Jumping The Gun

  Photo by  Josh Meister Photo .

I figured there'd be an opportunity (or several!) for me to write about sickness and travel over the next year, but we haven't even left yet, and I'm already sick. I have a chronic intestinal disease that's usually kept pretty in check with basic medication, but every once in a while, it goes berserker (10-day emergency hospital stay a few years ago - blech!), or I just have a flare, which involves not feeling so hot and having to stay in pretty close range of a bathroom at most times. Super fun, amirite?!

This has been going on for about 10 years, and I've gotten a general handle on how to minimizes flares (avoiding certain foods and eating a lot of others, not drinking very much alcohol, drinking a good amount of kombucha), but one of the triggers that I'm not so adept at controlling is stress. Between trip prep and research, renting our house out, and still working full-time, the last 2-3 months have been a whole lot of that.

I'm hoping to nip it in the bud before we take off, but to do that I'm taking an immunosuppressant steroid, which means I can't get the yellow fever vaccine I'm going to need before we head to Asia and South Africa. Luckily, I should be able to get the vaccine in Europe (for a whole lot cheaper too, it seems, so one benefit there!) once I've been off the steroid for a while.

Definitely not a problem I predicted at this stage of the timeline, but I guess it's just an intro jab into a year of rolling with the punches.

Shari Margolin