First plane rides since surgery

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blueglass
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Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 6/13/2011 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a good trip this past weekend to see my friend. I was a bit of a wreck too much of the time, but I still had a lot of fun, and woke up this morning feeling happy and glad I'd gone.

At the airport in Boston for the trip out I got motioned to the x ray scanner -- had never been in one before. I had printed out the blue card from the United Ostomy site; it's supposed to be a universal medical card for discreet screening (there's a space to write the condition). I wasn't so worried about discretion, more thinking that it'd be easier to explain with the card. Not really. I handed it to the TSA guy, and he said in a loud voice, "What's this?" as if he'd never seen the card, much less the condition. I said I had a "medical thing" that would show up on the machine. He handed the card to the woman at the other end, and I went in, held my arms up for 7 seconds, and came out. She tested my hands for explosives at the other end, gave me the card back, and I was on my way. It wasn't a big deal, but it was pretty weird.

I then sat in the airport worrying that the trip was a mistake, because my butt wound was hurting again, for the first time in a month..... but it's only an hour long flight to Baltimore. I got an aisle seat and was squirming on my waffle pillow, and then paranoid that what if I had to go to the hospital on my trip, just being really wacked -- I didn't bring my computer so I wouldn't be able to get to this list, and besides are there any good hospitals there (um, oh yeah, maybe say Johns Hopkins?)

I was tired a lot of the time at my friend's and worried that I was overdoing it --it was very hot and humid, plus there was a lot going on and I didn't sleep great ... sometimes I think I'm not supposed to be tired anymore now that I'm better, that being tired is a sign of something seriously wrong.... but I did calm down, and had a really nice time.

The flight back was full, the other two people in the row were really big guys and I lost about 1/4 of my seat to that, the flight was bumpy, but I still did much better than the way there, and my wound wasn't hurting as much. I had my card out at security, but I got motioned to the metal detector that time and didn't use it.

I think it would have been better to not travel alone my first time .....

But no issues with the pouch at all, didn't have to change or anything; it didn't fill up with air or anything on the plane.

All in all, a success. And today I feel fine, don't need a day in bed to recover or anything (in the past, I might have needed a week..... and if it triggered a flare, well who knows.... )

Oh one funny thing.... I was reading on the couch in the morning, no one else was up, and I started to smell something.... hurried to the bathroom worried I had a leak.... nothing. Turned out the cat had farted. I don't have a pet.... hadn't occurred to me.....
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

run4pancakes
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 938
   Posted 6/13/2011 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Yay! I'm glad it went well for you. I don't know about you, but every "first" I accomplish with my ostomy helps to build my confidence and make things a little easier each time. Even if it doesn't all go perfectly, I know I got through it and can handle what comes my way. I hope you took a similar feeling away from your adventure. :-)
UC dx 2/08

Done with the drugs. Step 1 (of 3) J-pouch surgery 3/22/11, Steps 2 & 3 TBD
http://life-takes-guts.blogspot.com/

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 6/13/2011 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
good for you! i just had a major progress my self. yesterday i went to a family occasion for the first time in YEARS. for years i've been feeling too sick to go and now it's the first time i went :) i've missed so many weddings etc and i can't even express how awesome it felt to be able to go and enjoy the event :):) ppl were also surprised and were saying it's so good to see me after not participating for so long. i remember there were times when i got so discouraged and thought this day will never come, and i'm so glad it did.

thumbs up for all of us :)
Hodaya
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

blueglass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 6/13/2011 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hodaya that's awesome! Glad you got to go and that it went well.

My friend had a birthday party, and I got to meet all the people she's been talking about since she moved away seven years ago. I feel like my world was so small when I was sick ... the new people I met were all medical related. It was just so nice to connect in a regular way.... weird when others were talking about how tired they are from their jobs.... without illnesses...

Run4, yes, absolutely, good for my confidence too.... I knew that I had to just go through all the emotions around it.... just is part of the healing.

thumbs way up....
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

Another UC wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 6/13/2011 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Congrats ladies...you both did real well. My husband has been having some "firsts" here and there and it is a nice feeling to see him do some of the little things so many of us "well people" just take for granted.
Wife of 64 yr old male suffered with UC & in May 06 had a severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 (total proctocolectomy & ileostomy - unable to have the j-pouch) & now pain free

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 6/13/2011 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah blueglass, that's exactly the way to describe my world too the time i was so sick...... small! when you chose that word to describe your life when you were sick, i could SO immediately relate! it's aweful how illnesses can isolate you.

UC wife, good for hubby!

here's to healthier and happier lives to all of us!! it's time to start living the good life now!! GOD bless!! :):)
Hodaya
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

lifeinterrupted
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 6/13/2011 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Blueglass YAY!!!!! ;-)
I LOVE TO HEAR THINGS LIKE THIS!!!! Its so encouraging to me!!! My husband and I have a softball tournament we attend every September in las Vegas. The last 2 yes I've missed :-( I am really looking forward to going this time and it's good to hear that the flight is not bad ;-) thank you for posting your experience Blueglass!!!
Dee stay at home mom of my 2 beautiful children
dx with uc July '10
June 02 '11 the creation of Stella the stoma LOL! ;-)

Prov3:5,6

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 6/13/2011 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
im off to disney tomorrow on a plane! glad to hear another good experince!
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 6/13/2011 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
It's so great to hear everyone is doing so well post-op...having surgery is really the beginning of a new life for most of us!

I still have 'firsts' and I'm 10+ years into life with an ostomy:) This is our first year with our own boat (always went on a friend's before) and I've actually been tubing...I just may have to try water skiing this summer:-)
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

answers4me2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1325
   Posted 6/13/2011 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to my daughters softball tournament all day Saturday and half the day Sunday. The weather was really hot at 95 degrees. I had a wonderful time. I felt healthy and well. My ileostomy has really given me a new lease on life. I wish I would have done the surgery YEARS ago.

run4pancakes
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 938
   Posted 6/13/2011 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I am beginning to really like this whole thread. :-)
UC dx 2/08

Done with the drugs. Step 1 (of 3) J-pouch surgery 3/22/11, Steps 2 & 3 TBD
http://life-takes-guts.blogspot.com/

Blueheron
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 6/13/2011 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Blueglass- good job on your trip. Especially with your wound. It would have been so easy to say to yourself that you couldn't do it and not go, but you faced your fears and went for it. Bravo!

At seven weeks I went on a week-long trip to a condo in the mountains that was a five hour drive away. I was so apprehensive, especially since it was right when my abdominal wound started to act up again, and I was afraid of being so far from my hospital. Half way through the trip, my wound began to seriously tunnel, but I stayed in contact with my surgeon over the phone daily and he walked me through what to do. We even drove two hours into Durango one day to try to hunt down some really thin packing strips. What a crazy adventure that was! Not an easy place to find obscure medical supplies but we did find one tiny drug store that had them. In retrospect, I realize that that trip was a real turning point for me. I gained a ton of confidence. It was my first time emptying at rest stops and my first time changing my appliance somewhere other than the hospital or my house. It was also my first glimpse of the "normal" life I was about to have again. It also showed me that I could be adaptable and deal with challenging situations on the road if needed.

Today I had a first too. I went for a run! I have been hiking a lot, but finally got brave enough to try a short jog. It felt so good!

Good job everyone!
-39 years old
-Officially diagnosed with UC in 2006, though had symptoms since 1999.
-Had mild/moderate symptoms continuously until severe flare in autumn 2010 which required 2-week hospital stay
-Took Asacol, Rowasa, Canasa and Prednisone to manage flares but meds stopped working
-Tried 1 dose of Remicade but had excruciating joint pain and discontinued
-Had permanent ileostomy surgery 11/8/2010

Post Edited (Blueheron) : 6/13/2011 9:06:09 PM (GMT-6)


esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 6/13/2011 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hodaya,

Good for you going to the wedding.

Blue,
So the air pressure in the plane did not bother your intestines or do anything with the bag? I sure wish I dared fly, but having had severe small bowel adhesions and being OK in that regard since the lysis of adhesions and ileostomy I don't dare take a chance on plane rides. BUT sure would be handy to be able to fly. PRIOR to having the adhesions removed from my small bowel I did fly and had a small bowel obstruction in the air. Logically this should not happen now that the adhesions have been lysed, but I don't dare chance it.

Glad you did well. Rosemary

blueglass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 6/14/2011 6:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on all the firsts -- run, softball games, tubing, and everything else. It is so exhilarating to actually get better. Amazing what I used to settle for with the disease (I took the subway home and didn't have to get off early to find a bathroom, wow a great day, and it was.....)

Rosemary, to the best of my knowledge (and fingers crossed) I have not had any small bowel issues. I had weird extraintestinal manifestations in all kinds of places, but my disease was all in my colon and rectum. I don't know how the small bowel issues work with flying, but an obstruction in the air seems huge.

But, no, I did not have intestine issues on the flight and the bag was fine. On the way back, the it was bumpy, and I felt a bit nauseous, but I think that was my stomach, not my intestines, and I've always been weak that way (I get nauseous on ferris wheels, not that I've been on one as an adult...... not even very good w/merry-go-rounds, avoid them too).
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery
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