Day 27 #NHBPM – If I Could Go Anywhere….

If I could go anywhere.  Well, who is to say I can’t do that now?  Maybe I will leave work, grab a suitcase, and head to the airport to jump on the first plane to matter where it is going.  Ok, that won’t happen.  But, there really is nothing stopping me from traveling with the exception of money.  I don’t have a bottomless bank account so I can’t go where I want.

I am one of the lucky ones.  My disease doesn’t prevent me from traveling (see earlier post on traveling with IBD here), or at least I try not to let it prevent me.  For the past couple of years now my wife and I try to go somewhere in the summer for a week just to get away and see the world.

So if I had to pick one place to go….now that is a tough one.  There are so many places to see that I don’t think I could pick just one.  For starters, I want to see Europe.  I want to see the ancient ruins of Italy.  Take a gondola ride through Venice.  I want to look out from the cliffs of the Greek Isles and see the Mediterranean Sea.  After there, I would love to head to Spain to eat some authentic tapas and sangria.  Then travel north to a place I have wanted to visit most of my life, France.

Since taking French classes in Jr. High school, I have wanted to visit France.   I enjoy French food so that doesn’t worry me.  I would love to walk down the Champs Elyse in Paris and take in the sight of the Eifel Tower.  I would even just enjoy standing on a bridge overlooking the Seine river.  After taking in the sights of Paris, I want to visit some of the vineyards to see just what makes french wine so great.  After I have had my fill, I want to go to Northern France to see the fields of Normandy.  I am a big WWII buff and want to see just where the invasion took place.  I would also visit all the heroes that are buried there to give them a thanks.

Wow, I can go on for hours talking about places to visit, but I notice as I am writing that France really sticks out on places to go.  I guess to answer the topic then, it would be France.  But I wouldn’t stop there.  I want to see most of Europe and Scandinavia, some of the Baltic states, some places in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Hawaii, California and a number of US States.  There are areas in the Middle East and Africa I want to see also but I want to wait until civil unrest slows down.

Through all of this though, I never once think about my Crohns and how it will slow me down…because when it comes to my dreams, nothing will ever stop me from achieving them.

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.

Advice For A Terrific Life

I was going through an old blog I was doing and I found this post that I made.  I am sure I copied it from someone else..but I thought it was nice and I wanted to repost it here. 

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.
  5. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name-calling.
  11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  17. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone.