IBD Requires Flexibility in Travel Plans

Elizabeth Roberts Health Guide
  • In my last Sharepost I mentioned that my husband and I were going to take some time off and go on a road trip around the West. Well, 18 days, 4 states, and 3,644 miles later we're home. 


    The whole trip was amazing in more than one way. We drove through much of Colorado, California, Utah, and Nevada and if you've never been to these states I highly recommend it. The beauty and openness is awesome - in the real and true sense of that word. We drove for hours on back roads seeing beauty that is hard to describe. But, for me, the more amazing part of this trip was that I was able to do it without having a bathroom debacle every 20 minutes. 

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    One of our stops on this trip was Lake Tahoe, CA, where we lived when I had my first serious UC flare up and received my IBD diagnosis. That flare-up took about 2 years to get somewhat under control and while I was able to participate in the bounty of things that there are to do in Lake Tahoe, I didn't realize until this trip just how much I wasn't able to do. If you've read my book, Living with IBD & IBS, then you know some of what I'm talking about. Trying to leave the house to go to an appointment or on a hike and having to abort the trip completely, or having to make a bathroom stop every 20 minutes. There were the jobs I had to quit, the social engagements I never accepted, and the many nights spent napping on the bathroom floor in between bouts of diarrhea. Well, not this time! It was like a whole new Tahoe. We stayed with friends who knew my previous situation all too well, and they were seriously surprised to see that, other than a somewhat restricted diet, my UC didn't really seem to be a problem anymore in my day-to-day activities. We went out to dinner, went for hours long hikes, as well as a trip around the Lake (which can take more than an hour and was a rare thing for me to do in the 5 years we lived there).


    There was one day on this trip where I really angry. Angry at all the things I'd had to forego, all the experiences I missed, and all the seemingly wasted time sitting on the toilet pooping like crazy. But, then I also realized just how far I've come in the past 10 years with my health, as well as my outlook on life. I still have bad days, even bad weeks. And I still get frustrated from time-to-time about the restrictions in my diet, but overall I'm not only physically healthier, but also mentally healthier. I now understand the importance. of destressing, eating well, living for yourself, and helping others.


    This was an amazing trip for me and my husband, and it just sets the stage now for so many more adventures that I thought I'd never be able to participate in.


    The moral of my story? Never give up. And never believe that the reality of today is your reality for tomorrow.          

Published On: June 16, 2009