I need some support and advice

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Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/28/2008 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't usually find myself posting for me, usually just responding, but I guess this time its my turn.  My husband, who is Mexican, has an older sister who lives in Guadalara, Mexico, and she is doing a little poorly right now.  She has osteoporosis and needs to have her knees rebuilt because her knee bones are just rubbing bone against bone.  Well my husband, rightfully so, wants to go see her for a few days.  Soooooooo we have booked a trip to fly down to see her on February 15th.  As soon as we booked this trip my anxiety levels have zoomed out of control.  Instantly got nausea and d.  I took some Phenergan and some Valium to chill out.  It worked to relax me and I was able to go to sleep.  But woke up this morning still feeling pretty nauseous and ended up calling in to work.
My problem is that now that we booked this trip, I am getting a little panicky.  I believe its because I am having to step out of my comfort zone.  I know not to drink the water and only eat in the better restaraunts etc.  But I am so anxious about taking this trip.  We even have our seats and made sure they are very close to bathroom and will be staying in a nice motel.  But oh my gosh, am I freaking out!
I have all these questions floating around in my head.  What if I get sick there, what if I eat something bad and get sick.  What if I get sick and ruin this trip for my husband.  What if I can't find a bathroom.  So as you can see I am very anxious.  I have seen so many others posting about their trips and their anxiety about their trips and how they go on the trip and end up enjoying themselves.  So I know folks can make it thru.
What I am looking for is some support and ideas to help me calm down and enjoy this trip.  Many other family members have made this same trip and have been great help on where to eat etc, but I need to calm down.  I am so afraid that I am going to make myself sick the whole time until we leave and on the trip.
Please, please, help me with whatever ideas you might have to help me get thru this anxiety.  I appreciate all your answers.
God Bless,
Gail *Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 1/28/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gail, you know thinking about these things is always, always worse than doing it.

Last September I was going through much the same, and I was only driving 1000 miles to Florida, but the problem I had, I knew I
was flaring and my pancreas was given cause for concern. However, I posted you guys, you gave me all the positives, and what was
going to be a canceled vacation, turned into something so good, that I didn't want to come back!!

I know hun, that my circumstances were different, but what I'm trying to do is help you see that, probably, or more so, unlikely to
happen. So keep taking your valium for awhile and try and concentrate on the positives of your trip. It will be OK

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 1/28/2008 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I completely understand your anxiety about a long trip. When my d was out of control I felt the same way! At least you know on the airplane you'll have access to bathrooms. When I'm somewhere new I usually assess the bathroom situation first. Everywhere I go I know where the closest restroom is, that way I'll know where to high tail it to if I need to. Since you're definitely going on this trip, try to picture it going really well and all the fun you have the possibility of having. That may help lower your anxiety. Also, if you're feeling really terribly once you get there I'm sure you could stay at your motel for the day. And you also will know there will be a clean bathroom at your sister-in-laws house. I'm sure it will mean a lot to your sister-in-law to know you would come see her when she is feeling poorly, even though you aren't doing so well yourself. You're doing a very nice thing for your husband and sister!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/28/2008 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Vicky thank you for your kind words. Hope my trip will turn out as well as yours.

Keep it coming folks, I need all the advice I can get.

God Bless,
Gail *Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 1/28/2008 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   

Two rules:

1. Most things we worry about happening don't.

2. Even if they do we deal with it and move on.

Also, it makes sense to check with a doctor before a trip and make sure you have with you all the meds you might potentiall need, which means you won't be dependent on local medical resources.

Finally, it takes X-hours to fly there which means it would only take X-hours to get back home if you absolutely needed to.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/28/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks also to Nikki and MikeB. What is frustrating me the most is I am in remission. They only thing that makes me sick is stress. I know its stupid to be this anxious and I am sure I will be fine, but the fear of the unknown has got me all tied up in anxiety. I have a prescription for just about any emergency med I might need i.e. nausea meds, pain meds, even the evil Pred. I hate how my mind has me so stressed about this trip. I feel like such a baby wimp!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 1/28/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I was also worried about a recent trip to visit an ill family member... I was going to leave earlier, but decided I wasn't up to it, needed to wait until my husband could also travel. I've never liked traveling, so having him there made me feel a lot better. I also bring my medical file with me everywhere I go. For me, the best remedy for travel worries is thorough planning. It sounds like you've planned as much as possible, and your husband will be there for you. So try to be positive and enjoy the trip as much as possible. You'll be fine :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/28/2008 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nanners.......Please don't stress so much about your trip, i just returned from the dominican after a week and 3 days later enjoy another trip to Vegas. Speaking as a person who stresses over everything I too was so stressed that I considered canceling afew times...but as for my hubby ,he needed a vaction ,so onward we went. I had a wonderful time , airports I hate them but we managed fine , a few bumps in the road but we got there no worse for the wear , after a night sleep with the aid of a sleeping pill and gravol to settle the tummy I was in great shape the next day to explore the wonderful resort. My advice to you is look for the good to come from your trip hubby needs to see his sister and from your post you also want him to see his family.My best advice is don't forget your heating pad it works great for settling your tummy. Good luck and have a great time.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/28/2008 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
You guys are the best! I am sure everything will be fine, and my husband is so excited. He doesn't even know I am stressing, and I don't want him to. Thats why I come to my Crohns family. You guys definetly know what I am feeling.

sosueme....I am addicted to my heating pad. LOL I actually use a microwavable corn bag all the time. Not sure the motel will have a microwave, so will for sure have to go get an electric one. I plan on taking my Valium and Phenergan before we leave, thats for sure! LOL I will just have to be a little proactive before things get out of control. Thanks for all the good wishes.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/28/2008 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Nanners.......who hooooooo.  You hit the mother lode.  Your talking to the queen of anxiety..........I have had anxiety all my life and I know anticipatory anxiety when I hear someone talk about it.  It is a lot like stage fright.

Common Anticipatory Anxiety Reactions include :

Feelings: anxious, fearful, angry, confused, hopeless, losing control, numb, sad, moody, irritable, guilty.

Behaviors: withdrawal from others or activities, disrupted routines, startle reactions, easily crying

Cognitions: preoccupation with possibility of trauma or health anxiety rises, concentration difficulties, self-doubt, worry, indecisiveness, memory difficulties

Physical complaints: muscle tension, headaches, gastric distress, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue

Talking usually helps. Share your feelings with friends, family, and  on here are all good ways to work through the anxiety.

Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization (imagining peaceful scenes), and/or listening to soothing music.

Realistic self-talk: While we can't always control what happens to us, we can always control what we say to ourselves. It's important to keep things in perspective. Talk to yourself in reasonable ways. Ask yourself "how likely is my fear?" Remind yourself that you have coped before during other challenging times. Don't just dwell on the negative but consciously look for things you can appreciate every day.

Ask yourself, What is the worse thing that could happen to you, think about it for a bit and then toss it out as if it happens you will make it through so why worry.

Everyone has their stoires of Mexico and the food.  By all means take precautions and use your Valium, that is why you have the med.  There is no harm in using it.  I was on 40 mg of Valium a day one year ago just to get out the door. Today I take 2 mgs per day. 

I fly alone now and go where ever I want.  I go into my I am going to just relax and slow down mode.  My mantra " I am OK" I take a deep breath while standing in long lines and accept that I cannot control the line at the ticket counter.

Choosing your seat was wise.  Planning ahead is good, just be you and you will be ok. 
Also, do not anticipate that you will be ruining your hubby's trip.........he is an adult and only he can ruin his trip, not your disease. This is one of those times where you must take care of you first. 
I have great faith in you.  I wish you peace and happiness.
Bless you,



Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 1/28/2008 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Gail...wish I could come there and give you a back rub to relax! Does your hotel have a coffeemaker in the room? I always check their website. I like a hot water bottle feeling even better than an electric pad. If there is a coffeemaker, you can brew water thru and fill a hot water bag.

Now to the relaxing thing. you hit it on the head. You are thinking about it. Do you have a brain distraction. I use CrossSums(Kakuro) puzzles and focus on the puzzles so I don't think about other things. Do you have a dog...they are in big use in war zones for destressing so it would help in our war on stress i assume (I am using that as my new excuse why hubby and I should get a choclate lab). Are you a reader...pick quick reads that keep you involved (cheap mysteries or romance novels work well for this) I'd love to send you the two I read on my last stressful plane trip....Robert parker fun mysteries that let you stop thinking.

Go for the distraction girl. You are so kind to worry about your husband first...let us take care of you and keep writing
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 1/28/2008 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I know how you feel. When I had to drive when my Dad died (~15 hour trip) I was so over stressed that I had D. I just drank a lot of water once I got there and ate as safely as I could. Also, you might want to pack some safe snacks for you (if the airlines let you) and maybe some bottled water into the bag you are checking. I also agree with the brain distraction. I brought myself some books and music for the last time I flew with the kids. it was just me and them and I made it ok.
try not to worry, I swear the worrying is the worst part!!


Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also have Arthritis, and feel like I am falling apart sometimes...

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 1/28/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nanners!
As a long time Chronie who used to travel a lot on business, here's some tricks I've learned:
1.  Carry on extra underwear, TP and wet wipes.   You'll probably never use them, but just having them helps the mind.  If you think it will help you mentally, pick up some Depends for the trip.
2.  Distract, distract, distract....whether it's reading books, magazines, doing puzzles, listening to music, playing hand held games, knitting - whatever works for you at keeping the mind busy with other things besides panicking.
3.  Work out the no-bathroom times in advance as much as you can - i.e., how long to the airport, how long in the rental car bus to the parking lot, how long to the motel, etc...,  sometimes just checking my watch and thinking 'OK, now I'm only 20 minutes away, I can make that' helps me to relax.  
4.  Don't be shy about asking a cab or bus driver 'how long will this take?' or saying 'I need the route that will give me a quick bathroom stop'.   Learning as much as you can about the unknown routes before you step in a vehicle can help control the mind.
5.  Don't eat until you feel 'safe'.   This has probably helped me more than anything....not eating OR drinking a lot until I'm where I want to be.  I'll even stop eating a day or two beforehand, or try to clean the body out beforehand. If nothing goes in, nothing can come out.
6.  Have your doctors make lists of your medicines on their prescription pads or letterhead.  Keep all your meds in their original medicine bottles even if it means taking dozens of bottles and of course, carry all this on.    Keep a supply of all your 'emergency' meds in your pocket and have a bottle of water handy.
7.  In Mexico, only drink bottled water, don't drink any drink that has been opened already, don't use ice cubes, avoid foods that may have been heavily washed in water and not cooked (like lettuce, tomatoes, etc), although the better resorts do work hard to make sure tourists aren't going to get sick from their food.   Don't eat anything from the local street vendors.   I've been to Mexico many times now and I've never been sick, but, I am careful to stick to the finer resort restaurants.
8. I agree with others here who have said that the 'thinking about it' is much worse than actually doing it.  Once the day arrives, you'll be so busy you won't have time to panic, so until then, try to visualize having a great time.  Also, try asking yourself 'What am I really panicking about? - getting sick? not making it to a bathroom?' Try to think of ways to make those panicky worries seem silly, because they are.   Isn't it kind of funny how Chronies worry about having accidents in their clothes while most people worry about the plane crashing....???
DX: mild to moderate Crohn's for 34 years
Additional benefits: chronic anemia, B12 deficient, peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, joint pain, underactive thyriod
Current meds: Colozal, Nexium, Entocort, Flagyl, steriod cream, monthly B12 injections, Neurontin, Synthroid, Effexor ER, pain meds as needed

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/28/2008 4:05 PM (GMT -7)   

You guys are absolutely the best!!!  And I truly love each of you so much.  I don't know where I would have been without you all and this site.  No one can understand how difficult having this disease is, except another person who is living it.  I never suffered with anxiety until a few years ago. I don't even know what triggered it, but it got triggered.  My husband has been there so much for me, he is truly an angel, I really feel its important for me to be there for him now.  But of course I turn into a scardy cat. But you all have given me some great ideas, I will definetly use them. 

I don't even know why I fret so.  I have a niece who has diverticulitis and she has travelled there many, many times.  So she is telling us the best restraunts to eat at, the best motel to stay in everything.  What not to do, etc.  And I have travelled into Mexico before, just not that far from the border. And I also love my husbands sister alot.  She is 23 years my husbands senior, and since his mom has passed, she has taken the mother role in his life.   So I do want to spend time with her too.  And my husband wants to show me the house he was born in and share some of his country with me.  So I am gonna take all your advice and am going to try to have the best time possible.

Thank you all so much for your support, I really appreciate all your kind words.  And I look forward to telling you all that the trip was wonderful and how I worried for nothing.

God Bless,

Gail *Nanners*

Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/29/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nanners - I am a UC-er who occasionally checks in on you Chronies since we take similar drugs. I have spent a lot of time in Latin America, so I wanted to give you some advice on how to travel there. Of course, UC and CD are a bit different, but these are precautions I used to take even before getting UC:

1. only buy bottled water and make sure the bottle is sealed (this is important because sometimes street vendors will sell a bottle that was opened and refilled with tap water, so check for the seal)
2. brush your teeth with bottled water (and if you want to take it even farther, wash your face with bottled water)
3. if you can stomach pepto (I know some of us can and some of us can't), take 2 chewable pepto tablets before EVERY meal. My mom did this religiously while travelling for 9 months in africa, burma, venezuela, etc, and never got sick, so she swears by this trick
4. get enough sleep (and maybe bring sleeping medicine to assist with this as needed)
5. never eat off the street
6. never eat vegetables/fruits that have been peeled, even in a nice restaurant. if you want a fruit/vegetable, peel and wash it yourself
7. use tons of hand sanitizer

hope this helps. mexico is a wonderful place, and you'll have a great time. and don't worry if you do use the bathroom a lot in mexico. everyone will just think you are a gringa with traveler's diarhea.
Pancolitis dx 3/07
9 Colazal a day (used to be on 12 Asacol, don't think Asacol helped)
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, bit of fish oil, a probiotic.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/29/2008 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
If it were me, and I was having D, I'd take Imodium, wear Depends undergarments and get an RX for some anti-anxiety meds.
And eat lightly a day or 2 before each flight.


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/30/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Gail....You are so right ..you are always here for anyone in need and now it is your turn hun
Kitt has posted about Anticipatory Anxiety and it sounds alot like what you are going thru .It is a hard habit to break the Anticipatory Anxiety especially with the anxiety and the Crohns even if in remission....I do get this alot about many things myself BUT I have done a Cognitive behavioural Therapy Workshop on the net free of charge....let me know if you want the link hun and I will put it up for you ........

I would also take the advice that has been given about immodium and depends .....as well as eating lightly for a couple of days prior to trip

Look to the good things if you can instead of thinking of all that MAY happen.....it is more likely you will just be fine and will come home with some good posts to let us know how you did and some great advice for the next person facing a dilemma like this .........

Relaxation Techniques are great as well as Deep breathing techniques .........Have a look in A/P forum on back pages ( a couple back ) on these if interested..........
Do make sure you have your valium and I would continue to take them ......waking up with the anxiety you are does point to the AA....IMHO

And most of all know that we will be with you in Spirit and we will be keeping you in our hearts and thoughts for sure........You are truly loved and cared for here I know for fact so again know we are here.....
Take care and let me know if you want that link ..Kitt has it too

God Bless and all the best to you .......Luvs......LYN

  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
         Mod for Alzheimer's, Anxiety and Panic and Co Mod for Crohns
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 1/30/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
personally, if you are that worried about the trip, i don't think you should go. besides, arent vacations supposed to be fun!?!
22 yrs old, female
Crohn's Disease (diagnosed 2006)
Humira- stopped due to allergic reaction on Dec 1, 2007
Not currently on any medication

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/30/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
How lucky that you are going to Mexico on vacation! You must stop stressing yourself out and worrying about things. I do understand, as a 20 year Crohn's survivor. I also live life to the fullest. When I graduated from college, I backpacked across Southern Mexico with my best friend. That is no exaggeration! We "splurged" if we stayed in a hotel for $5 instead of $2! My Crohn's was in the back of my mind but Mexico was in the front. The people, the smells, the culture...it was all worth with. I didn't have any digestive troubles and if I was worried about a long bus ride, I brought bananas and fresh tortillas! In fact, I ate that a lot. Anyhow, I wish you a safe and joyous journey with your family.

A final thought...after I had a small bowel resection, I was crying and complaining to my doctor about how this surgery has given me constant runny bowels and I can't go hiking and mountaineering because of it and blah, blah, blah. After going on for some time, he looked at me and said, "so you bring extra toilet paper and a plastic bag for your toilet paper when you go". At that moment I realized that I could live and truly live (carefully) with Crohn's or I could simply just live with Crohn's. I am not really sure what that means...but either way...relax and have fun!

Viva Mexico and Viva Nanners! yeah

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 1/30/2008 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
So many good ideas, but I'm going to add one more. I would pack a whole bunch of food in my suitcase. Not my carry on, cause they could take that away. But just incase you are feeling a bit off, or just need to have something with you in case you aren't sure you will be near some place safe to eat. You can take lots of stuff that will almost make meals to make it through your trip. The worst that happens is that you don't need it and you either bring it home or leave it with your husbands family.

I hope you have a VERY uneventful trip and that all goes well.

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/30/2008 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks again everyone, I truly appreciate all the great advice you gave me.  I finally sat down with my husband today and told him how afraid I was.  And as usual he was absolutely wonderful.  He told me if it was too much for me, that we could just fly home.  I guess just knowing that makes me feel better.  But I know I won't do that, because he is so excited to show me everything.  Thanks to you all and him I am now feeling a little less anxious.  I am sure everything will be okay.  I just have to learn to step out of that comfort zone. See Kitt I told you, you would be a great asset to this forum because of your experience with anxiety/depression. You nailed my anxiety exactly.  If I argue with my husband (which is rare) I will instantly get the same feelings. Lyn I would like that link you discussed about cognitive therapy.  I really need to work on this anxiety I have developed over the past couple of years. 

I am sure this trip is going to turn out well.  And I am sure that after this trip I will be wondering what all the worry was about. :-) Thanks again everyone, I don't know what I would do without you all.  I consider you all part of my family.  Us yucky guts gotta stick together. smurf

God Bless,

Gail *Nanners*

Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

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