I have a huge issue with going to the bathroom (#2) in public. I just can't do it, no matter how bad I have to go. We had locking 1 stall bathrooms at work and I could go there if needed. Now these bathrooms are out of order and will be for possibly years!! (they'd have to dig up the concrete floors along the whole lower area to fix them) Now I can't go at work at all! I've stayed home sick due to this somedays and don't have much sick time left (between IBS and Fibro) I don't know how to explain to my boss what's going on. He knows I have health issues, but I'm too worried about telling him why I really need these bathrooms fixed. I just can't make myself go in public. I tried a bunch of times but I get scared and tighten everything up.
On Monday afternoon I had to go home with the worst pain I've ever felt in my stomach. At first if felt like period cramps, then like an ovarian cyst, then it took over the whole right side of my stomach. I almost went to the ER it was so bad. I couldn't lay flat or stand up straight. I went to the gastro and he rushed me through because he was really overbooked. He gave me an antispasmodic not expaining anything about it. I looked it up though and talked to the pharmacist. It seems to be helping after taking it for two days, but I don't know how long to take it (I'll be calling the gastro tomorrow about that) I just want this to never happen again, I'm now worried it'll happen again at work. It doesn't feel like gas pain and going to the bathroom during it (D and C both) doesn't help the pain. Is this just part of IBS? I'm wondering because for the fibro I take pain killers and get heartburn from the one and don't want it to turn into colon pain as well.
I completely understand your situation. For those of us with IBS, public bathrooms are like a descent into hell, filled with terror and horror. It's been years since I've had to deal with this issue because I have made it my life's mission to only work in environments where I can have complete bathroom privacy. That takes care of the fear of public spectacle. But there is also the matter of explaining why I spend so much time in the loo. You mentioned you were afraid to speak with your boss about this issue. I highly recommend that you do. I've been living with IBS for 20 years and for the first 15, I tried to keep it a secret because of the embarrassment factor. As a result, I had countless experiences like the one you mentioned, where I "held it" or tried to prevent gas from passing only to end up in the most excruciating pain I've ever known. And yes, when you let the gas and stool back up because you won't evacuate when you should, not only does the pain get worse, but it won't stop even after you've finally gone. You are hurting yourself by trying to keep this a secret.
Everyone I work with, and all my friends know about my health condition. I am no longer embarrassed because I realize it's not my fault and I am trying to do the best I can with a miserable situation. I have yet to encounter a single person who didn't understand. I don't expect anyone who hasn't suffered with this to really "get" how debilitating it is, but then they don't really need to understand completely. If you tell someone sincerely about your specific needs, I think you may be suprised by the support you get.
Maybe your boss knows of another restroom you can use where you work. Perhaps there is a more private area that you don't currently have access to. If you make it clear that you need this privacy and that without it, your health is adversely effected to the point where you must call out sick, they should be willing to work with you.
Don't be embarrassed! Over 20% of the population suffers with IBS. You probably have co-workers who are going through the same thing. Who knows, maybe even your boss has it! Just be honest and tell the truth.