Refusing to Allow Crohn’s Disease to Hijack My Freedom to Travel

Refusing to Allow Crohn’s Disease to Hijack My Freedom to Travel

Now that my children are grown (mostly) and out of the house, one at college, one at graduate school, I have vowed to travel a bit more. Besides financial constraints (paying for college is expensive!) there’s nothing holding me back — except Crohn’s. Last fall, I accompanied my husband on a a trip to a trade show in Las Vegas and had a wonderful time. I didn’t have a flare-up, but I took all my extra medications with me just in case.

Last week, I took a one-day trip from my home to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Women’s March. I felt anxious all week leading up to it, wondering if I would be too sick to go. With prednisone, I’ve been in pretty decent shape, but I’m on my taper and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a few symptoms returning, albeit mildly. I also was worried how I would feel after the march. Would I be non-functional for several days, as happens after I have an extra long day, a lot of physical exercise, or movement? I didn’t know.

I got up at 4 a.m. Saturday, packed all my extra meds, and didn’t get home until 10:30 p.m. On Sunday I felt pretty bad. I spent most of the day on the couch, resting. I was achy, sore all over and weak. But by Monday I was pretty much back to normal.

Tuesday was my younger daughter’s birthday. Her college is a seven-hour drive from my house, or a one-and- a-half hour flight from my airport to hers. I really wanted to be with her on her birthday. So, a couple of months earlier, I attempted to find a cheap-enough flight (for some reason, despite the short flight, it’s really expensive to fly there from here) to visit her. The only way I could do that was to change flights. So, my trip started at 4 a.m., and I was on my first flight at 7. Again, I brought all my extra medication, but I did fine tramping all over her campus and to dinner with her and seven of her friends. I stayed over one night and was back out of the door at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday to catch my flight home.

On Thursday and Friday, I was exhausted and needed to rest. But I didn’t get sick and I had expected that I would be feeling bad. I had made it through a tough week of travel. Whew!

I have another trip — in fact two — coming up in the next few months, and I’m worried again. Who knows where my Crohn’s will be then? Will I be able to travel on these fun trips and make it through?

The answer is I don’t know. But I can’t stop living because of Crohn’s. I won’t.

Note: IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of IBD News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to inflammatory bowel disease.

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