I was lucky enough to spend a little time with two of our community members and FAP patients, Jenny Jones (lifesapolyp.blogspot.com/) and Tracy Whitt, to learn how they manage their FAP while still enjoying the summer months. My interview with Jenny is below, and you can find my interview with Tracy here.
Dakota: Jenny, how do you handle summer activities?
Jenny: Everything is done a bit differently and you have to take into consideration the location of the bathrooms. I usually plan when and what I eat. Also, I take medicine to help reduce the need for a bathroom if I am doing an activity like camping or canoeing.
Dakota: What is your favorite summer activity?
Jenny: I like to go out with my friends and do something in nature, like going to the lake. I find it less stressful because of the bathroom situation.
Dakota: Do you have any advice w hen it comes to summer activities?
Jenny: Having FAP doesn’t restrict your activities…it just makes it a bit harder. Just modify so it works for you. There are so many products out there like the stomach guards and belts that you can use during your activities.
Dakota: How do you handle vacationing?
Jenny: Traveling within the US is much easier. International traveling is more of a concern because of lack of public restrooms, so medication is needed. (More advice on traveling with FAP here.)
Dakota: How do you handle activities that involve food, like BBQs and picnics?
Jenny: If I am concerned with the food that is being offered due to risk of an upset stomach, I would bring my own. I avoid all ethnic foods. My favorite snacks are tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers. But everyone is different when it comes to which foods they can and cannot eat.
Dakota: How do you handle the dehydration challenge?
Jenny: I have found that V8 provides more electrolytes than Gatorade. I also use Pedialyte.
Dakota: How do you handle any visible scars w hen wearing a bathing suit?
Jenny: In the past, I use to wear a one piece or a bathing suit with a skirt to hide my abdomen. Or I would use rolled up toilet paper to cover up the stoma. Now, I don’t care about people seeing my scars. I am proud of my scars. I am very upfront with people if they ask.
Dakota: Any final thoughts or comment to share?
Jenny: Having FAP doesn’t stop life…you just have to change and adapt. You just need to find a new path.