Commuting with IBD
I commute to work on a train. 🚃 Being similar to a subway, there are no restrooms on the train and many of the stations don’t have public restroom access. When I was in a flare last year, I was so afraid to leave the house to go to work. I was afraid I wouldn’t find a seat when I was tired or a bathroom when I needed to go “right now!” 😳
I am not the type of person to let my IBD get in the way of what I need to do, so I knew staying at home wouldn’t always be an option. I did let my boss know about my flare and she let me work from home for most of the week but there were just some meetings that required me to be there in person.
So I did what any person with urgent bathroom needs does, I planned. I mapped out my route to work. I identified all the restrooms in the stations along the way and took a Saturday to get out at several stops where no bathrooms were available to find the closest restaurant, hotel, or store that had facilities I could use. In the end, I timed each stop to the minute and found the most likely stops to have accessible, clean and unoccupied restrooms. I left after rush hour so if I needed to stop I would have less people to wait for in the restroom line and came home slightly earlier. I also had a better chance this way to get a seat when I needed one. I knew how long it would take for me to leave a station find a public restroom and return and timed both my stops and commute accordingly so I would still make my meetings on time. Lastly, I always had my Crohn’s and Colitis “I can’t wait card” handy if I needed to persuade someone to let me use the restroom first. I will say I got very comfortable telling people it was better to let me use the restaurant bathroom than clean up my mess in the lobby. 💩
It took planning and effort but it in the long run really paid off. I am not in a flare anymore but now I am so much more comfortable riding the train to work. I know where to stop, how long I have to wait, and I don’t have to be worried all the time not knowing where I can find a restroom. It’s lowered my anxiety significantly and I have less fears on the way to work. It’s really helped me maintain commuting in a way that works for my body and I actually get to enjoy my commute rather than dislike it. 💜