A woman in a jumpsuit covered in paint spatters leans against a wall in an elevator taking deep breaths as the elevator descends floors

Renovating An Apartment While Dealing With IBS

It's a blessing for sure to be able to renovate a home. In my case, my boyfriend and I are renovating our apartment, and although, thankfully, even with things going relatively smoothly, stress is still a factor, and my IBS gets affected.

Good stress vs bad stress with IBS

I feel like there can be good stress and bad stress. Not all stress has to be negative. I think if you are perhaps doing something exciting and new, this can count as stress and erupt symptoms. Anything high adrenaline as well. For example, riding a rollercoaster is fun, but you may have IBS symptoms afterward due to adrenaline pumping hard—this has happened to me before. So in, the case of renovating my apartment has been a thrilling process, but it adds stress to my gut, and I get IBS symptoms.

To make matters more interesting, the entire apartment is gutted at the moment. There is power but no sinks, no toilet. Nothing. The unit is on the 17th floor. So what must I do if I am in the apartment and suddenly get the urge to go? I have to run out the door, down the hallway to the elevator, wait for an elevator to arrive, ride it down to the mezzanine floor and bolt to a public bathroom on that level.

Support in the chaos of apartment renovations

Knowing there is no toilet in the unit is hard for me to navigate. I always have it in the back of my head, and it is never fun to bolt out of a conversation with a cabinet maker or electrician because I have to poop, and it's already happened. Twice now.

I am blessed to have my amazing boyfriend for support, but it can be frustrating not to be able to immerse myself at the moment and make decisions fully. There are usually pauses where I have to excuse myself.

So what solutions can I come up with to help with this? Well, it is an option to have a portable toilet in the unit for me to use. However, I'm just not comfortable with this because there are so many contractors around working. And, of course, all men. So it's more than awkward if I disappear for 30 minutes and stink up the bathroom when work has to be done in the said bathroom—ugh, you get the point.

Tips for managing IBS during renovations

At the moment, I am just stuck dealing with the situation in the following ways:

Use the restroom before entering the unit

I now use the restroom on the bottom floor before I ride the elevator to my unit. This helps me remain calm and feel less anxious.

Eat safe foods the day of

I made the mistake of having Mexican food for lunch before I made a trip to the unit. I had to bolt out in the middle of a meeting with a contractor to use the restroom. I was in the bathroom for about 40 minutes. I'll never do that again.

Be prepared with an emergency kit

I always have extra underwear, wipes, pads, and Poo Pouri spray in my purse. This is in case I do have a minor accident.

How about you? Can you relate to this situation? Any tips on how to manage? Share below. We love to hear from you.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.