Day 6: Traveling with IBD/Ostomy

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.

  • Sherri

    I hope you realize how in touch with yourself you are..your insights are so right on. The travel, the trips the exploiration will all come…baby steps, small ventures at first to gain experience and confidence..the world will wait for you my GF and welcome you with arms wide open…<3

    • rissy26

      Thank you : ). I am SANS taz and I actually miss her now that i’m away!

  • Jodi

    take your time….mini-trips sound like a great way to get make me realize the things I take for granted.
    love you.