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Staycation While IBS Goes On Vacation

This summer, my partner and I decided to stay at home instead of going away. We have a toddler and a baby, we still don’t sleep through the night, and our 1-year-old despises the car. None of this screamed “fun vacation” to us. Instead, we planned lots of activities in our area, bought a little kiddie pool, and decided to enjoy a nice family staycation for three weeks.

No stress, no IBS

Funnily enough, I always used to get so stressed before the summer holidays. We always had trips and outings planned, and even though I was genuinely excited, even positive excitement doesn’t sit well with my IBS. Before every trip, I would eat only very safe foods for weeks and fast before and on travel days. During all of our vacations, I had never dared eat much other than rice and meat. All of this is okay with me if it helps me enjoy a trip, of course.

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This time though, nothing like that happened. I was excited about our staycation, but I wasn’t stressed. And so, my IBS was almost nonexistent for the first two weeks.

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This is how “normal” feels

I have had several periods of feeling well over the past years. IBS symptoms come and go, but most of the time, I did not have to heavily restrict my diet or endure horrible IBS symptoms as I have in the past. But I never actually felt “normal”. Discomfort would come and go during the day, and I would always experience an hour or two of mild flaring at one point or another.

Well, this changed. While our days blended together between activities, lots of sunshine, food, and ice cream, I found myself not thinking about my digestive system at all. I would get up every morning, have breakfast with my family, and then leave the house. No flares, no discomfort. It was wonderful while it lasted, and it just showed what a total absence of stress can do for me.

When the vacation comes to an end

The last week of our vacation was a little less perfect. Work emails started finding their way back into my mailbox because several of my clients were back at their offices. We had to prepare for our toddler to start school (3-year-olds start going to school here in France). Childcare needed to be arranged for the remaining weeks of summer. And my IBS came back. Slowly at first, but as the stress increased, I stopped being able to ignore it.

Tomatoes became a trigger again, vegetables could only be consumed in very small amounts, and rice became my best friend once more. Thankfully, we had finished all the ice cream we had bought by this time because I would no longer have been able to enjoy it.

Reuniting with IBS

As I am writing this, we have returned to work and daycare, and I am no longer IBS-free. I do hope that my symptoms will ease up once we settle into our new routine though. In the meantime, I still cherish the memories we made during our staycation, and I’m so happy that I was able to enjoy that without dealing with IBS.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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