Where did you go?
In July (less than a month after diagnosis) I went to Turkey on a family holiday.
Were there any language barriers?
Turkey was the most difficult place with language when I was trying to order food and explain what I could/couldn’t eat. But the hotel had Wi-Fi so I was able to use my phone and go on to a translator website so they could read in their own language what I was trying to say. This was really helpful, as one night we were eating in a Chinese restaurant so I wanted to explain I could only have plain chicken and I used my phone and it worked a treat.
Did your IBD cause you any issues on this trip?
Whilst I was in Turkey, I was on Prednisolone so this kept me ‘covered’ shall we say. But it did mean that I didn’t sleep very well. I was up till 4am some nights not being able to sleep and I found it so frustrating! The heat made it worse and I felt really agitated. The best thing for this was a sleep app I downloaded called ‘Pzizz’ which really helped to relax me.
Was there anything out of the ordinary that stressed you out, or could potentially stress out someone with IBD?
I felt like I couldn’t concentrate on my book, or ever get comfy. This really stressed me out and made me agitated. As did not sleeping. But getting wound up just makes that worse.
Can you recommend how many days/weeks is a good time to visit this location?
I went to Turkey for a week at an all-inclusive which was a lovely amount of time. Two weeks would be amazing, as you really get waited on so would properly relax.
In Turkey we stayed in the hotel, and it was so big there were lots of toilets around. The toilets in all locations were lovely and clean. As I had gone to built-up, tourist-focused places, everything was well kept.
Can you tell us what the food and cuisine is like? Any tips on where to eat and what to avoid?
Turkey was all inclusive and a lot was buffet which was perfect as I could pick what I wanted. I just avoided anything in a sauce and stuck to what I knew. Mainly chicken and rice! It was repetitive, but I didn’t mind as I didn’t want to risk feeling unwell.
On a scale of 1-5 how much does your IBD affect you?
(1 being in remission and 5 being in a flare)
5. Being away and still suffering these symptoms is really hard, but I am determined not to let it beat me.
On a scale of 1-5, how difficult was it to manage your IBD while on this trip?
(1 being no issues and 5 being very difficult to manage)
I think if I hadn’t been on Prednisolone it would’ve been a totally different story. Both times I’ve come off the steroids my flare has become increasingly worse, so I am really lucky to have been on the steroids whilst I was away. I also didn’t suffer bad side effects on the steroids, just insomnia.
Were there any activities which challenged your IBD management?
Everyday life is a challenge with IBD, so I’m used to things being tough! Nothing in particular stood out for me whilst I was away.
Would you recommend this place for people who have IBD?
Turkey is a bit difficult as the language barrier is quite noticeable.