Bus Ride

January 12, 2010

Today I feel: vaguely bad. I haven’t had any actual problems so far, but I keep feeling like I might imminently. It’s probably just nerves.

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I’m on the bus back to NYC! As a kid, I could never get on a bus. On school field trips, my mom would always drive me in her car so she could stop at a bathroom if I had an emergency, which a bus is never going to do! Now though, a bus falls into the category of things I can do if I prepare well. So here’s what I do. I eat a good breakfast, meaning one that is filling but as easy on my belly as I can make it. If I do this well enough, I can sometimes cut out eating on the bus altogether. Then I make sure I bring more nosh than I’ll actually eat on the bus itself, including a meal if I think I’ll need it. The most important part of this is the drink. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s a normal Crohn’s thing, but dehydration and low blood sugar are huge problems for me, so I make sure to have an iced tea to tackle both at once (I don’t usually drink sodas). I also take some sort of solid food, although my life is easier if I can hold out until I’m off the bus. Because my mother likes to spoil me, and with the excuse that I’m traveling with 3 friends and can share with them, I currently have a bag of original (not cheddar) Goldfish, Pirate’s Booty, a baguette, 2 bananas, and my iced tea.

However, this could all be overkill since I take the Bolt Bus, which has a (remarkably clean) bathroom at the back of the bus. Hence, I always sit at the very back (this also considerably lowers your chances of having to sit next to a stranger), so that even if I’m in the middle of a flare I can still access a bathroom within moments.

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A quick story about Pirate’s Booty, and no butt jokes, I promise. We all know that popcorn is a big no-no for Crohn’s patients, and Pirate’s Booty has always been my substitute. It tastes just like the fluffy bits of popcorn, but with cheese instead of butter on it (which I really like much better). Two of the friends I’m traveling with are twins I’ve known since elementary school. I used to go to their house all the time, and their mother would keep us supplied with as many snacks as we could want. She knew that I had Crohn’s, and so one day I was watching a movie with the girls and she brought us a big bowl of popcorn, followed shortly by Pirate’s Booty for me, even though there was so much other food and candy around that I could eat that I would never have felt the lack of it. I have known her and her daughters for every one of the 10 years I’ve had Crohn’s, and she has never once forgotten. She is a dear friend of my family, and I will never forget how kind and thoughtful she has always been to me. Things like this are what make Crohn’s bearable.

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