18 employees and one unisex bathroom--help!

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BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 3/27/2008 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My department at work is moving into a new space--actually a very old building--and there is only one bathroom available, one, for all of us. Not one with several actual toilets, I mean one toilet for approx 18 of us. Oh, yeah, the bathroom is located in an area where people will be sitting right outside in a waiting room. I don't think it could get any worse. Oh yeah, I could excuse myself to go to the building next to us, but then I will be announcing, "Hey everybody, I have to go to the bathroom--again!"
Dx Ulcerative Colitis 1999; IBS; GERD; CP: Asacol x3 x3/day, Rowasa, Proctofoam, Prilosec, Prozac, Endocet (as needed), multi vit, probiotic, fish oil, calcium 1200 mg./day, Prednisone (off/on, unfortunately).


barbl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 3/27/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Thats just wrong!
Dx'D in 1990. Remission 1991 - 1/2005
Both flares were in extremely stressful times in my life
Colonoscopy 10/2005 80% of Colon diseased, or as I like to say "Intestinely challenged"
*****9/2007 dumped my GI who I refer to as "Satan" New GI, new med TOTAL remission with in 2 weeks.
Colazal 9 capsules a day*****


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/27/2008 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
That totally sucks!!! I can imagine your anxiety over this issue...one bathroom for that many people seems cruel.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 3/27/2008 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Even if you didn't have UC that would totally suck!
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


bbc
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1580
   Posted 3/27/2008 9:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Can you transfer to another dept? Is this a temporary move or permanent?

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30078
   Posted 3/28/2008 12:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd be totally bent about it.

Is there another "private" bathroom YOU might be able to use?

Sucks for sure.

q
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 3/28/2008 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I was asked once at my old job to take a temporary position in a location with a similar kind of bathroom situation. I said I could do it only if I could have permission to use a private bathroom that I knew was in an area where I wasn't supposed to be. I could never have worked there without just knowing that there was a place I could "disappear" to without everyone noticing that I was hogging the bathroom for 20 minutes.

I would suggest that you bring this up to someone sympathetic at work... is there an HR department or an employee relations person? I'm not sure how big your company is, but someone must have authority to figure out what to do. I would describe your concern using the word "disability" or "health concern" -- no employer wants to be accused of discriminating against people with disabilities or medical issues.

I have a feeling that you are NOT the only person out of 18 who is worried about this. What's the name of that book -- Everybody Poops? I bet that if someone raises this issue publicly other people are going to jump on board. Even before I had UC, I hated having to share a bathroom with a lot of people.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.


Another UC wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 3/28/2008 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Geez Lucy whoever made that decision really wasn't thinking about the welfare of staff for sure. Regardless of the fact even if all 18 employees were all healthy!

It's tough enough when there is a bathroom with 2 or 3 stalls...but unisex to boot...not a nice thing to do to employees at all. This is unfortunate that you even have to engage in this dialogue and bring up such an obvious inconsideration at the workplace. It certainly puts you in an awkward but necessary position.

If not.....I hope you can transfer....or they can add another bathroom somehow.

Definitely see HR and use the right "buzz words" you are entitled as are the rest of the staff too. Regardless of the number of visits you need to make every day to the toilet then it gives you the additional stress of trying to hurry up in case someone else is waiting which we all know does not work. You need to be able to sit and take the time necessary plain and simple and not deal with anxiety too.

UC and the other types of IBD needs to become more and more out there for the public to develop a better understanding so people stop thinking it's just a temporary "D" type situation and "you'll get over it" mentality.

Good Luck.

61 yr old male~Colitis 1st diagnosed Jan '05-cleared up within a few wks. Flared again in May '06 (now UC) & hospitalized 5/07-currently heading towards a remission. Osteopena of spine from prednisone DX 8/07  Oct 07 feeling quite normal most days.  150mg Imuran  Zero mg prednisone   12 Asacol, Lidocaine Hydrochloride Jelly 2%,multi vitamin, iron 1X day, DanActive, chewable calcium, fiber capsule 1x day, Prilosec 20mg, enalapril 10mg, glipizide 5 mg, zocor 40 mg, baby aspirin, (Fentanyl pain patch 50mg 72 hrs  Morphine Sulf 15 mg twice daily)Cortifoam enema PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month


munchkindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted 3/28/2008 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, that would be awful! My house is small and has only 1 bathroom and it's just my husband, my daughter and myself. When I'm going through a flare, I have sometimes found myself standing outside the bathroom door, urging whoever is in there to please hurry, hurry, hurry........I can't imagine having to deal with that at work. I would be stressed just thinking about whether the bathroom would be free when I need it. I hope you can find a workable solution. Good Luck.

Isn't there some kind of a law that requires there to be separate bathrooms for men and woman?
*******Donna*******
 
diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission (approximately 10 of those years without any meds)
 
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid, mesalamine enema every 3rd night, will try to spread it out more. Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....
 
In remission since Jan 2008, can't believe it.............


GardenerJames
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 3/28/2008 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Is that even up to code for 18 people, 40 hours a week?
Asacol 4 tabs 2x daily www.myspace.com/gardenerjames
Forvia once a day
Probiotic twice daily
Methotrexate 3 pills once a week
Actonel once a week
Calcium supp.
1 mg Folic Acid daily
Omega-3 once daily
12th Remicade infusion End of March


Squattie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 3/28/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow.........

Really...............just..........wow.
.....Squattie


cycling_sasquatch
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 3/28/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I work for the government and we have this "reasonable accomodations" act for people with disabilites and what not.  I supposed if I raised enough of a stink (ha!), they would probably be forced to install another toilet somewhere (in my office???--sweet!)  There are 7 guys for one toilet, so not too bad.  In a pinch I could probably run into the womens (and face a lawsuit) or there is always my trashcan in my office (I can close and lock the door.) 

Dx Left-sided UC Dec. 2006
Currently:
Azathioprine 200mg/day
Prednisone 7.5/5 (trying to taper-started at 60 6/1)
Lialda 2/day
Multivitamin, B complex vit., fish oil, calcium, fiber supplement, probiotic, adrenal support


BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 3/28/2008 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I knew I could get some empathy for you all. Yes, it's perm. and it took me years of education and training to be where I'm at--most importantly, I really enjoy what I do--so I don't want to look elsewhere. Everyone at work knows I have UC: worked there for a long time, been hospitalized, have had reduced work hours b/c of flares, etc. And yes, UC is a disability and America's with Disabilities act does apply, but the interesting thing is it's hard to get anyone to take bathroom issues seriously. I'm on the planning committee for the move/new space (issues) and I've brought up the bathroom situation a couple of times and people just nervously laugh it off; of coarse, this meeting comprises of 10-12 people, some top management (and not too familiar with), so I don't disclose my personal situation, but I will bring up that it's rediculous for 18 people to use one bathroom, but it doesn't go any where. Yes, everybody poops, but nobody will admit it! I've taken my immediate manager aside and stated my concern, but she gives me a "I'm not sure what to do" shrug--and I honestly believe her, she doesn't know what to do. I seriously don't think they will build another bathroom (time, money, space issues) but I will go to HR and see what my rights and options are. I'm not a shy person, by any stretch, but it's getting a little stressful to keep on reminding people that I go to the bathroom--a lot--and privacy would be nice; people look at you if you just said something nasty.
Dx Ulcerative Colitis 1999; IBS; GERD; CP: Asacol x3 x3/day, Rowasa, Proctofoam, Prilosec, Prozac, Endocet (as needed), multi vit, probiotic, fish oil, calcium 1200 mg./day, Prednisone (off/on, unfortunately).


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 3/28/2008 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lucy,
I think you need to consult with an employment attorney. This just can't be legal. At the least, since you're on the planning committee, you could call the company's attorney and ask whether this is up to code and whether 1 unisex bathroom for 18 people (with no alternative) is legal.

People need to take this seriously other than us. What we can do to help? Maybe you can refer to the recent article in the NYTimes about UC and bring in copies?
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5151
   Posted 3/28/2008 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that you need to research the employment law/codes pertaining to restroom access. about 10 yrs ago my workplace faced a shortage of facilities due to extensive on-going renovation in our bldg, & even the healthy staff expressed outrage to top management in blunt terms, like: "Are we supposed to run down the street to use the john at Cafe Pezzi?" That got their attention & work toward a solution to the problem. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.]

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 3/28/2008 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   
The toilets (we have 2 for 10 employees) in my office were broken a couple times during the past year. Luckily, it was only temporary and we got them fixed each time within a few days. But those few days sucked. We had to go to neighboring stores to use their bathrooms and I felt really stupid having to use them multiple times. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv

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