I write this with a giant knock on the side of my wooden bunk bed. My stomach is feeling great. Or at least as great as anyone’s stomach would feel while eating foreign foods (pad thai everyday) and drinking on a regular basis. I would like to think it’s due to a combination of good medication and positive attitude. I’m not thinking about my stomach nearly as much as I did before the trip.
Most importantly, my humira is staying cold.
Every quality hostel in the world sells beer and water. They keep these items in a refrigerator. When I get to a hostel, I ask them if I can keep my medication in their fridge and my ice sheets in their freezer. Since I only use my humira once a week, it usually just sits in their fridge until I check out. On Fridays, I inject humira and methotrexate. Both injections only take a few minutes to complete before I get on with my day.
Travel days are the only time I have to focus on keeping the humira cold. I think the ice sheets will keep my meds at the proper temperature (between 2-8 degrees Celsius) for about eight hours. In the south, that was plenty of time to get from one island to the next. Some of my commutes, however, are far too long for the frozen ice sheets. My trek from Krabi to Bangkok involved a four hour bus ride to Surat Thani, a four hour wait at the train station, and a twelve hour overnight train ride to Bangkok. Before getting on that train, I stuffed zip lock bags full of ice into my humira lunchbox along with the thawing ice packs. The ice was melted by the time we got to our hostel in Bangkok, but the contents of the lunchbox were still pretty chilled. I don’t have a thermometer to constantly monitor the temperature of my lunchbox. I doubt it always stays exactly between 2-8 degrees, but I still think the humira is fine on those travel days.
My humira has not challenged me with the logistical issues that I expected to encounter prior to the trip. It really is a convenient drug for travelers, especially when other drugs require a hospital infusion once every couple of months. I’ll be sure to keep updating the Crohn’s Chronicles once I get to the lesser developed countries of Vietnam and Cambodia.