Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vacation Time

It's summer time and a time when a lot of us go on vacation. Planning a vacation can be stressful enough, but if you have CD it becomes even more stressful. The biggest worry or stress factor for me is whether or not I'm going to have a major flare-up while I'm on vacation. Will I have to stay near the hotel so that I have quick access to bathroom facilities? Am I going to have to cancel all of my plans because I just cannot travel because my symptoms are too bad?
I had a small bowel resection in the beginning of April of this year, during my third hospital stay in as many months. (my second one) Mr. Right and I had already purchased our tickets for a trip to Las Vegas in May. This is a trip we make every year to visit my mom and step-dad who live there. When we decided to take our trip in May, I had just finished a round of Prednisone and had started on Humira injections. We had a positive outlook that the Humira was going to stabilize me, and that I would be asymptomatic by the time we left for Vegas. Our airline tickets were purchased, our resort room was reserved and paid for, and I was busy planning where we would go and what we would do on this trip.
As I said I was on my third hospital stay when it was decided that I would have to have another resection. We knew from my first stay that there was an area of stenosis where my small bowel terminates into the colon. It was obvious that from the symptoms I was having that the Prednisone and Humira were not doing what they were supposed to be doing. In my typical fashion I was stressing about the money that had already been spent on a vacation we were supposed to soon be taking more than I was stressing about the surgery. In my mind I was thinking, "Seriously! I already have vacation plans! Ugh! Why can't I just have a normal body!"
The surgery went as expected, and a week later I was at home recuperating. Things seemed to be going pretty well. I hadn't had any major flare-ups or complications from the surgery. It was a typical recovery period. I would get worn out much quicker than normal, and I was limited in movement so that I wouldn't stress my abdomen, but I seemed to be healing up fairly well. This gave me plenty of time to continue planning our vacation. Mr. Right and my mom both kept talking about rescheduling our trip, but I was determined things were going to go as planned. I used to be a go-with-the-flow type person. I didn't like to make plans, because it takes away the spontaneity. But, if you have CD you learn to plan ahead. You have your 'escape" routes figured out in your head. You know where the restrooms are located in every store, restaurant, business that you go in to. You know the fastest route to get there, and which ones are kept clean and neat.
At a post-surgery appointment with my primary care doctor, I told him about our plans to go to Vegas in a few weeks. We talked about things to do out there, because he and his wife were going out for the first time in June. I then told him my concerns about the flight, and that we had a visit to the Grand Canyon planned, as well as going to one of my most favorite places Red Rock Canyon to maybe do a little hiking. Now I realize that airplanes have restrooms on them and that I try to avoid using them at all cost. The Grand Canyon has facilities, but it is a long drive from Vegas with no place to stop, and Red Rock Canyon has facilities at the Interpretative Center, but then what? You are not going to believe what he told me to do. With complete seriousness, he looked at me and said, "wear a diaper". What!? I'm pretty sure that I gave him a your insane look, because he repeated himself. I am 52 not 102! There is no way in this world that I was going to were diapers! Of course he also advised that I really watch my diet while there. If you have never been to Vegas, the gastronomic selections are amazing! If you to eat it, you will find it in Vegas.So, since I was determined that there was absolutely no way that I was going to don a diaper I armed myself with my old friend Imodium.
We had and afternoon flight, so that morning I took a preventative dose of Imodium, and I am happy to say that I made it through the flight with no 'emergencies'. I say that with a plural, because it's never a single trip to the bathroom and your good. It's usually multiple trips, and a race to get there on time, and praying that you don't have to explain to another adult that you really need to get in there now or you are going to mess yourself. So, Praise God, my flight was uneventful. The rest of our trip was amazing. We got to see the Hoover Dam, Joshua Tree National Park, the Grand Canyon, Spring Mountain Ranch, Red Rock Canyon  and wild mustangs up near Mt. Charleston. I have added pictures for you to enjoy.
So don't be afraid to take that vacation you are wanting to go on. Try not to let CD run your life completely, even though I know there are days it wins and you lose. Do some prep work to reduce your stress and worry levels. A little planning can go a long way. Definitely watch what you eat! You do not want to ruin your entire vacation because you gave into the temptation to eat something you know you are not supposed to. It's simply not worth it, no matter how tempting it smells or looks. Last but certainly not least, pray. Pray for your health to improve. That it won't interfere with your trip and enjoyment. A small prayer said in earnest goes a long way.
Many Blessings and remember to LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE!