A woman running after her pants through a public restroom.

"No Pants Day"? That Could Be a Problem with Ulcerative Colitis

Are you ready to drop your drawers? Kick your knickers to the curb? Could you parade around in panties at the workplace?

For the adventurous types, "No Pants Day" is the opportunity to do just that! Held on May 1, “No Pants Day” is the unofficial holiday that calls for folks to go about their business sans pants. Apparently, this annual event occurs in various countries. What started as a comedic stunt with university students has since branched out beyond college campuses.

So, I wonder...

Could I ever walk around acting as if not wearing pants is normal behavior? For those struggling with ulcerative colitis, the answer is a hard “no.”

Pants are NEVER optional with UC

If there’s one thing I know for certain about living with UC, it’s that I could NEVER go without pants. As a matter of fact, I keep a spare pair of pants and underwear at my workplace. Yes, it’s true.

Let me offer some advice for newly diagnosed colitis patients: Learn to stash an extra pair of slacks and undergarments at the office.

A dirty secret of mine explains why.

When ulcerative colitis strikes

Early into my teaching career, the stress of juggling teenagers was too much for this UC sufferer. Being contained within four walls of a classroom with a limited bell schedule is not good for one who needs immediate restroom access.

One day after lunch, I was teaching away when suddenly the PUNCH and BANG of my cranky colon fired up. It signaled my brain that I needed to get to the teachers’ lounge... STAT.

Sweat beads popped out on my forehead.

What’s a teacher to do? We aren’t supposed to leave students unattended in the classroom. But I needed the bathroom.

Grabbing a sheet of paper from my desk and also my phone, I choked out, “Umm... I need to make a copy! Sit still!” Then I darted out the room.

My colitis crisis: a tale of pants perished

As I tapped—tapped—tapped my high-heeled feet towards the lounge, I passed a colleague and gushed, “PLEASE check my students!!” No time existed for any other explanation.

Sadly, I had taken too much time with this course of action. Like the scene out of the movie Bridesmaids, I didn’t make it in time.

My UC started its torturous onslaught before I got to the privy. I couldn’t stop the destruction to my selected work attire. Underwear and pants... ruined.

What was I to do? Stay in the restroom all day and pray some teacher covered my classes? Nope. That wasn’t an option.

Spare pants and a good friend

Thankfully, I had grabbed my phone. Back in those days, it was an old flip phone; nevertheless, it was a means of communication.

“S.O.S. I had an accident,” I texted my good friend. Her classroom happened to be located next door. In between classes, she answered my emergency signal.

Standing outside the restroom door, she whispered, “What can I do to help?”

“I need another pair of pants,” I whimpered.

“Ok. I’ve got ya back — umm, I mean, I can help.”

Thankfully, she lived close to school and was able to jet home to grab me a pair of her pants.

A colitis staple: the spare pair

Since then, this teacher learned a lesson: Keep a spare pair in a file cabinet drawer.

Learn from the wise. “No Pants Day” can never occur for those suffering from IBD. Not making it to a needed restroom could spell disaster and embarrassment in the workplace, or while riding public transportation, or... well, just use your imagination.

I think this is one “holiday” I’ll skip.

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