Crohn’s Takes a Holiday: Pack Wisely and Be Prepared

Crohn’s Takes a Holiday: Pack Wisely and Be Prepared
As I write this, I’m at Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino, just outside Lake Charles, Louisiana, on the first day of a weeklong anniversary trip with my husband. We're driving along the Gulf Coast from our home in Austin, Texas, to the Florida Panhandle. Although I've mapped out every stop of our itinerary, we occasionally change course when the mood strikes. So here we are, an hour and a half away from Lafayette, Louisiana, our intended destination, just to bet on the Preakness and do some light gambling. Spontaneity is difficult when you have IBD. Planning a road trip through five states is a challenge in and of itself, considering my need to be organized and stick to a schedule. However, in addition to reserving hotel rooms and researching places to visit, I have to plan around my triggers. With my Type A personality, avoiding my No. 1 trigger, stress, is close to impossible. The pressure starts to build about a month out as I develop an itinerary that stays within our budget and time frame. By the time we’re a week away, my mind and body kick into overdrive. I rush to scratch things off my to-do list and try not to forget anything, especially my medications. No matter how hard I try to keep calm, the familiar, unpleasant churning in my stomach begins. It usually lasts the first day or two of our trip, and then I'm finally able to relax. During a vacation, I also have to be mindful about managing my diet and staying hydrated. Sometimes I don’t have any or much control over what or when I can eat or drink. Packing a cooler full of sandwich fixings and snacks helps us avoid greasy fast food when we're driving. Several
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