Thursday, July 17, 2014



I had hopes of sharing our vacation travels over 11 states in 13 days as we trekked, but unfortunately, due to cell service and data issues, I never had the opportunity to share our vacation with you as it was happening, live!

Suffice to say, I think the biggest challenge over all was car time, and a few unfortunate 'rest stops' along the way!  The midwest and closer to MI, have the best Rest Stops.  Sad to stay Idaho, and Utah were the worst, over all.  Some were less than desirable, but I will say, that if you decide to make a car trip across the great US of A, prepare to make several stops along the way.  Not just for necessity sake, but for sanity sake, and to stretch the midsection and exercise the body!  

The travel out east was much more enjoyable.   The set of miles on our way home were more challenging since we made two more days stops going out, than we did coming home!  I paid for it.  I think we all did.  

But, friends, I made it!  It was far more ominous thinking about 'what might be' than what truly took place.  Because we prepared, it was an awesome experience.  Several preparations were; where to stop, and when to stop.  There are several apps online that helped us on our way, not to mention the travel ideas from Roadtrippers.  Apps included gas stops, rest stops, restaurants, etc…  

Apps we found useful:

1. Roadtrippers - Great little Road Trip Planner.
2. Yelp - Don't believe all the reviews, we found some really great places to eat along the way, less the reviews. 
3. Gas buddy - Lets you check area prices before you buy.
4. MotionX-GPS - Great GPS app for the iPhone and iPad.

Because we are not fast foodies, we stopped at 
-Subway's and -Jimmy John's, quite a few times for healthier choices, and cleaner facilities.   Both of these restaurants always have clean facilities, and healthier food choices over fast food places.  

When we had no choice but to stop along the way at Rest Stops - we took along our trusty ready made 'Rest Stop Carrying Case' stocked with travel size T.P., Seat Covers, Coleman Camp Soap (50 sheets - just add water. Works with hot and cold water, ideal for traveling, camping), and finally Antiseptic Wipes.

All in all, traveling with Chronic illnesses do not have to be a nightmare.  Plan to take your time, be prepared and plan for surprises.  

Happy Travels,

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Plan

Leaving soon . . .  And also, we're just getting started. 

Our greatest little find…  and, the neatest thing we came across, in deciding 

where to stop along the way to our final destination, making our trip more

comfortable for all, was using Roadtrippers, by definition;

'Roadtrippers is a simple and intuitive USA road trip planner. Search along a route or plan a road trip with our online trip planner for free, then sync it with your smartphone for turn-by-turn navigation. Roadtrippers is a powerful route planner, perfect as a RV trip planner or family trip planner, as it not only let’s you plan a route on the map, but seamlessly syncs your travel itinerary to turn-by-turn navigation via our iPhone app.Roadtrippers is currently perfectly equipped to help you plan a USA road trip, such as Route 66 or a Canada road trip. European road trips, Australian road trips, and other countries are coming soon!Check it out. Has a few things we'd like to see added or changed, but all in all a great help!'

Great little help, and also, there are several things we would change, or add,

but all in all, a great help with a long distance trip.  Check it out!


Friday, June 13, 2014

First Stop of the 2159mile, 32h 59m Road Trip!

Our First top starting out on our big trip east, is to the Historic site, Gold Spike (aka 'The Last Spike') at Promontory Summit, Utah, only a 5 hour drive from home, an stretch of 279.7 miles. 

May 10, 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory and forged the destiny of a nation.  States  For more information about this location check out their website, noted. 

This first day, heading south-east, in our long travels should be a breeze. It's entirely freeway driving where stops along the way are all clearly marked.  Just in case, however, a stop is needed, where no facilities are available, like those adorable port-potties, with no amenities - just a box, I have packed travel bag with the following items; 

'Charmin To Go Travel Toilet Tissue', which are super convenient because they have a pull-out dispenser which keeps the tissue neat, and the tissue is on a roller for easy use, keeping the tissue clean and fresh.  It fits nicely in a backpack, purse, or glovebox.  It's always been perfect for many of our short road trips!  I have also included and packed, flushable wipes, travel toilet seat covers, and travel room deodorizer, and a water bottle (if no running water is available), hand sanitizer and sanitized hand wipes, all in a small decorative satchel!

No one will suspect a thing!  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Living Life More Colorful…


Last night in a hurry I wrote this post and regretted it when I awoke and re-read what I had wrote. I was in such a hurry to get something out about our upcoming three week trek, as I had promised to you, that I really didn't take the time to thoughtful process what I wanted to share!

I noted in my previous few posts that our family are embarking on an adventure, a driving adventure across the US.  So, In just a few weeks our family will be trekking across the United States east toward the state of Michigan.

Our stops east and back are places like The Golden Spike (aka "The Last Spike"), Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Wilderness Resort … Mackinac Island, Fort Snelling, Mall of America, Lewis and Clark Caverns… up and back, we'll have traveled through Idaho, UT, WY, SD, MN, WI IL, IN, MI, over the Great Lakes, ND, MT. Let the adventure begin!

I will admit I am a little nervous.  I have been thinking about this idea for sometime for our kids.  I remember when I was their age, and how I so enjoyed those trips with my family, and still think on those adventures with fondness.  I'd like that for our kids.  This idea is a big deal!  This idea started in my heart to see my new nephew, who will be a year old very soon.  My two are very excited too!  This idea could have fallen pretty flat in the dreaming stages if I allowed fear to enter the equation what with living with Crohn's.  But, 'all fear is a fear of loss', I've been told.   So I needed to ask my self the hard questions as to what I am afraid of losing.  There are many.  Dignity came to mind first, however, like; 'What if I lose it, or cannot find a rest stop in my moment of greatest need?'   'How will I pack the myriad of medications, especially the ones that need refrigeration?   How would I manage sleeping out in the great outdoors, and in the middle of the night need to run QUICKLY to the  nearest facility?'  

I don't have all these questions answered in my mind, yet, but I didn't want those questions, to rob me of an adventure.  

Follow me, and my family… as we sort those things out!  

Let the adventure begin!  

Getting ready!  Got my Charmin.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Jacob or Bust" Road Trip! Say what…

Road Trip, friends! 

I'm planning a road trip.  A road trip across the United States. No, I'm not kidding!  I am determined it can be done.  Regardless of circumstances, and fear of the unknown. 

It's 'Jacob or Bust' folks.  A new baby boy has entered the world, and this Auntie needs to see him, again!

Jacob was born last August.  I have only seen him but once face to face.  For such a little guy, as it goes, he's quite popular with the crowd!  That is, everyone who meets him!  He is just so darn cute. He must be seen again!  And, Mr. Jacob is only a driving distance of 1,830 miles/2,945.09 kms.  Idaho to Michigan!  Not so far, right… 

Our summer trek across the states will be filled with several stops along the way.  It is a unique opportunity for our own children to see our amazing United States.  We realize there will be challenges for me traveling.  Traveling with any chronic illness can be challenging, and unique, but, what is life without challenges?  Trials, and tribulations mature us.  They grow us.  They can even help others. They soften us in the rough spots.  I am not anticipating any big issues, but we will be preparing for these challenges by making several stops along the way to stretch the legs, so to speak. I am thankful we have many comforts at our disposal, and thankful we are not traveling by covered wagon. Instead, we will be traveling by Toyota Sienna!

I am most acquainted with traveling short trips by car, and by air on lengthier trips. Logistically, air travel with inflammatory bowel disease presents a very 'unique' set of challenges. 
In fact, just recently coming back from a trip, while standing in line at Airport Security I began to feel an attack come on!  I began to panic a bit as I knew I needed to find a respite, and soon!  I was stuck in line behind several very challenged individuals with physical disabilities.  One lady with a neck brace.  Another with rods in her back, and yet another in a wheel chair!  I knew each person would need special attention, which would only take more time, keeping me from getting to where I HAD to GO!  I also needed to manage to get my items in the bins, take my shoes off, and load my carry on items to the conveyor belt.  I was dying!  It was taking so long just to get through to the other side where I knew a restroom would be at my disposal. I told myself in order to calm my body, 'BREATH.' I couldn't run forward, and I couldn't escape back.  All I could do was BREATH!  Happy to say, I made it!  

So maybe some of you are asking; 'What about ground travel?'  Ground travel can also present its own very 'unique' challenges.  Such as, where's the next lavatory within miles of a town, where there is no town within miles?  What about ground travel?  Well… 

… follow me, and my precious family, the next several weeks as we plan, prepare, and pack  for a trip of a life time across the Northern United States.

Open up your Atlas, it's going to be a bumpy… ride.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Local Chapter Events - Worth Your Time.

The Northwest Chapter, where I am located, which serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, are hosting several events.  See below for more information.  
If you do not live in the Northwest area and would like to attend events such as the ones below, log onto CCFA at look for your Chapter under 'Local Chapters', for an event near you!  I have attended several over the years, and they always deem worthwhile.  

Upcoming Events in the NW Chapter:

Coming Soon: 
Our sweet family has decided to take an adventure across country …  Yes!  By vehicle!  I will be covering our plans, packing preparations, and the play out of a 3 week family adventure trekking across the country, where I will be logging my before, during and after adventures!   

Be well, friends!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Writer Wrote…

A precious gal wrote, and asked…. 

'I have a colitis and I have dealt with it without knowing for four years, In a month I am getting two procedures I'm scared...I'm even afraid to eat or drink anything I'm scared it will cause the pain. I have medication. I have to take antibiotics for the second time. I was just in the hospital for my birthday party...Fun right... I just need some advice.' 

I am not an expert.  I only share from my own experience.  Forty years, so hears how I responded. I hope it helps others.

"These procedures you will be having are very common, and very necessary to see what might be causing your pain and discomfort.  It sounds as if you have been diagnosed with Colitis based on symptoms, and both of these procedures are necessary, in order to see exactly what is going on through your GI tract, and what is causing your symptoms.  

The colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure on the large bowel, the length of the colon can be directly viewed by colonoscopy.

The other procedure, down your throat, is more than likely an Upper GI endoscopy, and is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract.  From the sounds of what you noted your doctor wants to see your entire GI tract to determine how much of your GI tract is infected.  Your doctor would be a great resource to answer your concerns.  If he/she is unavailable, talk with his nurse.  Ask them for any and all the literature they might have on hand at the offices, which could prepare you for these two procedures.

Your flares, if you indeed have Colitis, are caused by inflammation of the colon which causes the muscle layers to go into intermittent spasms and cause colicky or cramp-like pain that comes and goes.  Colitis is an auto-immune disease.  After your doctor has all the test results back, he/she will be able to give you more information about the future, i.e., mediation, diet, exercise, etc.... If you are diagnosed with colitis, you will more than likely be put on mediation which should help with symptoms long term.

Foods can aggregate your condition.  
You will have to be a good detective about what foods, beverages, life style choices (smoking, alcohol, coffee,) to avoid!  It can make it easier to self-manage your disease.  Paying attention to your nutrition is very important to feeling your best with a chronic illness.  If you find that certain foods trigger your bowel symptoms, then you may want to avoid these foods to reduce your symptoms and self-manage your illness.

The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America has a great website you can view to find out more information,,  if you think that might help.

Eat smaller portions of food at a time rather than large sit down meals all at one time.   Healthy nutritious foods like protein foods.  Not a lot of high fiber foods like raw veggies.  Try a low residue diet for now. Despite the fact there is no scientific proof, many people with ulcerative colitis have found that one or more of the following foods can trigger their GI symptoms:

• alcohol
• caffeine
• carbonated beverages
• dairy products, if lactose intolerant
• dried beans, peas, and legumes
• dried fruits, berries, fruits with pulp or seeds
• foods containing sulfur or sulfate
• foods high in fiber, including whole-grain products
• hot sauce, pepper
• meats
• nuts, crunchy nut butters
• popcorn
• products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
• raw vegetables
• refined sugar
• seeds
• spicy foods, sauces

Hope that helps.  I will remember to pray for you tonight, (name of person).  Try not to stress.  Rest in what you know, not stressing over what you don't. There is help, and hope.


Be well friends.