On the Road Again….

Well, here I am on another business trip. Back before I had UC, I loved to travel, see new places and try out new foods. Once I got sick, travel kind of became a source of anxiety even if it was just a day trip. Heck, when things were real bad, just taking my kids to the school bus stop or just simply driving to work could be a nightmare. Even though things are much better for me now, I still get a little nervous if I think I might be someplace where there might not be any bathrooms or I don’t know where the bathrooms are. [Jeff Foxworthy voice] If you know how hard it is to run while keeping your sphincter slammed shut…you might have uclerative colitis[/Jeff Foxworthy voice] I could go on forever with those kind of “you might have ulcerative colitis” jokes but when you’re sick, it is not even funny. But I digress. My point is, I absolutely hate feeling like a slave to my colon. Also, despite being sick, I still have to travel for my job and I still want to enjoy traveling with my family. A lot of times, I just want to feel comfortable going to the grocery store or going to the farm where my kids take horseback riding lessons knowing that there is only one port-o-john there and it’s several acres away. Even though I am doing a lot better, I always have this feer in the back of my mind that I don’t know when the next explosion might happen. Due to the years of chronic inflammation, I still have some trouble with diarrhea because of scar tissue I guess. My GI doctor described my colon as “leathery”. Here are my travel tips that work for me:

1. I get up at least two hours before I have to leave the house and make sure I use the bathroom as much as necessary.
2. I take the max dose of immodium just in case.
3. I always get an aisle seat on the plane just in case.
4. I always make sure I go to the bathroom before getting on – even if I don’t have to. I guess I am compulsive that way.
5. I don’t eat on the plane unless I am feeling pretty comfortable about it. Most of the time I’ll just eat the peanuts if anything.

I pretty much know where all the bathrooms are between my house and the airports. I like to stop at Walmarts. Their bathrooms are usually pretty clean, they have multiple stalls and they are usually located near the entrance. Now that I am doing better, I am slowly gaining for confidence and I hope to stay on track and that the days of worrying about where every bathroom is will one day be behind me. If you’re reading this and feel like I do, I wish that for you too.

8 thoughts on “On the Road Again….”

  1. Wow, steps 1-5 is EXACTLY how I used to do it! Except I wouldn’t have touched the peanuts lol. I actually did forget how it used to be. It’s only been 2 years but it seems like a lifetime ago I was worrying about bathrooms while traveling.

    I don’t have UC but still have to credit the SCD diet for getting rid of my symptoms.

  2. I know what you mean about “the fear” Paul. Even in remission I am the same. I am not comfortable if I dont know where the toilets are. I loved to travel too and travelled around the country for gigs as i am an obsessive music fan but found I had to stop due to lack of toilets or if there was toilets there would be a long queue for them (every uc sufferer’s nightmare). So I gave up unless I am REALLY comfortable to go. I also get up a few hours earlier than I have to go somewhere to get the toilet motions out of the way and I am just as bad at airports before boarding a plane. I have also become a bit of a freak when it comes to public toilets now too. As I am sure you know, every uc sufferer has there fair share of horrible, disgisting public toilets but we gotta go when we gotta go so I have my little handy pack ALWAYS! Which consists of 2x small packs of tissues, disinfectant wipes to clean toilets and disinfectant spray for my hands. It helps that little bit.
    Another factor before a long trip I find is making sure to eat right the day before. Also helps with travelling situations.

    1. Hi Jen,

      This is a long shot, but i see your from ireland as so am i, I am hoping to move to austrila next year and see you have do a bit of travelling. Is it possible to get the medication required in austrila and have it coverd as it is here by the irish government ?
      Any help or advice you may have on this will be great,


  3. I should add here that I usually carry my enemas in my carry on. Sometimes security opens my bag and checks, sometimes they don’t. I recommend you keep them in the box with your prescription on it.

  4. Seriously, it’s what I had to go through also worrying about where every bathroom is and when ever I hear going to a far place I think first of if they have a bathroom and what I should eat the night before or at least hours before, though now I kinda know how to handle it, I once went to the desert to attend the WRC Rally where there is NO bathrooms!! Thankfully I didn’t feel the urge to use any still I kept hoping that I wont have any flare up, as I had a small snack 2 hours before I leave home and made sure that I go to the bathroom even though I didn’t need to.and during the whole 8 hours I spent in the desert I didn’t eat or drink anything only drops of water and it went well and I had a great day :)
    Last time I remember I was on an airplane it was a 5 hours trip , and my colon was kinda active as the jet flying made it worse. as now I know to control my self more as each year it’s getting better or I am just coping better.
    So your travel trip plan sounds like what I do also before any long day.

  5. It’s nice to hear that others have the same types of anxieties about going places. I am sure that as I continued to be in a better state, my fears will go away. It’s just going to take a while to get that confidence back. Everywhere I go, the first thing I do is look for the restrooms and I’ll bet many of you all do the same.


  6. Yep. All of that. Knowing where the bathrooms are, scoping it out, won’t go somewhere if there aren’t bathrooms in proximity.

    I was just joking to my friends that I’d be an insufferable hippy if I didn’t have UC. Hiking, camping, all that. And confident, traveling…I’ve had UC since I was 24, though. I don’t know who that kid would’ve grown up to be. Nor would I want to.

    But I think about it sometimes. :)

  7. Guys, anyone who could advise me what to take with me as a pre-packed food? I’m going to a retreat and they require us to have partially own food to eat….

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