Elin Wahlstedt is from Sweden. Here she shares the story of how she discovered she has a rare medical condition that makes her dependent on TPN.
I don’t travel much, mostly because it takes a lot of planning and work for a very short vacation. I have to arrange extra bags to be able to bring all my medication (both pills and the TPN), supplies, pumps and so on. And let me tell you, it really isn’t easy to get all those litres of TPN through the security. I need written permission from my doctor and even with that they’re not really happy about it. I’m too scared to check in the bag with the TPN because there is a risk that it may get lost and if that happens, I have to go home again. If this isn’t enough I can’t bring my actual TPN with me because it has to be cold at all times, so I have to bring a different type that hasn’t got all the nutrition I need which makes me extremely tired.
So, traveling is a pain.
But this time I decided to travel without my TPN. I was away for three nights and that’s a long time for me to be without my TPN, especially when I am active during the days. I had to eat all the time and drink a lot but it actually went very well.
I had such a great time with my best friends! We went shopping, I went to a concert and we just really enjoyed ourselves. Obviously I was really tired by the third day but it wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be.
Being able to travel without my TPN is a huge freedom for me. Suddenly I can do things that I never thought I’d be able to do.
I feel like I keep breaking these boundaries that have been put up around me and I’m doing things I’ve been told I could never do, it feels amazing!
A lot of the time I compare myself to my friends. Friends who are completely healthy and therefore aren’t the ones I should compare myself to. But I do. I see that they can travel to Africa for several months and work with wild animals. I see that they can go to America and study film. I see that they do all the amazing things I feel so sad that I can’t. But I need to stop comparing myself to them and start comparing myself to myself. Today I am doing so many things I thought I would never be able to do. I’ve graduated high school, I’ve learned to prepare my own TPN, I’ve started studying to be nurse and today I can go away for a weekend. These are all things that I never thought would happen, things that no one thought would happen.
Every day I’m breaking the boundaries and everyday I feel so grateful.
Always speak to you healthcare professional for advice before travelling or making any amendments to your regime.