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#HAWMC: Day 20, "Travel Time"

CHALLENGE: Travel Time. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Maybe you've already traveled to an exciting place and want to go back. We know that traveling with a chronic illness can be challenging, so any tips for others that you can share would be great! #HAWMC

I have decided to create today's post to help IBDers put together an "emergency kit" just in case you find yourself in an embarrassing situation. These can happen to the best of us and it is never fun when it does. Because there is always a chance of having an "accident"--espeically during a flareup--it is important to be prepared and make an uncomfortable and frustrating situation as "pleasant" as one possibly can.
I found myself in one of these situations a couple of times. I do a lot of traveling for my job and sometimes I find myself driving miles and miles without a bathroom in sight. This is NOT good for people with an IBD. I was driving to work one day and the urge hit me. I was driving down the backroads and there were no rest stops. Only miles of woods and farmland as far as the eye could see. I did my best to hold it... after about 15 minutes of painful cramping, heavy breathing and sweating profusely, I caved, swallowed my pride and pulled over in a bush. No toilet, no toilet paper only trees and a small bend in a clearing to cover me. I was armed only with a plastic grocery bag to clean myself up afterwards. 

Talk about embarrassing and disheartening. After this incident, I was in no mood to get to work, so I drove home. I vowed NEVER to allow myself to get into a situation like this again and created an IBD Emergency Kit that I now carry around with me (and also pack an extra bag to keep in my car).

What's in the kit? I'll tell you!
  1. A bag to carry items.
  2. Extra pair of pants and underwear.
  3. A towel for any cleanup that may be needed.
  4. My Medical Alert Restroom Access Card. These can be obtained by joining the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, the Great Bowel Movement or for free when you sign up to speak with a Crohn's and Colitis Advocate.
  5.  Small bottles of water. This is for cleaning purposes and to take medicine if needed.
  6. Medical examination gloves. These can be obtained in any medical section of the grocery store or pharmacy. I have these so I can handle any soiled items without too much of a problem.
  7. Baking soda (this will absorb odors and extra liquids for easier cleanup). I will sprinkle this into a trash bag with any soiled items.
  8.  "Cleansing Cloths" - aka adult wipes. This is self-explanatory.
  9. Diaper Rash Cream - for an irritated bottom. My favorite thus far is Calmoseptine!
  10. Trash bag. For any soiled items/trash.
  11. Hand sanitizer - just in case things get messy during cleanup.
  12. Medications. In general, I'm not an advocate of Imodium - better out than in! - however, there are some situations (such as long car drives) where this may become necessary. You always want to check with your doctor before taking any medicines especially when you have a serious medical condition.
  13. Adult Diapers.

I hope never to have to use this again, but I am prepared just in case. Something you may want to invest in is the Travel Toilet. To learn more about it, click here.

Something else you might consider... I always keep Cleansing Cloths, hand wipes, Imodium and a pair of medical exam gloves in my purse. You never want to be caught in a restroom without toilet paper and you certainly never want to end up sitting on a dirty toilet seat (you can wipe them down with the hand wipes). So there you have it... my tips to help make your emergency situations a little less stressful. May you never find yourself in a situation like this--especially unprepared!!!

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