Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Adventures in Travel with a K-Pouch

Our trip to Hawaii was my first long flight with my buddy the k-pouch. And although I wasn't too nervous, it did take a little extra thought on my part to plan my emptying.

On the short flights I've done in the last two years, I've had some uncomfortable gas from the altitude, but nothing I couldn't manage. But with this flight, I wanted to make sure my pouch was as empty as possible to alleviate any gas, but to also minimize the possibility of me having to empty on the plane.

Now although this absolutely can be done. I personally did NOT want to go there. I mean tiny bathroom, the potential number of people waiting as I took the 10+ minutes I need to empty and turbulence were just the top reasons why if I could avoid it, I was going to.

Now of course, had I absolutely needed to empty on the plane to be comfortable, I would have just braved it and looked over every one's head when I came out and the stench filled the plane. I mean a woman's got to do what a woman's got to do, but still that's not ideal.

So I decided I would empty as close to boarding as possible (I can leave the stench and take the time in a large bathroom, that's only mildly uncomfortable.) Then as soon as we landed and got off the plane I would empty if need be. And I'm happy to report this plan went just as I hoped and the small amount of gas pain was totally manageable, yippee.

While staying at the hotel in the beginning of the week, I decided that I would empty down in one of the pool or beach bathrooms rather than spend my spoons walking back up to the room and back. It was a trade off for sure.

The first day, I went in and of course there were only two stalls. I set about my routine, all the while I could hear the line building out the door. As luck would have it the person in the stall next to me was taking a long time too!! Oh no the pressure was great, I was sweating and trying to go as fast as is possible, but it was inevitable. One of the ladies in line said, in a nice way, "please hurry up in there." Ugh, ok, I'm trying. So I hurried and packed up my stuff and walked out to the sink without my band aid back on. I figured they needed to know I wasn't just in there taking my sweet time. One lady saw me put the band aid on and asked if I hurt myself and I explained that I had a continent ostomy. She sheepishly said, "Oh my friend has an ostomy."

I was a little embarrassed but at the same time, I know that it was what was best for me and my body. Is it ideal, no, but it's better than the alternative of me not being here.

The next day, thankfully I didn't have the line build up. But when I walked out, a poor young girl was standing there covering her face with her shirt from the smell. And I had sprayed some air freshener! Ummm, yeah, no eye contact there and I sped out as soon as I could.

It's the little things you don't think of until faced with them. And this was just another adventure in maneuvering life as a permanent ostomate. Sometimes I laugh and shake my head and the way things have changed around here;)

1 comment:

HonuHonu said...

Great post. I hope you enjoyed Hawaii! You have a wonderful attitude--I'm sending a link to my daughter who is 23 and having continued trouble with her j pouch. She will be seeing another GI doc and possibly considering options beyond j pouch. Unfortunately the option of regrowing a healthy colon does not yet exist!
Best wishes to you--