I have decided to use one of the alternative prompts for day 6 of National Health Blog Post Month and talk about what it is like for me to travel given my health condition. I am 26 years old and haven’t been on a plane since I was 14 and haven’t been out of the NY metro area in longer than I can remember. There are a lot of reasons for this but mostly, traveling creates more stress for me than it is worth. Or, at least that is how it has always been. I am hoping my most recent surgery to have an ileostomy will give me my quality of life back but regardless, traveling takes an enormous amount of preparation for me.
Since I now have an ileostomy and am planning on having it for the rest of my life, I want to talk a little bit about what it is like to travel and be away from home with a bag. I have had more blockages over the last 12 years than I can even count so I am extremely cautious when it comes to eating. That coupled with the fact that I like to pretend I don’t have this unusual way of going to the bathroom makes eating very challenging for me. I also have an enormous fear of sleeping when I am away from home. I am afraid that if I let my guard down, the bag will leak and I will be somewhere else where it becomes a big deal and is embarrassing. Because of all these things, when I am away from home for any amount of time, I eat the bare minimum needed to sustain myself. I also have chronic daily migraines so the lack of sleep and food makes my head far worse than it normally is.
Traveling is something that I have not yet mastered. I am finally settling into myself and the person I am and I know that the more mini trips I can take, the more comfortable I will feel being away from home. I just feel extremely vulnerable and weak now so the idea of traveling makes my stomach turn. However, now that I have an ileostomy, my health has been a bit more stable *knock on wood* so I really am just trying to work on managing my anxiety. I actually chose this prompt because I am really looking forward to traveling and exploring since I feel like I missed out on so much. I just need to allow myself the time so that being away feels more like a vacation than prison.