The Fan in the Bathroom: A Crohn's Savior!

Being a Crohn’s patient, and having to use the bathroom numerous times a day, I am always checking out bathrooms. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I go to somebody’s house, and they do not have a fan in their bathroom. The ceiling fan is an essential part to my privacy. I do judge a bathroom based on “fan,” or no “fan,” and if they have a fan, how powerful that fan is.

When walking into a guest bathroom, I immediately check to make sure that there is a fan in the bathroom.

If there is not a fan in the bathroom, I automatically start to get nervous. “What happens if the guests can hear me?” “Everybody knows what I am doing.” A lot of times, when I use the bathroom, lots of air comes out, causing a lot of noise. I hate when that happens, and I don’t like it even more when I know people can hear it!

But if there is a strong fan running in the bathroom, I am in heaven! All my anxiety quickly goes away. I know (in my head), that nobody can hear me using the bathroom, and things are good! I asked my friends who do not have Crohn’s or any other intestinal issues, if they experience the same thought process. It was interesting to hear that they too think about the same type of things when entering a guest bathroom.

Believe it or not, when I went to purchase my new apartment, that was one of the things on the “must need” list.

I wanted a bathroom that had a loud, powerful fan. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own  apartment. I also wanted my friends and family to feel comfortable when using the rest room in my own dwelling.

There’s another side to this story though. When I met my girlfriend, and was not comfortable using her bathroom (for obvious reasons), I would run her bathroom fan all the time. One day, she asked me how come I run the fan, then turn it off, then turn it back on? She told me that she only used the fan when she showered, as it would get rid of the steam. When I told her the reasons, she giggled and said to me. “Paul, I don’t care what I hear, I will always love you!” She did go on to say that her electric bill soared because I was constantly running the fan.

Like most Crohn’s patients, we are very self-conscious in regards to what people hear and not hear from the bathroom. In reality, nobody really pays that close attention to somebody else’s business, and if they did, then that is just weird. But it is just the everyday battle that we have to face. I can tell myself a million times that nobody is paying attention to what I am doing in the bathroom, but it will always be on my mind.

So my advice: Run the fan! Do what makes you feel comfortable, even if it sounds silly. It’s the little battles that count!

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