WEGO Health: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Maybe you’ve already traveled to an exciting place and want to go back. We know travelling with a chronic illness can be challenging, so any tips for others that you can share would be great!
There are a few places that I would travel. I love going to Alaska during the summer. It’s so beautiful up there. I also love going to Lake George in upper state New York. The lake there is so beautiful and there’s so many things to do. I really miss going there. I hope to visit again soon. I also want to go skiing somewhere in Colorado one of these days. I’ve always wanted to go skiing there. I’m hoping to make it one of these years.
I actually do a lot of traveling for work so I have a lot of experience traveling as someone who has a chronic illness and inflammatory bowel disease. There are things I always pack with me in my checked baggage and my carry on when I fly or when I have to travel out of town for work.
I’m currently on Humira but I’ve only had to fly with it once. You can get a cooler from AbbVie through their patient services. I got really good freezer packs to put in it and it kept my Humira cold for around 10-12 hours. I also made sure to have a doctors note from my GI. You never know what you need. I also made sure that my Humira was in the box it came in with the prescription information on it. I told the TSA what it was when I got to the airport. The only thing they wanted to know was if my freezer packs were frozen and lot liquid. I had to open the cooler so they could verify that and that was it. The rest of the trip went well with it.
- Extra Underwear
- Angel Baby Bottom Balm
- I Gotta Go! card from CCFA and The Great Bowel Movement
- Calmoseptime Ointment
- Wet wipes
- Extra underwear
- Hemorrhoid Ointment
- Extra Prednisone if I have it
- Panty Liners
When flying I make sure to have a middle or an aisle seat. This is so if I have to go to the bathroom I don’t have as many people to get through to go. Eating while traveling isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are times I have a hard time figuring out what to eat that isn’t going to upset my stomach. Especially with having fructose malabsorption. I tend to stick to soups and salads if I’m traveling to the training academy for work. For dinner I just try and read the menu well and try to figure out what to eat that won’t give me an upset stomach. My problem is normally getting abdominal cramping when food doesn’t sit well.
I also drive a lot for work. There are times that I have to drive 3 or 4 hours for work to get to a site. I always carry with me my emergency kit in my car and thankfully I’ve only needed it once. But it’s always in my car. I also always have Imodium with me now too.
Emergency Kit for Car
- Extra underwear
- Extra pair of pants
- Wet wipes
- Two or Three Plastic Bags
Traveling with IBD isn’t always the easiest thing to do. I’ve had to travel to the other side of the country a few times since being diagnosed with IBD and I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I’ve started to make sure that when I book my flights that I either have an aisle seat or at least a middle seat. I used to always get a window seat but I don’t want to have to go through that many people if I have to go to the bathroom. I also carry extra underwear in my book bag just in case.
For my checked luggage there is a list of things that I make sure to back:
- Calmoseptine Ointment
- Panty Liners
- Wet Wipes
- Extra underwear
- Angel Baby Bottom Balm
Eating while traveling isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are times I have a hard time figuring out what to eat that isn’t going to upset my stomach. Especially with having fructose malabsorption. I tend to stick to soups and salads if I’m traveling to the training academy for work. For dinner I just try and read the menu well and try to figure out what to eat that won’t give me an upset stomach. My problem is normally getting abdominal cramping when food doesn’t sit well.
This month I had to travel again for work. It’s been interesting so far. While I was in LAX for a layover I had to wait in line to go to the bathroom and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I had to keep taking deep breaths and hope that I would’t have an accident. I could of asked if I could go a head of the ladies in front of me but I’ve never done that before. At least I didn’t have an accident.
My stomach has started acting up the last couple of days. I’m not sure if it’s from PMSing or if it’s because I have to eat out now. Or both. All I know is that it’s affecting me at work and I don’t like it.
I’m also having one hell of a time sleeping. It’s a three hour time difference out here in Ohio than it is in Oregon. I go through bouts of being super tired throughout the day and being awake. I’m also having a hard time sleeping at night which isn’t helping. I just wish I could sleep. It may help with everything else that is going on.
I also have a huge cold sore on my face. I’m not that happy about it. I want it to just go away. I finally got some Abreva last night and I’m hoping that it goes away soon. I need to call my GI tomorrow to see if it’s ok if I can do my Humira injection while I have one. I’m not sure if it’ll be gone by Monday. Although maybe it will be now that I have Humira.
Now, I need to go and work out and I just feel too tired to do it. And I don’t know if I should make myself go or just rest and go to the hotel workout room tomorrow. I was hoping that working out would help me tire out a little bit more so that I could actually sleep but I’m also worried about wearing myself out too much. I don’t think I can really afford to do that right now with how my colon is acting. I could just do a couple of exercises in my hotel room.
I really want to get back into going to the gym regularly. I need to lose the weight that I gained from being on the Prednisone. I got a FitBit to help get me motivated and I’m keeping track of my calories on MyFitnessPal. I just find it hard to stay motivated some times. I miss the energy that I had with the Prednisone. I hate being so tired that I don’t want to do anything.
It’s good to be back home after being gone on travel for work for almost three weeks. While I do miss my family it is nice to be able to have an easier time controlling my diet. I definitely had a rough time with it while I was in Cleveland. So far now that I’m home I am starting to feel a little better. It’ll probably take a week or two for me to really start feeling better. I’m not sure how long it’ll take for all the fructose I did ingest to get out of my system.
All of my fur babies were happy to see me. They’ve been following me around the house all weekend. They’ve also been cuddling a lot more. I’m happy to be back home with them and my boyfriend. I missed them a lot while I was away. Hotels get really lonely.
I have my appointment with the dietitian tomorrow finally. I’m hoping that I can get some of my questions and concerns answered. I will definitely post here what I find out. I hope I leave there with more answers than questions.
Traveling so far with a fructose intolerance/malabsorption is a pain in the ass. It’s hard enough to shop for food at times when you’re at home. But when you end up eating out a lot because of travel for work things don’t go so well. You end up eating a lot of processed foods depending on your situation. If you have a kitchenette in your hotel and can cook your own food which would be very helpful. I’m traveling right now and in my hotel room I have a microwave and a fridge. I also don’t have any silverware, plates or bowls. Which isn’t helpful at all.
I’ve been trying to find food that I could eat but there’s so many processed products out there that have fructose in them. Many processed meats have HFCS along with bread. The yogurt at the continental breakfast even has fructose in it. I’m hoping that by the next time I have to travel for work that I’ll be better prepared for this seeing how by then I’ll have talked to the dietitian.
Last week I felt so horrible from eating the food that I was. And it’s almost a constant thing until you can get that fructose that you ingested out of your system. Being really tired already didn’t help. Before I had to travel I was feeling better most days because I was able to eat different foods that were good for me and that I could digest. I had also lost about 5 lbs over two weeks just from changing my diet. It’s amazing the changes you feel and see once you know what’s going on. Things aren’t going so well right now just because I’m traveling but once I get home it’ll be nice to get back to the foods that I know I can have.
After a lot of trial and error last week I have a better idea of what I can eat this week. I now know that I really need to pay more attention to ketchup bottles and to ask whether the mayonnaise is real or not. Salads would definitely be safest but I would have to make sure that they have chicken on them. I’m not supposed to have ham if it’s been honey cured. Ham will be another thing to figure out since I normally have ham for Christmas dinner. I’m hoping I can find a local butcher or something.