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.
UC patient since 2002.