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Bathroomphobia

It was very hard to come up with a title for this article since I am not really sure that “bathroomphobia” is a real word. Then I thought that you can use it as an expression. For example, I have a phobia about bathrooms. But then I thought well, that didn’t make sense. I am clearly not afraid of the bathroom like a small kid would be when he or she flushed the toilet. So I think that it is only appropriate that this article be called what it is, but we can take this title and break it down so that you understand it.

The bathroom is my life

Since I have Crohn’s, the bathroom is my life. I spend about a good hour total in the bathroom each day. That’s a very long time! I have seen great bathrooms with strong fans that help cut out the noises that come out of our bodies. I have seen terrible bathrooms that don’t flush, and the sinks don’t work. I recently wrote an article that gave ratings about bathrooms. But I think that most of my fear lies with the same question: Will there be a bathroom readily available wherever I travel? It should be an automatic yes, but you would be surprised.

The panic when a bathroom is not available

I remember a few years back when I went down the shore with a few buddies. One friend’s parents owned a house in a small beach town. I have been there before, and the bathroom, although small and old, was suitable for my needs. When we went down there this one time, the toilet wasn’t working. I honestly thought that people were playing a cruel joke on me. It was true though; the bathroom was out of order! I went into an instant panic, and I, of course, had to use the bathroom. Where do I go? I jumped into my car and headed to a nearby casino because I know that they always have bathrooms. When I returned to the beach house, my friend’s dad was already talking him through how to fix the toilet. So things do happen, I just have a hard time dealing with crisis situations.

The daily bathroom struggle

When my wife and I travel, even if it is to a store, I always ask if there is going to be a bathroom. I know that the answer is always going to be yes, but I find it comforting that somebody tells me that there is one. The phobia really kicks into high gear when we travel somewhere new. The phobia also really kicks in when we travel to a place where we would be outside for a long period of time. For example, we just went to the Oklahoma City Zoo. I really wasn’t keen on the whole zoo idea, and I knew that there were bathrooms all over the zoo. But what happens if there are long lines? What happens if the bathrooms are not near where I am standing? It is a constant struggle that I work through each day. As always, I open the floor for suggestions!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • innerbanksmile
    4 months ago

    When there is a long line for the bathroom, I just
    show them my card from CCFA that says something like This person has a condition that needs to use the bathroom now. Thanks for understanding.
    I always make sure I know where the bathroom is
    at all times. I have severe crohn’s and go about 6-8 times a day.
    I know crohnies go into panic mode when there is no bathroom nearby. We love bathrooms. We need to write a book Called Where in the world is a

  • Amanda Osowski moderator
    4 months ago

    Paul,

    I so relate to this article! I agree with what Elizabeth and Julie said too – the fear is real, scoping is hugely important, and to be honest, I’ve just kind of accepted that the fear/anxiety is part of my life living with Crohn’s disease.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Amanda (team member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    4 months ago

    I can so relate to this! My biggest phobia is going to places with lots of people. For example, amusement parks, zoos, fairs, concerts etc. Just because I know for the most part there are lines and lines means more waiting for me or me having to ask to cut the line due to an emergency. Not fun, but you have to do what you have to do.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    4 months ago

    Not finding a bathroom is honestly a fear that only those with IBD can understand!

    I also scope out the bathroom scene when I am out, and highly value places (like grocery stores, restaurants, bars, etc.) that offer clean, spacious bathrooms.

    Traveling with the unknown of what the bathroom situation will be is also a point of anxiety, so I make sure not to eat anything that may upset my stomach just in case.

    Thank you for writing this and validating all of our “bathroomphobias”!

    –Julie (Team Member)

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