Not Able to Stop To Use The Bathroom

Before this new “normal,” started in the middle of March, it seemed like businesses were thriving. Many stores were open, and people would go about their normal business. I really liked when everything was open.

There was always a place to stop to use the bathroom. So if I was heading out, I didn’t really have to think about where to stop, since my options were endless.

Stopping to use the bathroom when driving

I remember when my Crohn’s was really out of control, it was right around when we would go to the beach for vacation. Prior to my Crohn’s, my family and I would take the quickest way to the shore.

We would take the Atlantic City Expressway to the Garden State Parkway. It was a high-speed highway that got us door to door in less than two hours. Back then I could make it a whole trip without stopping to go to the bathroom.

The summer of 2007 was a bit different. I couldn’t go one hour without having to stop for the bathroom. So my family and I had to come up with a plan.

We had to find a route that had numerous places to stop. We figured we’d take route 73 to route 30. This was a local route otherwise known as “The old way to the shore.” It went through every “pine barren” town in New Jersey and had tons of traffic lights. 

It also had tons of places to stop along the way. We knew this would be a longer route, but it was the only thing we could do.

Public bathrooms are now closed because of COVID-19

As my Crohn’s became under control, we went back to using the faster way to get to the shore. Now with coronavirus, many places are closed to the public.

I would always run into McDonald’s to use the bathroom or Dunkin Donuts. They are both open for drive-through only. So in the last few months, it has been very difficult traveling in and around Philadelphia.

Even as early as yesterday, I went to help my father out with some errands. I had to stop to use the bathroom. We were pretty far from his apartment, so we had to figure out what to do.

I realized that we were not far from one of my doctor’s offices. This would be a last-ditch effort, but it was better than being uncomfortable. She had an office in a big office building.

I knew there were bathrooms in the hallways on the 2nd floor. I ran in, did my business, and left. I expressed my frustration with my dad. He understood and agreed with me.

Needing a bathroom when traveling with Crohn's or UC

They need to start opening businesses (with safety protocols set in place). It makes traveling for people with IBD easier. You don’t realize how much you miss something such as “open stores,” until you don’t have them at all.

For now, I will be spending my days close to my house, where I am safe. It is here that the bathroom never leaves or is not occupied. Better days are to come!

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