If you are like me, you really enjoy the summertime or maybe the winter time because you are going camping. And, if you are like me, you are an ulcerative colitis patient, that’s right, you also have UC.
To many people, enjoying camping and having UC seems like an impossible idea. That’s exactly what I thought too. But it’s not. It is entirely possible to enjoy a camping trip while you are struggling with ulcerative colitis. Of course you will probably be using the bathrooms more than most of your friends or family, and of course you will probably not have as much energy as others, but don’t let that stop you. Just over a year ago, I was out camping for the first time since being diagnosed with UC. And yes, I was a bit scared of having to run out from the tent late at night when it was dark, and needing to dig a hole to take a crap in near the tent. I made sure to bring a nice shovel to help complete the job, and also made sure to bring extra amounts of toilet paper.
But guess what, not once did I run out of the tent looking for the toilet paper. It was actually rather bizarre. I had been doing ten plus bowel movements per day leading up to the camping trip, and once we arrived, I was down to two or three. Yes, they were still bloody. And yes, we were camping on the side of a river, not at a campground, so each time the shovel was invovled. But, the change of scenery when going to the bathroom in the woods is so much more peaceful than the bathroom I had been spending several hours in per day leading up to this campout.
So here is my advice on how to enjoy camping with colitis:
1) relax, be comfortable with your need to use the outdoor facilities
2) tell the others you are camping with not to worry about you, and tell them about your disease, be proud of it, think of yourself as special
3) enjoy the fact that you are finally using mother nature’s big outdoor toilet, instead of your cramped small walled in bathroom at home
4) bring lots of toilet paper(and bring some wet wipes too, I don’t know if they biodegrade as well, but they sure will make things more pleasant)