Advice for My Friends

Apparently I am the go-to person when it comes to stomach issues and bathroom suggestions. Since I have had Crohn’s since November of 2006, I have used my fair share of bathrooms in a variety of different places. On the same note, I have gotten a lot of phone calls from my friends asking me what they should take based on their current stomach problems. Here are some examples.

Calls from friends in the middle of the night

To be fair, I will not disclose the real names of my friends, and this article is to highlight how I have helped them, not to make fun of them!

I have received a lot of phone calls from my friends in the middle of the night. They are awaken by the fact that they are in extreme stomach pains.  I usually am half asleep, but of course, I would do anything for my friends. I usually ask them what they have eaten in the last twenty-four hours. After hearing that the majority of it is spicy, or fried food, I tell them that a stomach coating medicine (Pepto-Bismol) is your best bet. Again, I am by no means a doctor and do not take that type of medicine. I do take a lot of medicine that slows down my bowel, and I do not recommend it for my friends. They don’t have inflammatory bowel disease and in result, if they do take this medicine, they probably wouldn’t be able to use the restroom for a week!

Questions about the closest restrooms

I receive this text or phone call about once or twice a month. As many of you know, I stop a lot while traveling to use the bathroom. Sometimes I have to use bathrooms that are very disgusting and not well kept, while others are like a shrine, and I feel bad for even using them. You know that saying, “If you got to go, you got to go!” My friends usually call or text me saying, “Richman, I am in XYZ  driving, and got to use the bathroom. Where do you recommend?" Usually, I have an answer right off the top of my head. I usually guide my friends to a large department store, and or mall. For the most part, they have clean bathrooms.

My friends usually follow up with me post-bathroom experience. I am probably telling you all way too much, but my buddies and I have a great and open relationship.  Also, my friends thank me for my help.

In summary, having Crohn’s isn’t so bad at times. I feel like I help my loved ones, even if it sounds silly. Keep in mind, EVERYBODY uses the bathroom; its only human. A lot of people are fearful of using restrooms outside the comfort of their own home. When you are a Crohn’s patient, you have to get past that phobia because most of the time you will need to use the bathroom outside your house. Be honest with your friends and loved ones.

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