Katie - sorry to hear you're having trouble at work. Yes I agree public bathrooms are not ideal. I have a mind trick that seems to work for me, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and pretend I am at home, in my favorite bathroom. Does it work? Crazy as it sounds, it does - at least half the time. I also pretend my gut is not heaving and rolling and the bm's keep coming. I almost force myself to relax my gut area and concentrate on feeling better. Again, does it work - this one is hard to pull off. You can't stop the physical aspects of IBS with a mental attitude but it does seem to calm my nerves.
I've done this so many times.
And also as crazy as this sounds, I prefer a public bathroom with many stalls as opposed to an individual one that someone would be knocking on all the time. I have to take my time when I'm messed up and there's no way I can leave a stall until I'm done (for that bm session).
I know how sick of it all you must feel. And to be only 24! I'm old enough to be your mom, you lose some of your embarrassment when you're older (I'm 53). Even if I let a fart rip, I figure, heck, I'm an old fart (LOL), who cares? I would probably feel differently if I were younger.
But I will share one thing with you - we often perceive other people noticing we're not feeling well or hear sounds from our stall and imagine all sorts of reactions. Truth be told, they're usually so wrapped up in their own world they hardly notice me! I'm sure others come in and leave, and hardly pay any attention if you're still in a stall. And if they say anything to you - shame on them. Until your GI tract rules your life, you have no idea what this does to a regular routine!
Wishing you better days.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening
All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!