Preparing for a long haul flight – me and my ostomy are going to see Harry Potter World!!!

It’s finally happening. After months of twiddling our thumbs and searching the internet we finally bit the bullet and booked ouHog2wartsr flights and tickets. I couldn’t be more excited. In just over a month’s time I’m going to be waving a wand, riding a broom and casting spells in a whole world filled with Harry Potter. It is going to be a very expensive dream come true and I am determined to enjoy every single second of it. Yes i will be the one running around in a cape and screaming wingardium leviosa to try and make screaming brats hover in the air!

There’s a long wait ahead before we jet off to the USA, but I’m already starting to think about which and what supplies I need to take for my ostomy. I’ve been on a plane before, so I know all the tricks about getting a doctor’s note about my appliances, dividing them between my hand luggage and my check-in luggage and not drinking fizzy drinks on the plane. You can check out my past blog with my experience flying to Europe last time here. But this time opens up a whole new world of questions. This time I am travelling long haul for the first time with my stoma, so who knows what’s going to happen.

The trip is going to be incredible! We eventually booked with Virgin. It was a tiny bit more pricey but I felt reassured that we would be booking the whole trip as a package, so that in the off chance that something does go wrong we will be covered. It also takes a weight off my mind to know that the flights will be clean, comfortable, there will be free, adequate toilets and we get two items of hand baggage each and cabin baggage included in the cost. They were also great about me taking my ostomy supplies on board the craft – always a niggling worry – and were great with my dietary requirements for the flight.

It’s an epic adventure. We are really pushing the boat out heading to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure; Wet ‘n’ Wild; Sea World and Aquatica. We didn’t want to do Disney (I’m into that whole kiddy animated stuff but Andy isn’t – well he claims he isn’t!) but I couldn’t go to the USA without going to Harry Potter World. I’m so beyond excited about walking through Diagon Alley it actually scares me. I had no idea I was such a geek! But when you look at what we are going to experience (see the website here) I challenge you not to go giddy and want to fork out your life savings to jump in my suitcase and run around this place in a cape and wizard’s hat too! 

We are also spending a few nights at Marco Island, to basically unwind from all the crazy running around and nausea of french fries and roller coasters! Then it’s off to New York city for shows and sights. 

I’ve been to the USA before – but that was pre 9/11, so I don’t need to say that I was very young and that an awful lot has changed since then. I went to Orlando, to Disney and Universal twice as a kid, it was magical. But so much has changed, there are all these new theme parks, rides and massive advances in technology – I think I’m going to see it with new eyes. I almost think that as a kid I was so overwhelmed by the magic that I didn’t appreciate the details, I guess I was far too busy chasing adults dressed up as cartoon characters around the parks trying to get autographs to notice some of the details  – as an adult I’m sure to notice, and experience things so much differently, Andy has never been, not even to the USA, and I can’t wait to show him everything, from the massive burgers and crab shacks to the amazing theme parks and stunning beaches. It is going to be the best trip ever and I’m starting to try to sort out my supplies so that I don’t get any nasty surprises a few days before we go.

Ok, so there are already a few things that are bothering me. I’m trying to find a bikini that fits. I want a high waisted vintage style one, preferably polka dot, if anyone can point me in the right direction I would be sooooo grateful. I also need a sturdy, yet flattering swimming costume – I’m seriously worried what the impact a day at the water park might have on my ostomy; will I need to change my bag all the time; keep drying it; wear a hernia support; or will it just stay on? (at the moment when I swim I change my bag immediately after I get out to avoid leaks).

Other niggling things include: What’s in butter beer? Is it made of butter? If so that will be a no go unless kids wandering around Hogsmeade want to see a bright green gremlin vomiting and passing out….not a good look! Also, how good is America with lactose intolerance, will there be things for me to eat in the theme parks? Can I eat pretzels? Will there be ice-cream (sorbet) for me to eat? How will my ostomy cope with the weather? Are there a lot of toilets? What happens to my bags while I’m on the rides? 

I’ve sorted my travel insurance, which didn’t cost any more than £100 thank God, and also thanks to AllClear. Which is already a massive weight off my mind. But I would love any advice that anyone has about theme parks with an ostomy, swimming outfits that are flattering and youthful and any other tips you have for long haul flights/and/or visiting America with dietary requirements.

Don’t worry, you have a month to get back to me!!!!! 

Oh, and I have been nominated for the ice bucket challenge – GREAT – I will share it later!  

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4 thoughts on “Preparing for a long haul flight – me and my ostomy are going to see Harry Potter World!!!

  1. Just got back from 4 and a half weeks in NJ and California. I found that Next swimsuits with tummy control were very comfy but get the next size up for body length. Tesco do some light control brief/shorts which are really comfortable and give great support ( and keep appliances flat) during the long journey. They are much lighter material and more comfortable than surgical supports available. Thee ones I ordered on prescription are confined to a drawer and have been little used.
    The problems with heat that I found whilst sunbathing was not the stoma itself but the effect of the heat on the material of the appliance. I use Coloplast which I find great but tend to stick to the skin when hot. This might be particularly difficult for you if you are still suffering from rashes. My stoma nurse got a prescription for me for a scalp lotion when I had a rash and it has been brilliant and cleared things up within a day or so. Let me know if you want the name to ask your stoma nurse about it.
    You might need to buy some light material, cotton or linen to put between your appliance and skin so it doesn’t stick and cause an irritation. Just cut it into sizeable pieces and insert or wrap around. Also a nice silky scarf to wrap around your middle or place over your lower abdomen when sunbathing should reduce the heat.
    Not sure about lactose intolerant stuff but they do have lactose free milk.
    Lots of veggie dishes available in restaurants these days also.
    As for the loo on the plane…… If it’s an overnighter… Things are much quieter and calmer once people settle down to sleep.
    Hope you have fun. We’re getting ready to hook for next year again.
    Best wishes Marnie

    • Thanks for this. Loads of good advice here – I’m really going to check out the support pants. I’ve ordered some swimsuits from Next and Debenhams to decide which one I want to keep in the next few days. I seriously can’t wait now!!! I will share all my pictures when I get back – thanks Marnie xx

  2. There’s dairy in a lot of things here in the US. As long as you’re up front with being lactose intolerant people should be pretty accommodating.

    The best thing you can do about the butter beer is ask what’s in it when you go. I looked at some recipes online and it looks like it does have butter or cream in it.

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