Travelling daily to work with Crohn's......How?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
   Hey guys. Have another situation. Its good and bad. I am about to get promoted at work. More money, more vacay, etc. Great right? I'm so nervous about it though and wondering if I should accept or not.
   I currently walk to my job. Literally 15 minutes. My new position will be in the city in which I would have to take a 40 min subway ride each way. Now I know thats not a big deal cause I did it for 4 years going to school, but I did not have Crohn's then.
   Basically, I would say my Crohn's is under control now but I can't stop thinking about the worst. My gut is the most sensitive in the morning like most of us and there are no toilets on the subway. But who would wanna use them anyway?
   What if I go into a flare like last summer where I would up to 20 times a day? I am controlled now, about 2 BM's a day but that can change in the blink of an eye. What then? I dont know what to do.
   Advice please.......

artist guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
well??????? I guess if it was me I would try to make sure I get up early enough in the a.m. to make sure i go enough(bathroom) eat lightly in the a.m. before you go to work, your life in the morning will evolve around that, it would for me

artist guy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4363
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I need to get up two hours before I even get in the shower and get started so I can go back and forth to the bathroom and I consider myself in remission. You need to decide how important this job is to you and weigh it against stress levels. If you are in a flare and going 20 times a day, you will probably need some time off to get it under control. Now that you know your diagnosis and your body, hopefully you can intervene before it ever gets that bad again. Good luck with your decision. You need to be realistic and decide what is best for you overall.
51 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I commute an hour and 45 minutes each way every day to get to my job (also in NYC). I've tried just about every mode of transportation there is in order to find the one that works for me (I drive to Jersey City and take a 6 minute ferry ride to downtown).

Do you have any other alternatives besides the subway, like maybe taking a bus? It will probably take you longer, but if the route is along regular city streets, at least you can hop off and run into a McDonalds or Starbucks to use the bathroom if the urge hits you. You may still have anxiety about it (I know I still do), but it might not be as bad as taking the subway.

I hope that helps, and good luck with making this decision.
28 year-old female
Dx with Crohn's in 2007, although my issues have been lifelong.
Previous medications: Pentasa, Keflex, Asacol, Lialda, and Entocort
Currently on: Prednisone, probiotic supplement, multivitamins, store-brand OTC Zyrtec and Nasonex (for allergies)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 4/2/2010 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with previous posters...getting up early enough to make sure you have time to use the bathroom before leaving will probably make things a little easier. A very light breakfast or even waiting until to get to work to eat could help too.

Congrats on your new job and good luck finding a solution that works for you!
Dx: Crohn's in 2007 (after 10 yrs of symptoms)
Laporoscopy 10/07, Pentasa, Entocort, Prednisone (not working)
6mp - Nov/07-Nov/08 (worked great, but went off the meds in hopes of conceiving-no luck)
Remission until 2/10...Major Flare 3/10
Meds:Prednisone taper and back on the 6mp, Vit.D, Culturelle, Folic Acid, Pre-Natal Vitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 4/2/2010 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Find a way to do it otherwise the DD wins. I have faced what you are facing now on a couple of occasions in my career and though I have had a couple of accidents and too many close calls to count - I wouldn't change it because "not doing it" is more painful to your psyche. As others have suggested; get up earlier, empty yourself out, avoid food, take some immodium or loperamide, know your route of travel and all of its emergency stops, carry a quick change kit if need be and just do it. There will be an accident or two along the way but you can and will overcome it. Flares come and go.....regrets linger. Good luck with your decision.
  • CD dx '86. Re-section '93. Dx Crohn's Colitis '98.
  • Participation in Remicade trials (fistulae) late 90's.
  • Manifestations of fissures, fistula, scleritis, polyarthralgia and erythema nodosum.
  • Presently on Imuran, Cipro, Flagyl
  • Remicade (2nd attempt - after 10 yrs - failed).  
  • Fistulotomy (Oct 2009) - failed miserably - now healing resistant wound tract (4+ months)
  • Humira (March 2010)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 4/2/2010 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't have much to add, but I have used Depends at times to keep my anxiety down. Last summer we took my daughter to Disneyland and I was terrified of not getting to a bathroom / there being a long line, whatever. So, I wore a Depend just in case. I know it isn't a complete solution, because it's not like you can sit in a dirty Depends for 40 minutes.

One thing I always remind myself... As long as I don't stand too close to anyone too long, nobody knows when I've had an accident unless I tell them. So I've smiled and said hello to people on my way to clean up. And, I've done the 2 hours early thing for a long while just to get my daughter off to school.

This disease is so difficult in so many ways. Good luck with the decision, the new job and congrats on a job well done to deserve the promotion!
1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia, MTX . Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 4/2/2010 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
First, congrats on the promotion!!! Don't let this disease take away the satisfaction and excitement of a promotion, especially when the economy is so bad. Good for you!

Now, on to the bad - yes, you may have a bad flare up. In that case, I highly recommend taking advantage of your sick days, and taking time off work to give your body the best change for a speedy recovery. The other thing to consider is whether you can work from home if you have some bad days, or shift your work hours so you can have a later start to your day. It seems like most people with crohn's have problems late at night and in the morning. So, perhaps, shifting your schedule say from 11-7, would be acceptable? Or even better, work from home on those days when you are having problems. I hope your job will permit this flexibility.

If not, I'd recommend what the other posters have already said - have a light dinner, eat very minimally in the am, wear "street" clothes (clothes you don't mind getting soiled, and that won't show soiling very easily), wear depends under the clothes, and carry clean up wipes, and a change of clothes with you. If you can take a bus or a car, it may be easier to duck into a shop to use the facilities. But other than that, perhaps if you are renting a place, you can move closer to where your new job will be when your lease expires.

I have a friend, who has a home in New Jersey, but works in NYC. He slums it in NYC living in an apartment that he rents with a bunch of friends, and goes home to New Jersey on weekends. If you have some friends who live close to work, and you are in a flare, perhaps you can share - though I know that's far from optimal. Another option maybe an extended stay hotel close to work that you can rent if you are having problems? I don't know which city you are in, so I don't know how much of an expense that'll be.

But there are ways to deal with it, if it happens. Worst, you have to take FMLA and just recover. So, don't let the disease bring down your excitement of this promotion! Enjoy the fruits of your hard work, pat yourself on the back, give yourself some retail therapy, go do something fun, and bask in it! I'm so excited for you!

Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Crohn's in Remission since June 2008
C-diff recurrence Sep 2009
Reactive Arthritis Nov 2009
Currently c-diff free
Osteopenia of spine (Mar 2010)
Canasa (1gm), Lialda (4.8 gms), Remicade (8 weeks)
Currently In Remission

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 4/2/2010 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
mornings suck. i wake up an hour and a half before i have to leave the house, don't eat but do have a glass of water which usually helps me go to the bathroom...then into the truck for the 1/2 hour drive to the office. i know every bathroom on the way (which office buildings are locked etc.) i even keep a few of the bathroom lock codes on my phone haha. probably 30-40% of the time i have to pull off the highway real quick and hit one of my bathroom stops. personally i could not take a job where i had to ride a train or carpool...good luck with your decision...terrible we all have to make decisions like this based on our stupid bowels!!!!!
35 year old male living in AZ.  Diagnosed with Crohns at age of 15.
Currently tapering prednisone (15 mgs) and I've been on 6_MP for 2 months.
In the middle of a bad flare now for 6 months...lost almost 30 lbs.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 4/3/2010 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your advice and support. I definitely am excited, but it droned out with the anxiety and nervousness that came with it. I'm gonna go for it and just let it play out. Thank you all.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/3/2010 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I have about a hour commute in the mornings. My best advice to you is not to eat until you get to work. That works best for me. That way I don't have any food in there causing any issues. I eat when I get to work, and luckily I have the bathroom right there if I need it. Good luck with your new job!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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