Travelin’ Ass/Badass Butt-Diseased Babesby Lizz on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 16:29
Wow, where have I been and what have I been doing? Apparently not blogging. Most recently, I went to New Orleans for the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience to see some dude named Neil Young and another named Jack White. There were so many good acts, and I have to say, I’m really proud of myself for finally learning how to travel safely and well with a butt disease and a J-pouch. There was a time after I was first diagnosed with IBD that I refused to let the disease restrict my life, and instead of adapting and learning how to integrate it into my life, I just ignored it, and pushed harder. I was also diagnosed when I was a very stubborn teenager, so factor that in. At any rate, my teenage, “I’m not changing for this disease” philosophy didn’t work out so well. I went on a school trip to Europe when I was 16, not long after my diagnosis. I was on high doses of Prednisone and whatever other maintenance drug I was trying at the time. Probably Asulfazine. I should note that I only experienced one true and brief remission shortly before I opted for surgery, so I was still technically flaring on this trip to Europe, but I went anyway, of course. I was passing blood when I pooped, it just wasn’t exclusively blood at that point. But, by the time I got back, it was. After trying to do what everyone else in my travel group was doing, I ended up in the hospital for a week or two. Keeping up physically with my travel companions was something that exhausted my body. My guts were nice enough to stick it out till the last day, but the plane ride from Heathrow to Chicago was brutal. I spent it mostly in the airplane bathroom, shitting blood, and probably bile and mucus. In the brief periods spent in my seat, I tried to hydrate myself. When we arrived in Chicago, my body was giving out. I went to the airport physician who told me to go straight to the ER when I landed at home. One of the teacher/tour guides ended up actually carrying me around the airport because I was too weak and dehydrated to walk. My mom picked me up at the airport and took me immediately to the hospital where I was admitted for over a week.
So, that is travel story fail with butt disease #1. I spent most of my teenage and college years sick, which I admit sucked and sucked big time, but as I mentioned, I was a tad stubborn and soldiered on. I guess it was the brief remission (1 month exactly) I experienced that inspired me to get on with my life and ditch my severely-diseased and not getting better colon my Junior year of college. I went to classes in between the surgeries but I seriously lessened my course load. That was mature living with a butt disease decision #1. It was mature and a “win” because I decided to deal with my disease rather than ignore it and pretend I wasn’t sick when I so clearly was. I finally found a way to do what I wanted (take classes and complete my undergraduate degree) in order to participate in life and reach my goals, I just modified it a little.
So, that’s what I’ve found works best for me as it does for most people: moderation! Not balls-to-the-wall self-destructive behavior. I still live my life. I travel, I work part-time, I volunteer, I do yoga, and spend time with friends. I am studying for the GRE so I can take it, kick its ass, then slowly but surely complete graduate school. So, I absolutely have life goals that I intend to achieve and achieve well, I just finally learned how to take care of my body and mind while making myself a superstar.
And speaking of superstar IBD girls, you guys know Jackie Z., right? She blogs here from time-to-time when she’s not running her awesome non-profit, Girls With Guts, or writing on her own blog, Blood Poop Tears. Girls With Guts is currently partnering with Groupon Grassroots and accepting $10 donations to make post-surgery support goody bags for badass ladies who have just had an IBD-related surgery. Girls With Guts’ mission is to inspire confidence and provide support for ladies living with IBD. If you have an extra $10 lying around, go on over and donate to a truly terrific cause.
Keep on keepin’ on!