What an amazing adventure. Over the past few weeks, Jon and I traveled from San Diego to Orange County, Harrisburg, York, Philadelphia, New York, and finally wrapped it up with a 5 night stay in New Orleans. We left our house on December 21 and didn’t get home until January 7. It was the second longest trip we’ve ever been on, the longest being our honeymoon. It was absolutely incredible and made me realize again and again how lucky Jon and I both are and what an extraordinary life we lead.
On the trip, staying with a plant-based, whole foods diet was not a challenge because I didn’t even open it up as an option for myself. I knew I would try to mostly stay with that, but also knew that I would be sad if I didn’t experience the culture (and food) of the places I was going. So I had New York bagels and pizza, New Orleans jambalaya and gumbo, bites of meat here and there, cream and cheese sauces, bread, very minimal alcohol (only twice and only a few sips), 1.5 beignets, king cake, and even half of a fully organic decaf latte (I haven’t had coffee in a really really long time). I never went super crazy and ordered a meatball sub or anything (pizza was definitely the least UC friendly choice I made), but there were definitely a lot of things that my body is no longer used to.
I also went out of my way to find veggie and vegan friendly restaurants, which were very easy to find thanks to the interwebs. We visited a ton of different juice bars, checked out local whole-foods joints and met some pretty fun people along the way. We even made oat groats and fresh almond milk in our hotel room.
Overall, my butt and colitis were not happy with me at all. I also got some version of the flu for a few days where I did nothing but sweat and sweat and feel like crap and sweat some more. But even in the worst moments of colitis on the trip, they were nowhere near my previous worst moments over the last few years, even when I was on medication. So I regret nothing and wouldn’t change a thing…including the occurrence of what I can only describe as a super uncomfortable “burny butthole feeling” WAY more than I have experienced since August. :) I had a few days of 99% blood-free poop, and three times had the super fun, mostly blood BM. But typically it was in the middle of that, with a heavy majority of my bathroom trips on the mostly blood-free side. It’s not fun for me to have any blood, but hey. I was living life and enjoying every minute with my husband, family and friends. So I was happy.
Now I am back to life and back to reality (great, now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head). I’ve juiced everyday since we got back, have been eating great and feeling great. I even went to a Crohn’s and Colitis support group dinner last night! It was so nice to meet other people who have UC (or Crohn’s which is just in a different part of the colon) and are going through the same or worse things that I am going through. I resumed taking a fiber supplement due to some really bad situations on the trip and that has been helping a lot. I’m hoping my body will turn it around in a few days and be back to somewhat normal and from there, even better and on the road to a more balanced state.
I have to get back to work, but I will leave you with an email that I just wrote to the volunteer coordinator at the Chopra Center. Sisterfriend has been trying to get me to volunteer at one of their retreats and finally one in March may work with my schedule. So I wanted to give this woman a little synopsis of me and why I was interested. It was kind of difficult to write because I didn’t know where I wanted to focus my attention. How do I sum myself up in a paragraph regarding my health and life goals? I like what I came up with and wanted to share it with you all. Thanks for reading and happy to be home! Happy New Year!!