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.
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