Camping With IBD.

Camping With IBD

Last year I had the opportunity to do something so awesome that I’d actually never done before. – GO CAMPING! ImproveCareNow was kind enough to sponsor a Patient Advisory Council retreat, allowing us to go camping at one of the campsites that CCF actually uses for Camp Oasis. Initially I was really excited. I didn’t think about all of my odd nightly habits or usual worries of living with Ulcerative Colitis. – Mainly because one of the best parts about this trip: EVERYONE HAS IBD! I knew there’d be little to no judgement and most of what I go through, others would be able to sympathize with.

Camping with a J-Pouch

I arrived pretty late and everyone was already in their bunks. I was so excited to see the other patient advocates that I hadn’t seen in so long! We chatted and showered, I spotted the bathroom and we all headed to bed in preparation of a long day tomorrow. Since I’ve had my Jpouch, I have a tendency to wake up at really odds times during the night. It happens just about every night and although it may be annoying, I’ve learned to adjust. Around 3AM I could feel it was one of “those times.” I hopped down from the top bunk and took a walk to the bathroom in the next building over. At 3AM after a long day of work and travel I was a little  discombobulated to say the least. It was a dark night, outdoors in a place I’d never been before. I managed to find the bathroom in time, washed my hands and headed back into the cold darkness in search of my cabin.

I arrived back at our building and walked into one of the rooms. – I found it odd that the chair I used to help me down from the top bunk was gone. Where could it be? I used my flashlight on my phone to guide me and found the chair at one of the desks in the corner. At first i thought the girls were playing a joke on me. I moved the chair back over to the bunks and hopped up. It wasn’t long after I plopped myself on the bunk that I realized that everything on my bunk was missing: blankets, pillows, everything. I knew this was not a prank. I was in the wrong room entirely! I quickly hopped down from the top bunk and ran out of the room, into the dark, eventually finding the correct room and making my way into bed. The next morning I overheard some of the girls talking about how odd it was that one of the chairs in their room had been moved. They even said they thought the cabins might be haunted! I told them my early morning bathroom story and we laughed hysterically!

Traveling with IBD

Having the opportunity to travel and be apart of the IBD patient advocacy community has been so amazing. I think everyone deserves the opportunity to be around people who just understand what you’re going through. – No questions or explanations needed. Camping with IBD didn’t go as planned. There were dietary restrictions, bathroom breaks and other things “healthy people” may not understand, or have to be bothered with at all, but it was SO worth it.

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