When You Run Out of Toilet Paper with IBD

The unthinkable happened to me this morning as I rocked my son while trying to block out the gnawing pains in my stomach that kept waking me up. I knew once he burped I was going to need to make a mad dash to the bathroom.

Realizing that there is no more toilet paper in the bathroom

To my dismay, I realized our bathroom had no toilet paper...So I went to the main one... maybe one-third of a roll left... to last me 10-plus hours. I told my husband— he checked all the spots in the house we’ve kept supplies in the past. Nothing.

In my nearly 12 years battling Crohn’s disease I’ve known better and always stocked up even when I knew I had enough rolls on hand. In the past, this wouldn’t be much of a problem...but with a son that’s almost four months old and balancing working from home while he naps, running to the store isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The feeling when there is no toilet paper in a public bathroom

It reminds me of that feeling when you’re out in public and have already gone and go to grab toilet paper... and there’s nothing. You really don’t realize how much you depend on this stuff until you really need it!

The situation while unfortunate obviously isn’t the end of the world but just goes to show how wrapped up I am in taking care of my baby and my family and trying to juggle it all while doing my best to keep my disease symptoms at bay. It’s almost like we all take the comfort that soft white paper brings for granted!

Learning from experiences along the way with Crohn's

My back up plan for the day may be baby wipes... but hey, that’s better than nothing!

When you’re battling inflammatory bowel disease each experience, hiccup in the journey, and flare-up is a learning experience. How I feel today will be a constant reminder each time I’m at the store... always remember the toilet paper!

It’s the same with the food you eat every day... trial and error. The past couple of days, I made the mistake of treating myself to a Skinny Iced Caramel Macchiato. I knew what the consequences would be, but I wanted it anyway. It can be difficult to have self-control when you crave something or just want to be like everyone else.

Different experiences and stresses because of Crohn's disease

There are moments throughout our disease journeys that a light bulb goes off and we learn. We see how far the pain can push us until we know we can’t take it on anymore.

We experience the highs and lows and the constant worry about what the next hour or day will bring. We make plans in hopes of feeling good that day and not needing to hide the pain behind a fake smile. It’s almost more exhausting putting on a façade of feeling well, but we do it anyway because we don’t want others to give us sympathy or harp on the fact that we’re different on the inside.

So this is why running out of toilet paper while dealing with that constant inner dialogue and stress of what’s ahead is more than just a hassle. It just adds insult to injury and is a reminder that unlike most people, one-third of a toilet paper roll isn’t going to cut it for a day.

There are moments throughout our disease journeys that a light bulb goes off and we learn.

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