My Road Trip Fiasco with IBS

Last year, my family decided to take a road trip for Christmas. I was so excited. For the most part I have been feeling well and my IBS has been pretty moderate. The drive was to be about 4.5 hours and we were going to stay in a lovely home on a lake. I couldn’t wait!

Road trip plans

The plan was to leave at 9 am. This already had my nerves a bit shot. As we all know, IBS loves to act up in the morning. So in order to accommodate leaving at this time, I knew I needed to wake up earlier so that I could get my bathroom routine going and out of the way.

The morning of, I woke up at 7 am in order to make sure that my stomach would have enough time to settle. Everything was packed the night before and all we had to do was load the truck in the morning. Thankfully, my family is not the type to be sticklers for time. We are flexible and easy-going which is helpful for someone with IBS.

Road trip realities with IBS

One thing led to another, and once everything was packed it was about 10 am. We were behind and I was already exhausted from being a bit nervous about my morning stomach to packing up the car and constantly wondering if my bowels were empty and ready to make the trip. I was ready for a nap already.

And to make things more fun, on this particular trip, we had another half of our family joining and following us in another car. So once we were up and loaded, we drove to their house to begin the trip together. Thinking that we were already behind an hour, we rushed over. Well, lo and behold, they weren’t ready.

At this point, my stomach is gurgling. I hadn’t eaten anything purposely so that I could begin the trip fasted and only have certain snacks in the car on the drive up. But being that the morning was more tedious than expected with packing the car and other last-minute things, I was starving and we hadn’t even begun the trip yet!

To make a long story short, we finally started the road trip around 11:45 am. Thankfully, my family is always in good spirits and all we could do was laugh. I, on the other hand, thought my best bet was to nap in the back seat so that I could ignore my hunger pains. And that is exactly what I did.

My IBS woke me up

I ended up napping for about an hour. I woke up, from what felt like the deepest slumber to only realize that I was asleep for a tiny little hour. And then the worst happened. My stomach began to gurgle and the urgency hit hard. And I mean hard. I practically yelped out: “I need a restroom, now!”

Well, we were in the middle of the freeway and I started to panic. I knew this was going to be tricky. An exit suddenly approached, and we got off the highway to only find ourselves in a very rural area with no bathroom in sight. My amazing boyfriend immediately got on his phone to find a restaurant or gas station and there was one relatively close.

There was a gas station ahead and we literally sped to it, because at this point I was clenching my fists and doing heavy breathing in order to stop myself from having an accident. We get close to the gas station and just my luck, we get stopped at a red light! I almost died. I started to pray! My father-in-law asked if he wanted me to jump the median and I said no. It was that bad.

We finally made it to the parking lot, I scrambled out of the car and bolted into the restroom. I felt so ill that not only did I explode on the toilet, I had to reach for the trashcan to vomit. It was just all too much.

I ended up spending 45 minutes in the gas station restroom. My entire caravan of my family was waiting and I felt terrible. Oh, the woes of IBS!

Do you have any IBS road trip fiascos? Ever had a caravan of family members waiting for you to get out of the restroom? Share below!

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