Day 23 #NHBPM – Write about what it’s like to travel with your condition

Today, I take a little break from our regular broadcast.  I decided to use a bonus topic, as I am a little tired and needed a topic I don’t have to think too much about. 

Travel and IBD.  Just the word travel causes a lot of us to get our stomach tied into a knot.  Travelling with any chronic illness is not easy, but with IBD….whoa Nelly.  Just thinking about taking a vacation a million things go through my head.  So let’s take a look at some of the issues.

Bathrooms.  #1 on the list of things to worry about.  I am quickly reminded of the Humira commercial where the person is in an airport walking in circles with the bathroom right next to him.  That is my #1 worry when travelling.  Where will there be a bathroom and will it be clean.  When I fly, I worry about using the planes bathroom.  There is always a line and sometimes you can’t get out of your seat (thank you FAA rules).   I know when I travel, I get nervous so my stomach is on overtime.  Wherever I am in the airport, I have an eye out for the bathroom. 

Not everyone fly’s though.  Sometimes it is a road trip.  Lately I have been hearing more stories about people pulling over and pooping on the side of the road.  In the region I live in, there are rest stops along the interstates and thruways.  But for some areas, these don’t exist.  You have to wait until you come to an exit and then try to find a place.   The problem sometimes is we can’t wait for the next exit or rest stop.  When we have to go, we have to go.  For many with IBD we have seconds to make that decision on where to go.

Then there are cruises.   I love them and if I could take a cruise every year, I would.  Somthing about being out on the ocean.  It is so calm and peaceful.  Getting to the ship can be stressful but once you are on the ship, don’t worry.  I know many people will think..but what will happen.  Are there enough bathrooms?  What if I get sick?  First, there are bathrooms everywhere on a ship.  I have never had a problem with that.  Second, if you do get sick there is a doctor on board.   As long as you don’t have any major issues like a blockage, they should be able to help.

So how do we cope with these issues.  Well, first,  a lot of us have travel bags.  In them are toilet paper, sanitizers, extra underwear, etc.  I have talked about this in previous posts as well as other bloggers have talked about them.  These bags are life savers for many of us.  In them are another life saving item that we use…Immodium.  When you are going 10 times a day normally and then more from nerves of travelling…Immodium can help us cope.

I know to some of you this seems really sad and you are probably wondering why we even bother to travel.  I can tell you from experience…it is all worth it.  We might have to use a bathroom more and have a little more anxiety, but overall we want the experience of travelling.  We want our vacations.  I remember this past summer I went to the Dominican Republic.  So much of the trip scared me.  I didn’t know what to expect once we got there.  Would I be able to find a decent bathroom?  Will it be clean in such an unclean place?  Would the food and water affect me?  So much worry.  But once I got there I tried to take in the scenery and just relax.   In the end I had no major issues and all the worry was in my head.

So for anyone with IBD….I say try to relax.  Yes we have issues, but it is nothing we haven’t experienced already and we all know we will get through it.  When you travel, try to focus on the good things and the fun you will have.  Everything will fall into place.