Travelling with IBS
Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:01 AM
Posted 07 November 2011 - 05:03 PM
Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:49 AM
Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:59 AM
Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:38 AM
Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:13 PM
Hi Didem, well im glad I could make a little difference to someone, thankyou so much for your lovely letter . Trust me Turkey will be great !!! so worth the travel and like you said you should NEVER let anything come between you and something you want to do. Especially travelling !! We have such a gigantic gorgeous world with so much in it to see, I personally love your part of the world I visit at least twice a year to go skiing up in the beautiful countryside you have there. The funny thing is when I get home again all I can remember are the fun things we did, IBS doesn't even factor although sometimes as we all know it does factor.I hate doctors that think its all in the mind !! it makes me angry to think people are going through hell when they could get help, all I can sugest is trying an alternative doctor (preferably one that know what on earth he is talking about) there are so many things that IBS could be instead of IBS (which is bad enough) only an absolute moron wouldn't investigate further.I hope you enjoy the book by the way, youll be laughing your arse off all the way to Turkey, and hey dont worry about stinking those bad boys up on the plane soon as you press the flush the air gets mostly sucked down the poop chute and it goes away pretty quick .Anyway I just wanted to pop on and say have a GREAT time , enjoy your life and I hope people reading will take a leaf out of your book and decide that no matter how bad it gets you can always put one foot in front of the other and go wherever you want to go !!! Glad I could help you :)throughit xxxxx
Your posts have been a blessing for me Thank you. I have a long trip to Turkey coming up in a couple of days and I have been stressing over it for weeks now. I've been reading posts here trying to calm myself down but most of the posts are about how awful it is to travel with IBS and how everybody is having nervous break downs so when I read your posts I realized that I can do it. What you said about being honest is what helped me manage my anxiety. This whole time I was focusing on how ashamed I am of my disease and how people will think badly of me if I stink up the bathrooms on the plane. But you are right! People tend to be a lot more understanding of someone who has a chronic condition. Now I know, I'd rather be embarrassed for a day or two and get to have a vacation with my family than feel secure in my home and be miserable. I downloaded that book to read on the flight so I'm looking forward to that. Although my trip has a 12hr layover which I'm not looking forward to.I'm so glad you have a such an understanding family. I was very depressed and angry for a really long time and unfortunately my poor partner suffered from it as well. He's very strong and supportive. I've had awful experiences with GPs and I have never been referred to a gastro doc because all the GPs I've been to kept telling me it's either in my head or that I'm just gonna have to deal with it. So after a while I started believing in that myself. My partner is trying to find me a new GP now, one who is more understanding and knowledgeable about IBS. And I'm actually looking forward to it. I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you, for making me see that it doesn't have to be the end of the world.
Posted 27 July 2012 - 03:04 AM
Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:09 AM
GOOD MORNING !!! well its the start of the Olympics here in London which means its working from home time for all those of us who normally commute into the capital everyday !!What a wonderful day for all those who suffer from IBS focused on the perpetual "clench" that accompanies travelling by train :)Though id write a quick update about my stuff while i have a spare moment.So I went to my new gastro dude, nice guy believe it or not from the Middle East, Egypt I think for my initial consultation. It feels now ive been referred again like im starting all over again apart from the large mound of obligatory notes from all of my previous visits.We talked about my symptoms, stool types, touched a little on the occasional incontinence I seem to get which accompanies a "bad day/week/month" dont worry ! happens to us all !!!!!!!he then asked if he could "take a look", three words which accompany a feeling of dread for most people (including me)When someone says they're going to just take a look or even "pop something up your bum" be wary, I was. Its never really happened like this for me and if im honest although he was totally professional about it I guess ill never get used to someone pushing something small and a bit cold up my rear passage.I can never understand how people get some "enjoyment" out of that but hey different folks for different strokes i guess.Anyway after the initial shock of the "penetration" he decided to take a biopsy. Didnt feel it at all. And that was that !!My advice if that happens to you ? ask for a nurse (my wife was there for me) but it just makes sure everything is done with some dignity. Also wear underwear I didnt expect to be anally probed and so made the unwise decision to go commando. Ive learn t the hard way again haven't i ???Soooo anyway, more blood tests were also done on the day, results in about three weeks for both and rather than booking me in for another colonoscopy and endoscopy hes opted for a contrast MRI scan booked in for Monday next week.If im honest im kinda paranoid about it but i don't know why. Part of me hopes theyll find something, part of me doesnt but the majority of me is a little about "embarrassing" myself as they give you some nasty stuff to drink which "may upset your stomach". LOL like im not used to that anyway :)OK enough of me talking until after my procedure on Monday, if your in the Capital or visiting this fair country please please dont let IBS infringe on your enjoyment of the Olympics, or indeed London trust me there are funnier whiffs floating around this city than emanating from you general direction. And if any of you need any help getting around ? general London advice, let me know and WELCOME TO THE UK !!! through it
Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:28 PM
Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:51 PM
It's been quite a while since I wrote on here so I thought I might drop everyone a line on my traveling thread.
I'm not sure if anyone actually comes here anymore so I'll keep it brief for now.
Well a lot has been happening since my last post (nearly a year ago ) sorry about that. I've been super busy !
First a quick update on my condition , I've still got it !!!
And now a quick update on my situation , I'm still traveling
I know what you're thinking ? The two still can't be a good combination but what seems like years after my first post I thought I'd just summarize what I've learnt in my years of globe hopping
- If you need to wear incontinence products (as I do) through US security ensure you either change before you go through ( the scanner picks up liquids) or if you can go through "commando", trust be that a half hour of "holding it" is worth years of being singled out by the TSA people.
- If the body scanner comes back with a query (as they sometimes do when wearing a diaper) RELAX !!! They've seen it all, you have a medical condition and it's nothing to be ashamed of !
- If you are wearing on a plane, get some plastic pants to put over your diaper just in case. They contain anything the diaper can't handle, save your clothes and reduce the smell. Try putting some talcum powder inside just to add an extra mask just in case and this will have the added benefit of reducing any uncomfortable perspiration.
- if you have an accident on the plane make sure you have a change, and most importantly the large version of those zip lock bags !! And an extra large wash bag which is NOT see through. The idea here is that you can discreetly take the wash at into the bathroom with you, change and clean up as best as possible then put the used diaper (after shaking off as much as possible into the toilet) in the ziplock bag. Then the entire joyful package can go into your wash bag and stowed in the overhead baggage to remove later. If your anything like me , parading a diaper bag up and down the aisle before leaving a used diaper in the bathroom because there are no bins to put it in really isn't conducive to dealing with a mini crisis neither is handing it to the hot stewardess !!!
- referring to my previous, a quick spray of any bin freshener into the ziplock bag will also help neutralize the used diaper smell.
- Always always take bin bags on holiday with you !!! Makes it easier to deal with diapers in the hotel !!
- If your going to theme parks , don't wear the "breathable" cloth backed diapers on the water rides !!! You can guess why !!
- Snap crotch onesies , a wonderful invention and I can thoroughly recommend the vest type ones from Racketys.com for everyone in the uk. Cheap, very well made and cool in hot weather. They keep everything where it needs to be and add an element of comfort from accidentally exposing yourself while reaching to put up that bag into the overhead baggage holder.
- Business class toilets, yes I know you're going to have to have a word with the stewardess but they are virtually always available , slightly larger and more discreet and great for any "code brown" emergencies.
Finally , for goodness sake try and have a little fun. Remember seeing the world is a new adventure, it's like a gift from god that everyone should have the chance to experience, enjoy it, embrace it and please don't let this problem stop you if you have the means.
Oh and keep smiling people
through it xxx
- shejests likes this
Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:01 PM
Hey Smiles Through It,
Just wanted to thank you for your record of your travels and experiences! Man, you really do smile through it! It is very encouraging and uplifting to see it all in that light, when I have experienced so much shame and anguish myself. Your angle is much better
I am going to Mexico in a week and I am getting nervous. It's supposed to be a fun, relaxing vacation, but I'm terrified about having to get on the plane. A couple trips ago (earlier this year) I had an episode while on the flight. The issue was that we were heading down for landing. I tried to go before the seatbelt sign went on, but it would not suffice. I frantically buzzed the flight attendant button who told me I would have to wait and that if I was going to be sick I would have to use a sick bag (hah! As if that were possible...) In the end my husband said "okay, you're just going to have to go" So I jumped up (I was in the window seat) blasted past my husband and the lady he was next to (she was paralyzed in both legs and I was just like, I'm so sorry I have to jump over you AGAIN for like the 3rd time!) and then went as FAST as I possibly could. Whew. Then everything was more or less okay.
Sometimes I can't pop the Imodium with enough advance, because my usual stomach pain doesn't indicate it early enough.
So since that terrible flight I've been having minor panic attacks before each flight, popping Imodium, and trying to go before the flight, but it's terrifying. No problems since then, but it's such a terror. It makes me sick thinking about it.
I think I may actually try having some protection on hand if I get really anxious on the day of. I could always change into it right before the flight...
Something I have discovered recently for my anxiety in general is hypnosis. The ones I get are from HypnosisDownloads (.com) and there is one for bathroom anxiety and IBS although I haven't done either of them yet. I'm going to try them out soon (and the one for fear of flying). So far I have found them really effective (most of them), and when I use them regularly I really do see great results and my overall attitude and feeling of "I am capable to deal with this" is much greater!
Anyway, sounds like you have a very supportive partner to help you through it all, and I am blessed with a very supportive and encouraging and amazing husband as well. It is so fortunate. I told him about the "happy pants" and he was really sweet about it and it made me feel so much stronger and less embarrassed about it.
So cheers to you! Thanks so much for documenting your experiences and keeping up the cheerful face. These posts have helped me and I'm sure countless others.
Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:38 PM
It makes all the difference when someone's says things like that and it re-energizes my resolve to at least attempt to help through my (disasters) and experiences.
A supportive partner is an essential building block to dealing with this problem we all have. I've forgotten the amount of times I've been sitting on the toilet at a resteraunt unable to move an inch thinking "I've must've been here for nearly an hour now, she must be really pissed off with me". Only to come out to a hug and those immortal words, "don't worry darling , you're gonna be fine".
"Happy Pants" are my savior, they have been so many times. It doesn't matter how much planning you do or how many pills you can take, sometimes, things just happen. Their just underwear I guess but I can't remember how many times I've been grateful I had them on and can thoroughly recommend them to anyone who is a little nervous about an upcoming trip.
For those who think you have to be old to wear them by the way, I've just turned 37 and I'm blessed that despite my illness I've been very successful in the business world. despite the millions of presentations I've done while wearing them in front of thousands of people, no one has ever said anything. They (happy pants) or this illness will never limit my abilities to be successful and happy !
My next travels are taking me back to the Middle East. My flight leaves for Dubai from London next Saturday 5th Oct I think , and then after a couple of days there I'm off to Saudi Arabia for another couple of days. First time I've been, a little nervous I think but my gameplan consists of Imodium, lots of sleep before the trip, eating normally and of course some protection for the flight.
Easy, Relaxed and Simple. The best formula for a successful stress free journey.
I was in Mexico a few months ago, I loved it ! You're going to have a wonderful time and please feel free to let us all know how you got on. I can promise with your strategy and support, you're going to have a blast !
seguir sonriendo personas < and have fun in Mexico !!!!
- shejests likes this
Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:43 PM
Aww, your wife sounds lovely. Yes, we are really fortunate to have such patient and loving partners.
I will definitely post how it all goes. Yeah, you're right about getting lots of sleep before the trip. The best way to deal with this is preventatively.
My gameplan is:
6 days before (ie. today!) I'm going to go shoppingfor the extra things I know I need, incl. snorkel gear for husband, Imodium, and protection. I'm nervous about buying it. Hopefully it will look like I'm just getting it for my elderly relative or something Oh and of course I'll have to pack a bunch of snacks for husband so he isn't left out Maybe vector bars as he really likes those. I've started up self-hypnosis every day again over the past few days, and today I will download and start the "fear of flying" and "bathroom anxiety" ones. They recommend at least a week of every day listening to the same hypnosis, so I should be seeing some effects by the flight day. I'm also going to journal through the worst case scenario (which I guess is a public accident) and the most likely scenario (a completely average few flights both going and returning). I also need to nail down who's going to take care of the cat so I can stop worrying about that.
I'll pack 3 days before. I'll pack protection for there and for coming back in my carry-on. The way back will be longer: 16 hours for some reason, so I'll pack extra just to make myself feel better. I really don't anticipate using it, but when it's all up in my head, it's better to feel safe about it. As of packing day, I won't consume any more caffeine and will go towards my medium-level food (ie. not risky, but not altogether bland) to start settling down. I'll start going to bed an hour early.
The day before I'll tidy the house, put everything in order for leaving/returning. The night before I will go to bed an extra 3 hours early and take some sleep med so I can get a full amount of rest before our early day. I'll do a night hypnosis and fear of flying before sleeping. Maybe I'll even take a bath.
In the morning I will have a really simple breakfast: a little bit of yogurt and a little bit of toast and obviously no coffee or black tea. I'll get up an hour before we leave so hopefully I'll be able to "go" before we head to the airport. And when I call for the cab I'll take an Imodium. My snacks for the day will be in my purse (digestive cookies, some crystallized ginger, and a little bit of cheese), and I'll pack digestive cookies and ginger for the way home.
Before boarding I will take another half or whole Imodium, and if I'm nervous, use protection. I'll also take a Gravol. I'll do hypnosis while we're waiting to take off. After take off everything should be okay until we have to land again, so I'll make sure to go before we start the descent. When we do the flight change I'll do hypnosis or read a magazine while we wait and then take another half or whole Imodium before boarding again and then same thing for the flight.
On the way home with the long long long layover (6 hours) I'll take Gravol and try to sleep in the airport if its possible. I can try using the hypnosis to help rest and relax too. Otherwise there isn't much else I can do differently for the way home other than have extra snacks and be prepared to take Gravol throughout the whole ordeal.
When I get home I'm going to see if I can see a doctor about getting something stronger for my anxiety incidences. I don't want to take anything on a daily basis as I really don't need it. But for these big anxiety events it sure would help. Like a beta blocker or something.
Well, it helped to write out my plan! I hope it's not too detailed and will just make me anxious for having so many little factors to deal with. In actuality it's fairly simple, I think.
Thanks for the support, Smiles. Hope you have a wonderful time in the Middle East (husband just got back from Israel two weeks ago!)! I really love Mexico, I've been there a number of times, but it's just been recently that I've really had the whole flying panic thing. IBS being triggered by anxiety really just amps up the anxiety, unfortunately. More likely than not, though, all will be well. And no matter what happens, we will always be able to deal with it. Life will move on, and in a day it will all be mere memory.
Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:52 PM
Your attitude is excellent. I know it's been said, and I'm saying it again because you totally deserve it.
This travel story might amuse you:
My IBS-like condition (currently labeled "disaccharide intolerance" because it's so aggravated by some sugars) has caused me to eat a very restricted diet, which makes the symptoms relatively manageable but is very difficult to keep up while traveling.
I stay in hotels where I can cook for myself and I bring food in my carry-on bag when required to fly.
So, one thing I can certainly eat is oatmeal. I brought some for lunch on an overnight trip and didn't finish it, and forgot it was in my backpack.
Next day on the way back, the security guard stopped me because I had something "suspicious" in my bag. So...they swabbed my slightly-spoiled container of oatmeal for explosives and the readout was POSITIVE.
It was only hilarious after the fact. At the time I was blown away (pun intended).
I wonder what chemical compounds cause slightly-spoiled oatmeal to resemble a bomb.
- smiles through it likes this
Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:02 AM
Hi Hrutger, and many thanks for your post. I did have a little chuckle at your predicament. Who wouldve known that Oatmeal has the same chemical composition as explosives ?? Im sure the more intelligent amongst us can tell us why, but that definately ranks as one of the most bizarre "watchouts" Ive come across so far.
Ive also heard that poppy seeds have the same effect as that on the airport scanners as they come up as "Opium" when swabbed. Indeed it has also been proved that eating three poppy seed bagels and then getting drugs tested has provided positive results for narcotics.
I guess theyre not as foolproof as we are lead to believe.
My travels to the Middle East have been a great success, although I feel Ive been in the air more than on the ground over the past few weeks. My destinations in October have included the aforementioned Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Istanbul and Kuwait !
They have mostly been un-eventful (thankfully) although the food served on the Airplanes these days seems to be getting much worse.
Turkish Air for example ! goodness me, if I could post a picture I would, but suffice to say I politely declined. Even in the Business Class cabin the food looked "regurgitated" and frankly rather dangerous to someone with any kind of stomach complaint.
I realise that people like me are in the minority when it comes to being selective about what they eat (trust me I wish it were different) but my overriding advice if travelling with them for a long haul flight is bring an IBS friendly snack !!
British Airways are by comparison much better, particularly when flying in business class. I tend to stick to the cold salads which are usually quite varied and invariably palletable. They also have a wonderful peppermint tea by the way. You just have to request it when youre onboard, im certain theyll be able to give you one in economy class as well if you ask.
Lastly I flew from Dubai back to Gatwick on the Emirates new A380, this time in economy (no club seats left). I must say its by far the best economy Ive ever beein in. My travels have taken me far and wide and I was really taken back by both the quality and service of the entire flight. Even the toilet seat was made out of pine !!! I know, you notice the strangest things when you spend so long in the bathroom !!! food choice was great, delicious and well prepared with no ill after effects
Im not a food critic of any kind, I can just about tell red wine from white wine but it is important to have a back-up as im sure everyone is aware.
One slightly unhappy symptom of travelling so much is just the sheer amount of germs I seem to pick up. I managed to get the most god awful cold (flu) from one of those destinations which you may or may not know has its own consequences for someone without the time to slow down and "be ill". Cold and Cough mixtures (particularly those with Paracetomol) absolutely spark off my IBS as do most traditional remedies Ive come across.
Indeed its almost like Sophies choice for me when I pick up one of these bugs as its a toss up between taking the medicine that I know will help some of my symptoms and keep me going but be detrimental to other IBS related problems I have. Or suffer through snotty noses, hacking coughs and the innevitable perpetuation of whatever bug I have picked up through spreading it to other unwitting passengers.
Nasel sprays help with the blocked nose and seem to have very little in terms of side effects for my IBS (reccomended by my doctor). But chesty coughs, those little ticklish ones that keep you up all night and sore throats all require something a little more powerful, to which an IBS friendly solution seems to elude me.
I guess Ill have to experiment while I have my feet on the ground and get back to you with my "magic bullet". Hopefully I'll discover that before my upcoming flight to New York later in November.
Love New York by the way
Anyway I think I've rambled on enough for one sitting, hopefully theres something in there thats useful to someone, if not, ill keep on trying
Safe and Happy Trails for all those flying
And please keep smiling
Oh and happy Halloween !!!!!
Posted 02 March 2014 - 04:06 PM
Hey Smiles and everyone else,
The Mexico trip back in October went fine and totally uneventfully. I was very anxious about the flight (both ways) but nothing happened. I found it really helpful to plan it (as above) and write it all out, as that really soothed my nerves. I also really have been finding hypnosis helpful both in preventing IBS episodes and just keeping my anxiety lower overall. I highly recommend it!
Anyway, nothing new to report, just wanted to check in and say hi!
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