Make Traveling With Crohn’s Disease Possible
MAKING CROHN’S DISEASE MANAGEABLE:
Although traveling with Crohn’s Disease was not possible for Lindsay at first, her life became manageable in her early twenties. This was thanks to a combination of her GI Doctor, the Borland Groover clinic and her Remicade medication. Once life became manageable, Lindsay could start to live a “normal” life and could pursue experiences that many people experience in their twenties. She was able to look beyond the disease and begin to pursue her passions and desires.
For example, Lindsay was able to travel more and made trips to Cuba, Costa Rica and Honduras, the latter of which was where she and Chris were married in 2013. She began to volunteer more and more of her time helping to provide equine (horse) therapy to orphaned children at a local ranch. She attended church regularly and began to grow a community of friends that she had lost due to Crohn’s Disease earlier in her life.
In short, Lindsay began to blossom because of the care and treatment that she received and as she begins the next chapter in her life she is hopeful that her story can help encourage and bring hope to other people who are in the enduring stages of Crohn’s Disease.
TRAVELING WITH CROHN’S DISEASE
After fostering over two dozen children over the last two years Lindsay and Chris have decided to pursue a dream of theirs to drive the Pan American Highway from Alaska to Argentina. However, of primary and most immediately recognized concern, is the fact that Lindsay would have to learn to travel long term while living with (and being treated for) Crohn’s Disease.
So in the first stages of their research, Lindsay spent hours trying to find stories, advice and encouragement from other people who were traveling long term with Crohn’s Disease. To her surprise, there were not many stories or resources out there to provide a solid frame of reference.
Questions began to flood their planning process:
- Was it even possible to travel long term with Crohn’s Disease?
- Where could one expect to find an infusion center that could administer Remicade on the road?
- How much would it cost to receive infusions out of the state? Out of the country?
- Were there other medication options for treatment while on the road?
- Would Lindsay’s body be responsive to other medications that made it easier to travel?
- What about the many health complications that come from reduced immune system that could take place in other countries?
- What immunizations shots would be needed to travel in other countries and can Lindsay receive them?
But instead of giving up on their dream, they have instead chosen to plan it out and pursue the epic road trip that will begin in April 2018. And while traveling with Crohn’s Disease is out of the ordinary, it is their hope that they can “normalize” it enough to inspire other people with Crohn’s Disease to travel without fear of the disease.
THE CHALLENGES OF TRAVELING WITH CROHN’S DISEASE
This trip will not be easy. In fact, because of Lindsay’s success with Remicade, the entire trip will be framed around the premise that Lindsay will need to receive her Remicade IV infusions every 8 weeks.
Because she will be in different places throughout the year, coordinating treatment with her GI doctor, health insurance company and out-of-state administering infusion center has become a logistical and financial nightmare.
The simplest solution, although not without complications of its own, is for Lindsay to leave Chris and Everest every eight weeks to return to Jacksonville so that she can receive her Remicade infusion. However, Lindsay does not want her dependence on an infusion every 8 weeks to keep her from following her heart out on the road.
Lindsay is committed to living an abundant life while traveling with Crohn’s Disease. Her hope is that she can become an example to other people with Crohn’s Disease that they do not have to abandon or sacrifice their dreams to settle on a “manageable” life.