It’s been a long time since I’ve been out of Las Vegas. The last time I travelled was a quick in and out of New York City for a visit to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a second opinion regarding the need to have ostomy surgery. This is the first time in a long time that Danielle and I are going somewhere not medically motivated.
I have to say I was a little nervous packing things up for the trip. I was in my comfort zone concerning my ostomy and stoma. Now I was going out in the wild. How many supplies should I take? What if some disaster happens during the flight? Can I take scissors in my carry-on luggage in case I need to change the pouch for any reason? Will I have any issues going through security with the thing attached to my body?
A lot of concerns. Perhaps I was a little over the top. I know people with ostomies must travel every day. I’ve read about it in many of the books I’ve read about them. But still…
The answers to those questions are, “a lot”, “I’ll deal with whatever comes my way”, “yes, if it is under four inches long”, “No, but I was stopped and padded down and had to explain the support belt I use with the bag.”
So perhaps my concerns were unfounded. Perhaps I had good luck this time around. The thing is, it is always about taking steps. For the longest time I wouldn’t go anywhere without taking my ostomy kit. I would have it on me in case I needed to immediately run to the bathroom. For the most part that is still true. Although I don’t need to have my kit on me, anytime I go anywhere that I know I will be away from the house far any extended amount of time I know I should have the kit. But I have left it at home on some occasions. With irrigation, my confidence level has gone up to where if we go out to dinner or to a movie I’ll take the kit and leave it in the car or even home.
Now I was going hundreds of miles from home. Supplies would not be readily available if I was missing something or ran out of something. I’m sure I would be able to get them, but it would be a challenge and expensive. So I took a lot of time to figure out what I needed to take. I expect it will all just travel with me and and get re-stocked at home, but you can’t take the chance of running out.
The other challenge will be irrigation. I have a very specific routine I do at home to irrigate. I’ll have to break that routine when I’m out and about. I know that the hotels we are staying at will not have the same type of shower as my bathroom which has a removable head that I take advantage of. Breaking my routine will make things slower, but hopefully after two weeks, I’ll be comfortable irrigating anywhere.
Normally we go camping this time of year with Danielle’s family. This year we are staying at a hotel near by. I just couldn’t jump into camping for a week and deal with the ostomy. At some point I hope to go camping again, but I think we’ll have to start slow, maybe somewhere close like Mount Charleston for a weekend. That way I can figure out how to do the things I need to do in the wild and eventually apply them for the family reunion.
I’m writing this day one of our vacation. Travel by plane was uneventful so my concerns we maybe unfounded. Today we’ll be driving all day. Hopefully that will be as unremarkable as flying was.