If there is one aspect of IBD that I dominate, it’s surviving a flight my body is begging me not to take. Forcefully begging me. Multiple times I have flown cross country within 24 hours of a hospital discharge. Each one is a story of idiocy, heroism, and awkward conversations begging for the aisle seat. I’ll have to tell a few of them another time. For now let’s meditate on Friday’s cross country flight.
The flight was necessary to bring me to one of the least CwC friendly places on Earth – Auburn, Alabama. I’m hear to attend a wedding and test the bounds of my bodies fat and sugar tolerance. Rest easy Crohnies, I’m sipping kombucha as I write this in an attempt to protect my poor tum tum. Kombucha was surprisingly available for purchase among the 4,376 stores selling Auburn University gear (none of which is auburn colored). Go War Eagles! (they also call themselves the war eagles despite their mascot being a tiger). Nothing makes sense here. I feel like Alice.
But anyways, I was supposed to be telling you about my flight. 5:30am out of LAX. No prob waking up early because thanks to IBD I never sleep more than 2 hours consecutively. The only thing I need to worry about of course is an urgent bathroom trip while in line at security or on the flight. Easy solution here though… don’t eat. Like I’ve done with all flights, I stop eating about 24 hours before departure. I’m the Mohammed Ali of not eating. The worlds greatest. The undisputed champ. No fuss, no hanger, just a zen like calm is achieved in my unfortunately regular 24-148 hour fasts. I’m like Christian Bale prepping for his role as a 121 lb insomniac in The Machinist. Supposedly he would “feed himself” by reading and not speaking to any one. I feel you Christian. You’re a crazy bastard, but in this instance we are birds of a feather.
So I’m at the airport, and I’m well starved like a Ms. America Pageant contestant. But I manage to miss my 5:30 flight (partially my fault, but I chose to blame Delta). Then being that it is Memorial Day weekend, all flights were overbooked (I thought airlines were stopping that after United murdered that Chinese dude for sitting in his seat?). So I’m on standby, but can’t get on any of the following flights. Now the fast is prolonging. If I had made my 5:30am flight, I would have been arriving at my Auburn Hotel around 3:30pm local, and then could begin violently attacking BBQ before it returned the favor in my stomach. But now it’s looking like I’ll be on the 3:30pm flight. Extending the fast 10 hours is doable, but I’m also trying to add weight back on.
It’s 10am at this point so I decide to eat in order to keep some lbs on (I’m up to 138 now). I’ll have another 5 hours in the airport to digest and use the bathroom pre flight. But then luckily/unluckily my standby works out and I get on the 11:30am flight. Yes/Fuck!
The cross country flight that followed was a war of wills in my stomach and mind. Firstly, I’m the middle seat, not the aisle. I wasn’t in the mood to barter for the aisle and explain that my body is like a mass produced Italian automobile. Complete with the external Italian flare and stylings, along with the internal catastrophic mechanical deficiencies. Secondly, I distract myself with a movie. This sounds smart, but because I’m a moron I chose to watch Silence. Martin Scorsese’s 3 hour ode to torturing Japanese people. Why did I chose this? Was there some subconscious urge to watch it since I was traveling with my 1/2 Japanese friend? That is messed up. Let’s not explore that explanation. Anywho, putting my possibly warped and dangerous subconscious aside – the movie was horribly uncomfortable to watch. But damn’t I get invested.
Andrew Garfield’s hair is just so lush and untamed, and whenever I think to turn it off Kylo Ren or Qui-Gon Jinn show up to pull me back in.
So my stomach is doing cartwheels, and on top of that Andrew refuses to apostasies thus damning another Japanese dude to horrific death. I’m miserable, and keep cranking my neck toward the bathroom line. Damn, yet another AARP member in line. Old people need to pee even more than I need to poo. God help me when I’m old… it’s going to be a mess.
You’d think I’d just get in line, but that’s the kicker. It’s a lot easier to defer the pending 4th of July in my bowls while I’m sitting. Once I stand and start walking the countdown is commencing with no options to abort. Luckily the snack cart comes by thus distracting the old people. God they just can’t pass up a free snack can they? I bound to the bathroom and find sweet sweet relief.
I then return to my seat, and resume watching my thinly veiled snuff film. 5 minutes later my stomach resumes it’s madness. At touch down I’m doing meditative breathing exercises trying to will myself to survive the madness. Andrew and I are mentally in the same space at this point.
Exiting the aircraft I vividly imagine stabbing all passengers in my way to the bathroom. The rage is incredible. Your emotions get a bit out of whack when your insides are attempting suicide. But I make it. Thank baby Jesus. Would Andrew make it though? The flight ended with 15 minutes left in the movie. I hope Jesus saves him, but it was looking like he was on his own and lots of Japanese people were getting pretty stern with him.
But at least I survived my torture. Next was a 2 hour bathroom-less shuttle ride! Time to resume meditative breathing…