart damage from Kawasaki Disease?
About 80% of people who have Kawasaki Disease go on to have no lasting heart damage. Thinking about jobs and careers, if you didn’t have any lasting heart damage because of Kawasaki Disease, there’s no need to spend time thinking about whether Kawasaki Disease will be something that limits your choices – it wont!
Heart damage following Kawasaki Disease?
If you have lasting heart damage from Kawasaki Disease (see our diagram which helps to explain this a bit more), there may be a small group of jobs that it’s worth finding out a bit more about, if you’re interested in these. Some jobs, like being in the army for instance, can be very physically challenging and a medical examination might be needed before you can be employed.
If you have to take anticoagulants (click here for more about this type of medicine) this may have a small effect on your job choices – and you know, it might not! BUT!! The best thing right now is not to jump to any conclusions – instead, have a conversation with your usual doctor the next time you see them. They are the ones best placed to tell you about how your individual health situation might affect job choices you’re considering. If you have very severe heart damage, your doctor has probably already talked to you about this – but if not, you can raise it with them – take your phone into your next appointment and show them this page if that helps to get the conversation started!
Not really thought about careers yet? No problem!
There’s lots of information online which can help you start to think about future careers – and we think that starts with what you love to do, what you’re good at – and not with Kawasaki Disease! And careers are developing all the time – there was no such thing as an ‘App Developer’ job just a few years ago…. but none of us can imagine living without apps now can we? And what about being a 3D printer technician – you can find this job advertised today but just 5 years ago – who’d have imagined it!
So it’s good to remember that options for careers and job opportunities will continue to change and expand, now more than ever before! Researchers who spend time thinking about these things (there’s an exciting job 🙂 …..) reckon that you’ll have more than one career, probably several – if you’re a teenager today. So – lots of choice and lots of opportunity!
There are a couple of really useful websites that you might find interesting if you’re thinking about future career(s)! You can find them here.
If you’re still at school, there will be a teacher or person there who knows a lot about careers – and will be able to give you great advice. Have a word with your form teacher or a teacher you get on with if you’re not sure who the careers person is – they will be able to help.
When I graduated from University I became a Cardiac Physiologist – an Echocardiographer and Pacemaker Technician basically! This was completely coincidental to me having the heart problem, believe it or not. I didn’t aim to have a job that would link to my own personal life so intimately. Honestly, I didn’t!
Pregnancy and childbirth
Well. Perhaps it goes without saying – but this one’s for the girls!
If you had Kawasaki Disease and made a good recovery without lasting heart damage, it’s still worthwhile mentioning Kawasaki Disease to your doctor if you’re thinking about getting pregnant. The doctor will ask about your “medical history” (that’s everything related to any illnesses and injuries since you were born!) Do let them know you had Kawasaki Disease, in just the same way that you’d tell them if you’d had an operation in the past, or are allergic to any medicines. They will give you advice and information. Research suggests it’s unlikely you’ll need to take any extra precautions or need any extra care, but do mention Kawasaki Disease so your doctor and later on, your midwife, are aware.
It is important to know that there are some medicines which you mustn’t take if you are pregnant. Therefore it really is a good idea to plan any pregnancy with your doctor, in case you need to change your usual medicine(s) during pregnancy.
If you have lasting heart damage from Kawasaki Disease, you should talk to your doctor and they will decide with you on whether you will need extra care if you plan to have a child in the future. If you are planning a pregnancy or find yourself pregnant, ask your doctor whether there are any extra precautions that might need to be taken to help you through pregnancy and child birth. Your usual doctor will be able to give you specialist advice based on your individual circumstances.
If you have severe heart damage, your doctor has probably already talked to you about this – but if not, you can raise it with them. Take your phone into your next appointment and show them this page if that helps!
As you get older, you may think about whether or not you want to use some form of contraception. It’s a great idea for everyone – whether you’ve had Kawasaki Disease or not – to talk through the options you have for contraception with your doctor.
You might think this is seriously ‘awkward’ stuff – but you know, your doctor spends a huge amount of time talking to people from all backgrounds about sex and contraception, and to them, well, it’s just part of their day job. If you have been affected by Kawasaki Disease it is even more important to talk to your doctor about the options available to you because, if you have lasting heart damage, this may affect the choices they give you and what they recommend.
That’s because if you have damage to your heart, some types of contraception may be more suitable than others. There are many different forms of contraception so don’t worry – there will be an option for you!
There are some medicines that you mustn’t take if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant. So it’s a great idea to talk to your doctor and make a plan it you’re thinking about getting pregnant – or you think there’s a chance that could happen. They might want to discuss changes to your medicines with you – so please do make an appointment to talk it through.
I travel a lot. I’ve been all around the world, doesn’t affect my insurance. I’m just a normal person. That’s it.
Will Kawasaki Disease affect where I travel to?
You may plan to travel to different countries in the future and want to know if there is anything you should think about if you have Kawasaki Disease.
Travelling to far off places isn’t off limits because you have Kawasaki Disease!
If you have coronary artery aneurysms or other heart damage (such as lasting dilatations – which are wider bits of your coronary arteries) because of Kawasaki Disease, there are few things you should think about if you plan to go travelling.
Regular medicines? Let’s get organised!
Firstly, make sure to take enough of any regular medication that you normally take with you when you travel. You might need to speak to your GP if additional prescriptions are needed – if you’re away for a while. Keep your medicines in the box they were given to you in by your chemist – that helps if anyone (at border control for example) has questions about pills or an injectable you are carrying. It’s handy to also have a list of your medications in case you lose them and need to get more.
Check out the destination!
You might want to check that your destination has the medical facilities you’ll need if you were to need a replacement prescription or if you needed medical care. Different countries across the world have very different healthcare systems, so you might want to do some research before you go. That includes making sure any prescription medicines you have are allowed in the places you plan to go — it might sound crackers….. but some drugs which can be prescribed in the UK are not approved in other places. So it’s always best to check.
Be sure to insure!
Make sure that you have the right medical insurance for your trip and be sure to tell your insurers about any health problems you have.
Speak to your doctor!
Your doctor will be able to give you advice and let you know what precautions, if any, you should take while travelling. As well as your usual doctor, you might want to speak to the person at your GP surgery who is the ‘go-to’ for all things to do with travel. Many surgeries, especially bigger ones, will have someone who specialises in travel related medical advice, vaccines and more. They will be able to give you great advice too – like, if you are travelling long distances over a long period of time, for instance, by plane, it’s a good idea to move around as much as you can. Stuff like this can really make the difference and allow you to have a great holiday!