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Uh Oh

I didn’t always have IBS. No, that was an added bonus later in life. I HAVE always had distrust, disdain and a general feeling of disgust in regards to public restrooms. What a cruel irony that I would develop IBS.

Public bathrooms have grossed me out for as long as I can remember. Even back in grade school, I would wait until I was home to use the restroom, preferring to hold it all day rather than face the horrors of the school potty. On very rare occasions I would be brave enough to go “#1” if it was absolutely necessary, but NEVER, and I mean NEVER “#2”. But that was then; BMI (before multiple illnesses).

My attitude about public bathrooms hasn’t changed. I still try to avoid them at all costs, but sometimes….

I’m sure many of you plot out either the miles or time in between acceptable and accessible bathrooms. I’m sure many of you have had that “uh oh” moment. That moment when your stomach makes some supernatural noise, something between the howl of a werewolf and the growl of a chupacabra. That moment when it feels like everything in your body has taken the down elevator at warp speed. That moment when both your butthole and heart clench in panic and/or terror of what’s to come. The moment of no surrender or no retreat. It’s the very last chance your body gives you to find a restroom – PRONTO. All bets are off beyond this point.

This is why you need to know your bacon to coffee ratio (how many pieces of bacon or cups of coffee are too much vs how many can be combined before trigger point). This is why you need to know what your median functional stress level is. (How much stress can you handle and still perform normal daily functions comfortably/uninterrupted). This is why you take preventative measures and have rescue plans in place too.

But despite best laid plans, regardless of how carefully you avoided trigger food/combos, and even though you’ve meditated yourself into ultimate Zen, IBS has engaged; zero to warp speed. You do not have time to pass Go or collect $200. Your mission is to find a bathroom before…”uh oh” becomes “it’s too late”

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


  • Chris Hall moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi, @heddyt – thanks so much for sharing your story. Your experience definitely resonates with this community! When it’s time to get to the bathroom… IT”S TIME! Reading your story made me think of this article that I thought you might appreciate: We really appreciate your candor in this story! Thanks again for sharing it. – Chris, Team Member

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