When lupus prevents traveling, I have a ‘Bismott Moment’

A unique refreshment that is a temporary cure for wanderlust

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by Candace J. Semien |

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Since 1986, Delta airlines has consistently served Biscoff cookies during flights. According to Simple Flying, the airline serves about 85 million cookies a year.

If you’ve taken to the skies in the last decade, you’ve probably had a pack or two (or four) of these oblong, cinnamon-ginger shortbread discs, which have been served by nearly all of the major airlines at one point or another.

I was today years old when I learned that “Biscoff” is a portmanteau of the words “biscuit” and “coffee.” Though, truth be told, Biscoffs are a sweet pleasure with any drink and on any flight.

As a direct result of me traveling with an unpredictably violent companion — lupus — my drink of choice is always Mott’s tomato juice, served in a little, clear airline cup without ice. The combination became my consistent in-flight snack. Biscoff and Mott’s: Bismott! 

As my own creation, “Bismott” is a steadfast, healthy refreshment, not only because of the deliciousness of the cookie, but also because I believe the ginger and cinnamon temper a body prone to inflammation. And Mott’s tomato juice floods the body with nutrients that are stripped away simply by walking through the airport and breathing other people’s toxic air.

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Without fail, after I’ve enjoyed my Bismott, I’ve had less fatigue, no nausea, no headache, no pain, and less joint locking while traveling.

It’s been eight months since I’ve enjoyed a flight. Eight long, desolate months of no piercing through the clouds. No seeing God’s magnificent tapestry. No defying gravity. No escaping to co-create clients’ visions. No venturing to explore new friendships. No jumping on hotel beds. No late nights tucked into bed with Biscoffs, lemonade, and a heating pad. No new books with that magical, inked paper scent. In fact, there hasn’t been one travel perk.

Why? Because chronic diseases reign. And we are often forced to bow down and cower to the Wolf that is lupus and its cronies.

In all truthfulness, nothing compares to being grounded under an anvil of pain and chained to infusions and IVs while harboring a soul that’s screaming to travel.

I want to fly. I want to overprepare, connect with lupus resources in another state, secure medical supervision, pack lightly, and take to the sky! But the fear of catching and not recovering from the flu or COVID-19 while traveling is enough to make me stay put.

To soothe the gnawing ache of being indefinitely grounded, I pulled out a small glass, popped open a can of cold V8, poured it like a well-trained flight attendant, closed my eyes, took a deep sniff, and tasted every morsel of tomato and veggies.

Its flavor was more nostalgic than I had expected.

For months afterward, the V8 became an elixir, giving me a boost of nutrients and ushering in memories of travels — even prompting desires for new destinations across the world. Thick, tomato-y, and cold in a small, clear glass without ice.

Then, my mother walked in with hummus and pretzels (which are infusion snacks) and four sleeves of Biscoff. I was so ready for this treat. Immensely ready! And I ate a dozen or so crumbly snacks before stopping to find a can of tomato juice in the back of the fridge. My taste buds were triggered beyond belief.

I did a little celebration shake and laughed at the joy of the moment. Even though I couldn’t travel, and lupus had disabled most of my movement, I still had my own hygge.

I took the time — and still take the time — to reset flares with a “Bismott Moment.”

A slow sip.

Crunch on sweet.

Big tomato-y gulp.

Cinnamon spicy chump chump.

Savoring all flavor.

Licking lips.

Bismott and me, back together lol.

Smiling, I imagine the plane taking off while I celebrate.

Celebrate with me.

Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.


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