In March of 2015, I began planning a trip to New York City for August 2015. This trip would be the opportunity to travel alone with my husband, see New York, and also celebrate that I am no longer afraid to travel. You see, us crohnies (as we call each other), can find traveling particularly challenging. Personally, I am always trying to identify emergency bathrooms, formulate exit strategies, and identify ways to determine if TSA is really serious if the pilot announces “you are NOT free to move about the cabin” when people are 2 seconds away from crapping their pants. Having all of these items to address, in addition to the normal hassles of travel, sometimes make traveling more trouble than its worth.
Despite the issues with traveling, I decided I would “woman up” and hit NYC. I was going to the “Concrete Jungle”, “The City That Never Sleeps”, “The Place Where Dreams Are Made.” The first thing I wanted to do was hit the Bronx and yell, “I’M FROM THE BOOGIE DOWN BRONX BABY…even though I am from the inner-city of a place FAR from NYC. Something about doing these things seemed so fun and exhilarating. So, I meticulously planned every detail of my trip. I scheduled doctor’s visits to ensure I had medical clearance. I contacted my pharmacies and obtained freshly filled prescriptions for travel. I also located pharmacies near my hotel in NYC just in case. I packed my medical insurance card and medical alert bracelet. I researched hospitals near my hotel.
While doing all of that, I still found time to research fun things to do in NYC. I also planned a big surprise for the hubs and helped him pick out clothes for the trip. I even proactively packed bags for my girls, for their trip to grannie’s house when mom and Dad hit NYC.
The seven days approaching my trip to NYC began to look a little shaky. I noticed that I had lost 10 lbs without trying. I also developed severe stomach pain and insomnia. In an effort to be proactive, I made an emergency appointment with my GI. She quickly assessed me and determined that I was trying to flare. We developed what we thought was a fool proof plan, and agreed I could continue with my plans to travel to NYC.
The night before my trip, I was feeling more run down than ever before. I laid in the bed to take a quick nap, but was suddenly awakened by sharp stomach pains. I hurried to the bathroom and yelled to my kids “move, mommy has to boo boo.” Although I heard them laugh, I didn’t have time to address it. I had about 1 minute before I had poop on my hardwood floors. I made it to the toilet just in time. Suddenly I heard a splash of water that made my heart sink. You would’ve thought my first emotion would be relief…it was not. My first emotion was fear. I began to wonder what awaited me in the toilet. I scooted back a little, to see blood stained water in the toilet bowl. I then gave myself a good wipe, and noticed that there was cherry red blood on the tissue about the size of the palm of my hand. Just as I felt my eyes water, I looked at my oldest daughter sitting in the bath tub looking at me eyes wide open. I then said, mommy has to go to the hospital…but I am ok.
Those were the only words I could muster without crying. I took a picture of the blood stained tissue to show the ER doctors, finished wiping myself, and composed myself enough to stumble to the guest bedroom for a good cry. I cried for a lot of reasons. For every trip I had to postpone because of this disease that has taken so much. For every time my husband had to have his plans change or hang in the balance because my trick body won’t do what it should. For every tear my daughters shed wondering when mom will be home. But also, for every dollar I lost planning this trip and every minute I allowed myself to hope that while shit happens to others, it would not happen to me.
Friends, in life it is easy to forget your low valleys when you find yourself at a peak. It is easy to forgot that while shit happens to others, you are not exempt. In my house we have a phrase “embrace the boo boo.” So, this blog helps me embrace the shit!!! Hopefully you are inspired to join me!!