dealing with everyday living

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 9/28/2008 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
what do you do when you are invited to someones house for dinner?
a) the menu -- I can usually find something I can eat so I dont like to be fussy before going. however, last night, she cooked all wholewheat everything (pasta, bread, rice, etc) and all vegetarian and in curries, etc. I ate some soup and some rice but was afraid to try too much else.  I hate to offend people but if I tell them the problem they feel bad that I cant eat anything.  I made up a story about a huge lunch at an afternoon party I had attended. 
b) going to the bathroom -- especially when the washroom is just off the main room/common area -- how do you deal with the smell? noises? even if they are aware of your issues -- it can be soo embarrasing.  and if you dont want to explain to eg. your husband's boss, how do you cope?
Liver transplant 2004 -- liver is only healthy part of me
Remicade every 6 weeks - not working
pentasa 1500mg tid
palafer once daily
lomotil every day as needed
immodium every day as needed

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 9/28/2008 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
There are two strategies, I don't know which would work best for you.

1) Don't eat before you go - skip lunch and don't snack. Then eat moderately. If your urgency isn't a big problem, you may go 2 hours after eating before you have to go.
2) Eat a light meal before you go, then plead (as you did) - not hungry.

Either way, you might take some imodium before you go to help.
Judy - Southern US 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 9/28/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
A) I tell my host about my condition, simply by saying that I have some "digestive issues" and that there are a lot of foods I can't eat (so as not to offend the cook). I also insist that they don't go to any special lengths for me and that I'll just eat what I can. You can bring some pretzels or crackers in your purse if you end up getting really hungry.

B) I always sneak off to an upstairs bathroom. Use the vent (if there is one) and carry a small bottle of your perfume in your purse for afterwards. Also, when you're "going," flush the toilet as soon as things start coming out so the poop doesn't have time to stink up the air. The longer it sits in the bowl, the worse the bathroom will smell. I'll flush two or three times if I'm having especially bad problems.

These are the things I would do if I were at the house of someone I don't know terribly well. With my close friends, I'm much more open. They already know about my UC and I just tell them to point me to the bathroom that's furthest away and leave me the hell alone for 20 minutes. ;-)
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 3X daily, Cortenama 100 ML nightly, Iron 325 MG 3X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Bentyl 20 MG and Tylenol (as needed).
Diet/Exercise:  Avoiding trigger foods, eating very healthy.  Yoga or walking, when possible.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa.
Status:  Flare

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 9/28/2008 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Tough questions! I'm eager to hear everyone's advice.
My gluten/food issues have made it newly awkward when friends try to make sure I have something to eat. Most recently at tailgates, for example. I can't convince them that I don't want them to go to any trouble, and it's hard because people caught unaware do feel bad. If I only have potato chips to nibble on, that's fine, I won't starve. Funny thing happens, if I ask someone what's in their dish, they go through the whole preparation process thinking I want the recipe! (Probably not, I hate to cook). Anyway, my vegetarian colleague and I commiserate, I've seen him pile a plate with mashed potatoes only, even when he is the guest of honor!

Regarding bathroom privacy, you might ask your host if you can use a more private bathroom, then only one person has to know you're having distress. Otherwise, extra flushing, running water, everyone has tried and heard it all! I might also take half an immodium before a dinner party, then eat very, very little.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. Use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free diet, also none of the other foods tested sensitive to (cow's milk, soy, tomato, egg white, others)
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years! 
Replete probiotic. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for anemia.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 9/28/2008 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not shy. At small dinner/gathering the host is more uncomfortable if he/she didn't know of your dietary restrictions. When invited...if they don't already know (which is rare) I will say "oh that sounds great, what is on the menu??" Usually it is something I can eat, at least with lactose pills. If not I say, oh, unfortunatly I can't have spicey foods, I hope you won't be offended if I bring my own dish to share. They either say "that will be great" or, "oh I can make it non spicey too" etc.

I have a few tricks once there. If it is someone I know well I just ask if I can use the other bathroom. If not, I wait until someone is in the bathroom, then I ask the host if there is another one I can use. I open the window and run the fan, and often run the water as well. The water comes in handy if you are forced to go in close air shot of others. If I am in there an unusually long time and I don't know people well I make up a funny excuse (only if my absence was probably noticed). "Wow Judy, I got totally emersed in your travel magazine up there. Its dangerous keeping that in the bathroom." Or, wow, my zipper got stuck and for awhile I thought I was going to have to come down with my fly open. Glad I fixed that....
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/28/2008 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I try to not eat the day of the get together, and on rare occassions, I'll take an Immodium to calm things down. I also try to find out where the farthest restroom is from where people will be, and try to use that one exclusively. I've always been a bit paranoid of people being able to hear me doing anything in the restroom, so making my normal loud pooping noises mortifies me, even around family who know and understand what is going on with me. I think the healthiest thing is to just suck it up, and accept you'll make some noises. maybe leave an aroma, and just get over it. Easier said than done though.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort retention fluid, Prednisone 15mg and tapering down

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/28/2008 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Never feel bad about making others feel bad because you happen to have a disease that you have no control over...any normal person would understand your situtation and not be offended or feel bad that they didn't cook according to what works best for you.

As far as the noises in the bathroom, turn on the fart-fan to muffle some of those noises and carry matches with you, light a match and it will kill the smell of your poop and it doesn't take too long for the smell of the sulfer from the lit match to disapear you could carry a small air freshner with you (especially easy for ladies to do with carrying purses, and for men, a small enough bottle will be discrete in your pocket for those instances.

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

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 9/29/2008 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
A while ago, I went to my hubby's work colleague's house for a get together. He knows I have Uc but not the extent of it. He took me aside into his room and pointed out his personal bath. But to get me there, he told me that he wanted to show me his new bathtub in a loud voice (so others could hear). When he got me in there, he told me that I could use his bathroom anytime I needed to. I was so thoroughly touched by his thoughtfullness. So maybe you can tell your host/hostess that you have intestinal issues and you don't want to be embarassed when you have to go and see if they can point you to a more private bathroom. If they don't have one, then what I do is I will run the water in the sink and turn on the fan. As for the smell, I do the quick flush too. They also make a product that you can drop it in the toilet before you go and the smell gets "ate" up by this enzymes (

As for the food, usually I choose and pick what I think I can handle. I don't worry about offending the host/hostess because any good host/hostess will know that not everyone likes everything. If they insist I try something just to sample it, I say that I can't because it will tear up my stomach. They then assume that I either A) have IBS or B) have acid reflux (which I do btw). I don't bother to get into the explanation of me having Uc especially if I don't know the person very well.
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3rd epidural injection 9/4, Neurontin and Skelaxin
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 9/29/2008 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow... how thoughtful! What a great story.

Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

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