Unfortunately most of us don’t have the means to have our very own private bathroom. That means we must share. Sharing a bathroom with other people when you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be stressful, frustrating, and anxiety provoking. And young people, especially those in college, often have to share a bathroom with three or more other people -- sometimes at the same time.
Here, ways you can help yourself and your bathroommates co-exist more peacefully.
1. Tell Your Roommates You Have IBD
You must also explain that you will need to use the facilities often –- and sometimes in a hurry. They may need to vacate the bathroom on occasion, at a moment’s notice.
2. Tell Your Roommates When You’re FlaringIf you think you’re going to end up spending the night huddled on the floor next to the toilet, let everyone in the house know. Most healthy adults will even have to do this on occasion because of the stomach flu or food poisoning. In time, you may be the one helping them when they’re sick.
3. Hang an Opaque Shower Curtain If your roommates don’t mind, you can come in and use the toilet if they are in the shower. Hanging a shower curtain that you can't see through adds a layer of privacy back into the situation. This works well even if you’re just sharing a bathroom with your significant other.
4. Keep the Bathroom Clean
If you have explosive diarrhea, you may make a mess. Cleaning up
may be hard for you to do when you feel sick, but make the effort whenever possible. Even if it’s just a promise to your roommates that you’ll clean the bathroom
when you feel a bit better (maybe the next day).
5. Keep the Bathroom Smelling Fresh
Candles, sprays, automatic air fresheners or gels
-- take your pick. But use some kind of air freshener if you need it.
6. Keep the Bathroom Well-stocked with Paper If you have IBD, you’re going to use more toilet paper than other people. Keep a fresh roll close to the commode at all times.
7. Install a Bathroom Fan In cases of temporary housing, such as dorms, this is not going to be possible. However, this may be an option in apartments, condos, or houses (even rentals). It really does help move out odors and mask noise. (Oh, and it’s good for blasting out humidity after a shower, too.)
8. Be ConsiderateYou’ll want to be considerate of your roommates whenever you can and give them their time and privacy in the bathroom, too. Of course you should expect the same consideration from them.