As the holidays approach I thought it might be a good time to share my experience of traveling with a child with high needs, especially one with acid reflux. Of course, all of the following only applies to a child with acid reflux. If you are the parent of a baby with acid reflux, and have upcoming travel plans, please just multiply everything that follows by a factor of 10.
This past summer was our first driving trip into what felt like uncharted territory with our son who has severe acid reflux and food allergies. As we were gearing up for the trip, phrases like The Titanic, Apollo 13, and The Exxon Valdez kept coming to mind. At some point in the travel preparations I began to feel like I was preparing for a military “sortie” instead of a vacation.
But just as I felt a well-deserved nervous breakdown coming on I called my good friend, who also happens to be a therapist. I started to complain (panic) about the whole upcoming travel situation. Bob, professionally prepared to help me “reframe” the whole situation said, “Just think of it as a backpacking trip up Mount Everest!”
Sorry, but not helpful. There are many good reasons why middle-aged parents don’t bring their children up Mount Everest.
The only thing that actually helped was just taking the trip, and enjoying the little surprises along the way. We learned that most nice hotels will bring a mini-refrigerator to your room if you have medicine that must stay cold, and most sub shops won’t actually charge you for “just turkey, no bread or anything else,” and that you really can take over an old friend’s kitchen and still be friends at the end of the week.
Somehow, these little surprises have given us the strength and confidence to try it again over the upcoming holidays. I hope you’ll find the strength and confidence to discover your own unexpected gifts if you have upcoming travel plans.
Published On: December 20, 2006