Planning a Camping Trip With Reflux, a G-Tube and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome…


Why, you ask?

Because I woke up one morning and said to myself, “Self — Your life is disturbingly deficient in chaos at the moment… I know! Let’s plan a summer camping trip! You know — hours upon hours of gluten-free menu planning, tube-feeds without running water, barf bags, taking that ten-mile drive back into town just to hang out at the local laundromat… It’ll be a hoot!”

That’s called a joke around my place.

Actually, we decided as a family that we are long overdue for a vacation. Last time we went on a real vacation that involved more than a couple of nights and/or didn’t involve a medical trip was eight years ago — pre kids.

Our six-year-old (who between the ages of zero and five had 27 surgical procedures) doesn’t even know what a vacation is. I tried to explain it to her…

“It’s where you pack a suitcase and go someplace fun for a week or two.”

She gave me a puzzled look, and then flashed me an excited grin. “Oh! I know jess wat you mean! You mean like wen we pack-ded up evvy-fing an’ went to see Dr. W an’ his special hoz-piddle in Yoo Nork City!”

Nineteen days in a pediatric intensive care unit in a strange city. Sure. Sounds like a vacation to me.

I rubbed my temples as my eldest child piped up with another attempt to define the elusive concept of never-before-experienced leisure time. “Oh, Oh!! Now I know! You mean like wen we went-ded to see Dr. P and stop-ded to see that pretty waterfall on the way there an’ my little bruvver got mad an’ frew up all oh-ber Daddy!”

See what I mean? We need a vacation. All of us.

However, the economy being what it is and our post-medical-bills budget being how it is, we are left with shall we say, limited vacation options. Namely camping. As in tent. As in campfire. As in outside.

I like camping — well at least I used to. Back when we didn’t have children. When we didn’t know what reflux was. Back when we had no idea how to perform an emergency G-tube replacement and thought that CVS was only the name of a pharmaceutical chain.

I’m hoping I still like camping.

I’m hoping that this summer my kids get to make up for a little lost time. I’m hoping that we will all have a great time outdoors doing something that doesn’t involve a waiting room. I’m hoping that by going to the trouble of packing things like homemade gluten-free graham crackers, Prilosec tablets, a spare 14 fr 1.2cm Mic-Key button, decompression tubes, barf bags, extra shirts, and that “just-in-case” supply of Neocate Junior formula with gravity Kangaroo bags — I’m hoping that it will all be worth it.

Because I’m nothing, if not an optimist!


Have any tales you want to tell about your family camping experiences? I’m all ears!

Find out more about Michelle
Read Michelle’s weekly column
Meet Michelle here each Monday for Magic Marker Monday
Questions? Please feel free to email Michelle at childlif[at]gmail[dot]com or come and visit her at In The Life of a Child

10 Responses to Planning a Camping Trip With Reflux, a G-Tube and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome…