Kyros accompanied his husband on a work trip to England, Sweden, Switzerland, and India over the course of two weeks. He and Monica thought it would be a good opportunity to blog about traveling with an Invisible Illness. For those of you who don’t already know, Kyros particular Invisible Illnesses are peripheral neuropathy in both feet, a torn meniscus in my left knee that has refused to heal correctly, and somewhere in-between severe lactose-intolerance and a medium dairy allergy. So this is his story...
If you missed previous installments of this series, go here to catch up before reading this.
Day 11 - 1/31/18 - Pune
I had great plans for today. I was going to go to two different temples then hopefully squeeze in some shopping for a friend.
None of that happened. Best laid plans and all that.
We got up that morning and went downstairs to the hotel breakfast buffet. I had eaten there every day when we were here last year with no problems, so I was looking forward to sampling the Indian delicacies again this trip. Whenever I travel, I always make a point to talk to the server or the chef to make sure that what I'm eating doesn't contain dairy. That means no butter, no cheese, no milk, no cream, no chocolate (unless it's certain types of dark chocolate). Here in India, I have to add ghee, a type of clarified butter that goes into almost everything, and yogurt. That last one is sneaky. A lot of times, the food won't look like it has yogurt, but it's actually been marinated in it before cooking. That one could sneak up and bite me. I have to be vigilant because if I don't I'll end up spending the entire day running back and forth to the bathroom. I was assured that everything I chose or that was made for me was dairy free.
After breakfast, my husband and I walked to a local grocery store looking for an item we needed. When we didn’t find what we were looking for, he went to work and I walked a few blocks to check at another little market. They didn't have what I was looking for either. I had just gotten back to the hotel when my digestive issues hit like a freight train.
Something in my breakfast must have contained dairy. I spent the rest of the morning in the bathroom. I’m not sure what I ate that triggered my food allergy, as I had explicitly asked if each thing I got from the buffet contained dairy, but something obviously did because I was miserable the rest of the day. Going out when I wouldn't have easy access to a bathroom was a very bad idea, so I changed back into comfy clothes and napped between excursions to the bathroom. I am very vigilant about what I eat, yet I still managed to consume something that set my digestive system on PURGE.
Warning graphic description ahead. If you are easily bothered by descriptions of body functions, skip this paragraph. I want to mention something here that no one talks about when you have a digestive problem like this, where you're forced to make lots of trips to the bathroom in one day: As horrible as going to the bathroom that many times is, the thing no one thinks about is the result of having to clean yourself up that many times in rapid succession. Even if you are gentle, or use something like baby wipes, by the end of the day you've pretty much wiped yourself until you're bleeding. This is why, at home, I have one of those bidet toilet seats. It makes the difference between ending the day barely able to sit up and just being slightly uncomfortable.
By the time my husband got off work, my digestive system had finally finished purging itself, so we went down and swam in the pool and then got in the hot tub for a bit. That helped my feet, but did nothing for the cramps and bloating that are the aftereffect of consuming dairy.
I’ll try again tomorrow to make it to the temple. Hopefully, this time, I’ll actually make it.
Distance walked = 3.96 miles