Travel = disaster! HELP.

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twodogs
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/21/2009 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
When I travel, I can count on an attack after the first 18 hours.  I will start having terrible terrible gas.  I mean noises that a human does not make...I am so terrified of being in someone else's home and being heard (no one seems to have a fan anymore)...I mean it's like some large walrus.  The end result of these outbursts is never poop, but foam, sometimes a little thread of poop.  Worse, because I'm trying so hard to hold this gas in, soon I start having leakage.  I have to wear a pad to absorb this nearly clear liquid.
 
Could it be just stress???  Stress about the IBS?  How do you help THAT???  I hardly eat on these trips, and if it starts I take Immodium to just shut my colon down.
 
If I'm at home I do not have this.  I watch my diet and have maybe 10 normal days, then 3 gassy D days.  No pattern with food that I've yet to figure out.  I just need some ideas to make my traveling easier.  On these trips (which involve flying, which, if it's a flight over 2 hours instantly causes bad rumbling gas) (I've read that the air thinness has something to do with this and you should wear control top hose to keep pressure on your intestines)  ...anyway, I don't drink pop or coffee, I eat almost nothing.
 
No pain.  Just humiliation.  Id rather have severe pain that this.  Ideas?

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 5/23/2009 5:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello there - I was hoping someone more qualified than myself would have responded by now.

I have IBS/D like symptoms but I've been told they are a direct result of having had cancer/colon resection and the lower part of my colon they took out.

I struggle with trying to keep my diet plain, simple and amounts small in comparison to how I ate, before cancer, over 10 years ago now.

Traveling is the biggest challenge I face (another might be finding a job with more weekly hours, if I can ever pull off full time, I would have to cut back even further on solids intake).

Like you I cut way back on solids the day before I travel, the day of and depending upon where we are, even after arriving. I prefer sharing a hotel room or condo with just my immediate family. A hotel or lodge is the best set up, with more bathrooms available than just our room's bathroom. Just a bathroom near a restaurant or gift shop, or banquet room that is rarely used is such a comfort. Just knowing I can use THAT bathroom eases any worries I have. We haven't stayed with friends or family much, if at all since I've had cancer. I do that increases a person's anxiety level in trying to manage all of this - if you have to share a bathroom with people who do not have IBS or GI tract issues. You worry they will find what you do in there odd or unusual. When truth be told, unless you overflow the toilet or spend hours in there, I've come to the conclusion that I may think people notice how many times per day I go but in reality they don't pay much attention to me. If I were you, I'd take along extra TP, flush a lot to disguise any sounds you make, buy a can of deodorizer that is the orange scented type, this doesn't necessarily cover the room with an overpowering scent but neutralizes bad odors with a mild orange oil scent. I always pack extra TP in m suitcase. I make sure I take along extra underswear, Stayfree ultra thin overnight pads (they go way up in the back, for minor drips or accidents), drink a lot of water and go easy on solids. Return to eating when you come home.

But if at all possible, try not to stay with friends or family and find your own hotel. Even an inexpensive one with your own bathroom is worth the money.

My family owns a boat now so this will be my summer challenge. I don't eat before going on it and I don't eat while on it. I sip water, just water all day so I am not dehydrated but I have found that even if I'm starving, eating is not good. It's a ski boat, no bathroom and as my husband points out, most boat owners prefer you only go #1 on their boats anyway. Well, then, I say.......don't even tempt me with a possible bigger boat with a bathroom! So this will be my weekend pattern, I just make sure I eat very healthy all week long and pull back from solids Sat/Sun, daytime hours.

Hopefully someone else will post and have a good explanation for your exact symptoms.

I wish you well.
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


twodogs
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/23/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Marsky...thanks so much for the response. I am on the road (weekend wedding, surrounded by people all in same hotel) with my spouse...I'm doing ok so far, not eating much, and I took a lomotil just before leaving...better to be clogged, than processing bad things. It will be over by Monday, so far so good. But I take your advise seriously....it is difficult traveling with hubby....only one bathroom, of course, no fan....I know I shouldn't be so embarrassed by this, but I am, and my family members, if I were to tell them, would make jokes about it...

I am staying with soluble fiber...white bread toast and a banana for breakfast, cheese and tuna for lunch, no bread. I had one coke with lunch, it was handed to me...otherwise if I hadn't been thirsty, I'd have passed on it! Tonight I will really limit myself ....rehersal dinner lots of drinking, I'm sure. One red wine and I'll call it a night. Pretend to eat.

This is so disgusting....I'm trying NOT to stress about it...that makes it worse! After hearing what you've been thru with cancer, I should be ashamed complaining about gas!

Thanks so much!

2dogs

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 5/23/2009 6:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I do a lot of pretending too! At social events I often pretend A. I am not hungry, B. I just ate or C. I'll eat later. If it's a sit down dinner I accept my full - sigh - plate of food. The way I used to be able to eat. Then when everyone is chowing down, I pick at my food. I do eat a little, just not the entire plate and often times, not even half of it! Sometimes I leave the table to use the bathroom (not really, it's just an excuse to get up from the table but I can use squeeze out something, sorry for that lovely detail....LOL). Then when I return to the table sometimes if I'm lucky the dishes have been collected. I just say - oh well. I have a full arsenal of tricks up my sleeve. Sometimes - flat out lies!

But all of these combined are what I call faking it - I pretend I have a normal colon with people who have normal colons. It's all an act, LOL. But hey, it's better than walking around with my hands on my stomach, moaning and groaning (what I like to do at home, I usually shout out to anyone who will listen - I want a transplant! Right here!).

I think for many of us we all just need to figure what works best for each of us and then do these things when our schedules become very busy - summer time, traveling, social events such as wedding. My family enjoys grilling out in the summer, so much that I get very tired of it. I long for simmered beef stew or roast chicken. Winter type meals. Consequently, I love winter and actually go into a real funk when the last snowfall melts (I live in Ohio).

I would gently suggest you figure out what works best for you - faking it, food journal, plain diet, not eating, etc. Just make sure you keep your fluid intake up though. That is one thing you need to watch and then as soon as you can, go back to eating again. The longest I prefer to go without solids is about 18 hours. Any more than that and I'm light headed.

Mary/marsky
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 5/23/2009 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh my, the WEDDING NIGHTMARE SCENARIO! I have one coming up on the 4th of July - my son's - and the stress has been overwhelming for more than a year! I don't have to "travel" but with IBS, any distance away from one's own toilet is "travel", IMO.

I just wanted to add that the embarrassment is hard to shake. I've been dealing with IBS for over 30 years now and no matter how "enlightened" I think I am, there is simply no way around the shame I feel when my guts start gurgling and I MUST pass gas lest I die from the pain. And running to the toilet every time I feel the urge would certainly send up many red flags amongst my friends and family, if they didn't already know the score. I have great anxiety and fear whenever I am invited or expected to attend a function with folks who I do not know well. Tomorrow is my future daughter in law's bridal shower and already I'm anticipating the discomfort, pain, and anxiety that will accompany me to that affair.

I will say that if I took fiber supplements, ate bananas and cheese, I would likely have to dial 911 because I would be so completely plugged up. I wouldn't even walk past a package of Immodiuim for fear that it would, by osmosis, constipate me. Bear in mind that gas is often the result of unmoved stool in the colon. While we take these emergency measures in order to get through the important events in our lives, it's important to avoid going overboard and causing even more trouble.

I wish you the best of luck!

twodogs
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/24/2009 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
It's weird, but I am NEVER constipated....about 5 years ago gradually I started with more frequent trips, and it gradually went to diarhhea. And along with it this explosive gas, jet propelled poop. Disgusting. I feel like a zoo animal.

This is the wedding day...last night I ate the mashed potatoes and a little steak, 6 bites of salad. Ate the ice cream dessert because of course I had wine and went into denial, ha ha, about what I was eating. I HAVE found a restroom here at the hotel that's not often used. So far so good. A brunch this morning, and the wedding tonight. Airplane tomorrow. Thanks for being here it's a life line!

Just having someone understand helps.

twodogs
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/24/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
gutastrophe...by the way I love your name. I really think the stress of worrying about it causes it. I've tried so hard this trip to not even think about it. I also think Coke is a BIG trigger for me, and if I had my way, I'd drink 6 a day! But I don't get near carbonation, not even champagne is going down there today!

What amazes me is how quickly now my gut reacts....within 8 minutes sometimes! How does that? My GI doc is no help at all.

Well, off to brunch and another pretend eating day. Thanks again, and I'll be back with the Daily
GasUpdate, haha.

2dogs

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 5/24/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Caffeine is definitely a trigger. Carbonated beverages as well. But like you with Coke twodogs, I'm addicted to Pepsi. I try to enjoy my Pepsi in moderation, since it does make things worse, not better sometimes. You could try pouring the Coke in a glass and waiting until some of the carbonation has escaped.

One thing I find comforting is if I am home and can put up with repeated, multiple almost D like bm's, is to sip several hot cups of tea. Just regular tea (Lipton's, etc.). The tea actually induces more bm's and whatever offended my system leaves it much faster because of the tea. I know people with normal colons would think, why not stop the bm's. But my stool changes to a weird consistency, it almost burns at times or has a bad odor to it. So I have found if I can speed this stage up a little (hot tea, orally, not by enema, LOL) I return to my "normal" much quicker. When I am messed up, I can feel the walls of my colon are swollen and irritated.

Lately I've wondered if I am sensitive to gluten. I work for a school district and we're out for the summer in 2 weeks. I plan on having a blood test to determine if I am sensitive to certain food groups. Some of my symptoms do fall in line with people who find gluten offensive to their GI tracts. You could be too. I just need to get my act together and see a specialist for the blood test. And then I'll go from there. One of the reasons I feel this may be true is one of my main go to foods is simple white rice. My gut responds very well to white rice. What if simple rice flour and other grains without wheat would be my solution? Again, don't want to try anything new without knowing for certain if I should avoid gluten and until I'm also off work and can experiment with other foods. Right now I have my diet about 75% figured out. Took me a daggone long time to get to this point too!

I like your nick too "twodogs". What type of dogs do have? Golden Retriever owner here. She's my therapy dog I joke, my dog seems to know when I feel my worst. She climbs right on top of me if I'm in bed and puts her head on my stomach, letting out a big sigh - as if to say, I'm here, I'll make you feel better! So cute.....
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


Ravencjh
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/4/2009 3:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I have trouble even leaving the house,let alone traveling somewhere. I only have to be in the car for five minutes and i have to go to the toilet. Does anybody have any suggestions to make traveling by car/plane a little easyer?

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 6/5/2009 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I go into what I call travel mode for trips.

The day before I travel - I eat very little and only foods that agree with me (half turkey sandwich, applesauce, yogurt, banana or a good but small in serving size dinner, roast chicken, mashed potatoes). I then stop all solids after dinner. I keep my fluids up though.

The day of - I eat a very small breakfast, 1/2 english muffin, or one small banana, one cup or yogurt but not all 3, just one of these. I take along Club Crackers for the car ride (haven't flown since I've had my colon resection). I only have a few in case I get nauseous from not eating much.

If everyone in my group stops for lunch, I have very little again to eat. Possibly the width of one inch wide turkey sub. Literally. Just enough so I don't pass out from not eating.

Then when I arrive at our destination, I begin eating right away. The foods above mostly. Certainly not chili or something that's a no-no for me!

This is the way I've been traveling for 10 years. It works for me.

In the early days of managing my situation I used to do an enema 2 days prior to traveling. This would clean me out and give me an almost 3 or 4 normal span. But the past few years they haven't helped me as much.

I also wear Stay free ultra thin overnight maxi pads. They go way up in the back of your underwear just in case you can't get to a bathroom.
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


tiedinknots
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 6/7/2009 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh do I identify with these! Travel is hard for me, I only do it when I must and anything over 45 mins is a no no. I will not eat anything risky the day before. And I won't eat or drink beforehand, and won't eat while I'm out, because my poor tummy and anxiety go into 'spin cycle'. I'll spend some time squatting with my knees drawn to my chest (usally while brushing hair and teeth), as being in this position seems to help speed constipation along, get rid of diarrhea, and erm sorry, liberate any air pockets before you go in public. It makes the bathroom ritual a little faster. Gravity I guess?

It's awful, I wish I could go to the bathroom every time I felt an urge, but I want to keep my dignity and not have people ask awkward questions. And it's pretty bad when you're on moving transport because there's no toilet available. It hurts to hold it but I must.

You're lucky there's no pain. There's a deodoriser sold in a tiny green bottle called Nilodor that numbs people's nose to smell, so you could dab that on a piece of paper and wedge it behind the toilet. If there is a fan (I <3 fans :) ) turn it on before you need it. Before you go, definately try to squat for a while or do the yoga position where you have you hands and feet on the ground and raise your bottom above the rest of your body. I hope these help!
 
Ps. I find certain things such as milk or foods with fibre (wholemeal bread, vegies etc) can cause wind for me too. Have you been tested for fructose or lactose mal-absorption?

Post Edited (tiedinknots) : 6/7/2009 8:47:19 AM (GMT-6)

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