A success story to encourage everyone out there. I just returned yesterday from an 1800 mile round-trip for the wedding of my little sister.
I left the mountains of Georgia on Wednesday morning with my wonderful and supportive wife, our four-month-old son, and enough stuff (fellow parents will understand) to besiege a small city in our rental car. We drove two days to Dallas, TX with lots of stops for nursing the baby (which can drive my anxiety nuts as I just want to keep going and get it over with), spent two days there going to rehearsals, visiting, and the wedding itself, and then drove two days home.
*Yes, there were moments when I just wanted to flap my hands and scream.
*I was in pain from the IBS (which couldn't decide whether it wanted to be IBS-C or IBS-D the entire time) most of the drive and it was quite severe at times.
*The rehearsal dinner had only one tiny bathroom for 30+ people (and I'm one of those people who even if I had to go NOW, if I got in there and thought someone was waiting on me I wouldn't be able to go) so I chatted to keep myself occupied, held the baby, and just didn't eat!
*The rest stops in Louisiana were closed so we had to stop at some places I know I've seen on Cops before.
*There were also moments in various hotels where I just knew that the little cough my baby had would turn into something terrible and I'd be stuck in Nowhere, MS forever trying to find a doctor and soiling myself in the process (isn't GAD [Generalized Anxiety Disorder] wonderful -- it will work with whatever is available at the moment).
But we did it!
*I was there for the rehearsal and even if I was in pain I had lots of laughs and have great memories.
*I read scripture during the ceremony and was there to hug my little sister before she started down the aisle.
*I didn't keel over or soil myself (though I hear God won't fall from heaven if I ever do).
*I personally drove half-way across the country and back with anxiety, UC, and IBS!
*The Lorazapam 0.75 twice a day helped take worst of the anxiety away and the rest I was able to deal with while not being a medicated zombie (after all, 3 mg of Lorazapam twice a day and I wouldn't have had a single pain or anxious moment, but I wouldn't have any of these precious memories either)!
So although times of the trip were stressful, painful, and frustrating, I made it by the grace of God and an understanding wife (the occasional smile from the four-month-old helped too). I have so many good memories, and proved to myself that I can travel when I have to. I also proved that I can still live, even if I cannot do everything right now that I want to (that trip across Europe will have to wait).
Now I am even more motivated to learn more CBT tools for the anxiety, understand the IBS better and learn how to manage this constant back-and-forth between IBS-C and IBS-D (after eight years I guess it got tired of only being IBS-D), be more patient with the UC, and be more patient with myself and where I am right now.
I hope this is an encouragement to any of you having a rough time with with any of the things I suffer from along with you. Only eight weeks ago I had a two-month-old I was exhausted from caring for, was going through terrible GI side effects from any one of five antidepressant/anti-anxiety medications that were not working (eight weeks of medication trial induced torment), my wife was having gallbladder surgery (leaving me stressed, sick, and in charge at what felt like my weakest moment with a baby in tow), and my anxiety felt like it was going to smother me at any moment. Yet today I'm back at work and thinking of all of the great memories from the past week.
Better days will come to us all, God willing, and we'll beat our illnesses (or at least work out treaties that allow us plenty of life)!
Ulcerative Colitis 2000
IBS-D (occasional forays into IBS-C) 2002
Meds: Pentasa (UC), Synthroid (Thyroid Disease), Lomotil (IBS), Diovan (High Blood Pressure), Prednisone (UC, flare-ups only), Librax (IBS & Anxiety), Lorazepam (Anxiety)