Job Concerns & UC

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FightingChance
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 5/27/2009 4:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

Ok, so I have a concern. I think I am about to get offered a position at a company I would be excited to work for; however there is one problem...the bathroom situation. This office is really small, only 5 people in it and there is only one bathroom...now yes that is bad, but the worst of it, is that the bathroom is in the actual office rather than outside of the office with stalls and that whole situation so if I smell it up, then I will probably smell up the WHOLE OFFICE!!! Do I not take the position just because of that? But it really freaks me out because given the frequency of how often I go, maybe 10 times a day and how bad it smells, which is always it smells bad....like really really bad...I don't know how to handle this situation.

Any ideas? Does anyone else have that same issue? Or do I need to just not take the job?

Hellllllp!

Thanks!

mbx5
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/27/2009 4:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been in that situation before....I brought my own Lysol deoderizer...worked well.....
Stats:35 yr old male. UC for 15 years.
location:North Western PA
DX: Left sided UC, most recent scope 5/20/09 UPMC Pittsburgh Presbeterian
Medications:20mg pred (as of 4/27/09), 12x pills Asacol per day, 100mg Imuran per day, 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety) when needed, 20mg paxil per day, Super-omega fish oil pills - 1x per day, Flax oil pills - 1x am, 1x pm, Culturelle probiotics - 2x am, 1x pm, Vitamin B-12 injections weekly.
Surgeries: Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (and I am still more afraid of my UC!!)

"I poop in the woods because I can"


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 5/27/2009 5:55 AM (GMT -6)   
This happened to me when I had IBS (and not colitis yet). I still remember that once I had so much gas that a fellow employee heard. He laughed really hard. I was so embarrassed.

I bought one of those white noise machines from Amazon when I had diarrhea during a flare up. It cost me $50, but it helped drown out the noise.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission
Don't expect your doctor to cure your health problems. Your health is your responsibility.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Avoid HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
When flaring: eat anti-inflammatory foods, avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16732
   Posted 5/27/2009 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I would be honest with people and not let UC stop me from getting a job I want. It's especially hard for us women because in this society, men still want to believe we don't use the toilet. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's true. You can try some of those deodorizers where you put a drop in the toilet before you go and it's supposed to get rid of the smell. Sometimes I wouldn't have time to put a drop of anything in the toilet. Can you work from home when you're feeling bad? Five people, one toilet can be tough but most people are rarely in there. Is there another bathroom in the building in a hallway you could run to in emergencies?
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa at night + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!!
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 5/27/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I would suggest scoping out alternative bathrooms for times when you can hold it a minute. Across the street from my work was another office building with a public restroom in the lobby. If I was having a particularly bad day I would go across the street to go to the bathroom lol. Look for coffee shops, food courts, etc with public bathrooms that you could get in and out of without being noticed. Obviously yours would still be there when you need it but you wouldn't use it as often.
27 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 take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


Serenity Now
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2153
   Posted 5/27/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
A few years ago I wouldn't be able to imagine even considering not taking a job because of the bathroom situation, but now I can so relate! What a tough one! I like the advice that's been given so far. I really hope you can make it work since this is a job you want. If you do take it, once you've been there a little and have gotten to know the other people, you are going to have to tell them what's up with going to the bathroom so much. You can do it in a light manner, even joke about it a bit. I've worked in a really small group like that before, and it's amazing how you get to know each other, it's like a small family. You will feel a lot more at ease once everyone knows what's up. The others will have foibles/quirks of their own that you will get to know.
ack, 42, Vancouver BC
 
DX: UC (Pancolitis) as of Jan2009.  Symptoms first began June 2008.
Current Meds: Ferrous Sulfate, plus various supplements
Previous Meds: Jan-Mar 2009: Asacol 800 mg (1 pill x 4 daily), stopped Mar14/09. 


UC since'76
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/27/2009 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   

I once had a great offer that would have gotten my new career off the ground. The place was very much like the one described above but with one more little goody. The server for all the computers was in the linen closet of the bathroom! (The place had once been a house) I took the job, but I was such a nervous wreck, I quit after one week.

Just think about one of the other accountants being with an important client and the server acting up and the other accountant needing to get in there while I was stuck on the pot.

 


Ulcerative Colitis since about 1976
Pan colitis since at least 1994
 
30 years with UC and never had a flare until MD gave massive dose of Magnesiun while hospitalized for bronchitis. I had no family doctor so they had just assigned me to the house doctor. Then was hospitalized a few days for moderate flare. No flares since. But now I have a family doctor.
 
No meds. 
 
 


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 5/27/2009 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Although I don't like to reveal UC, you might have to clue your coworkers in, in this situation.

A while back someone talked about a spray air cleaner that is used for sick rooms, that doesn't have any smell but really does a good job at killing odors. You can get it at medical supply stores and they sell small bottles that you can carry in your pocket. So you can use it discreetly. I wish I could remember what is was called, but you might find it on a medical supply store website, or at a medical supply store. It was a biological odor eraser, I think they called it.

I never tried this until my hubby suggested it: spray into the toilet bowl, even while you are still on it! That works pretty good.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering. Asacol maintenance for 20+ years; used prednisone & Rowasa for flares.  Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), salmon oil (omega-3) when I can remember. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated wheat/gluten from my diet.
Bad flare in March, used prednisone. Humira denied, started Remicade 4/12 and doing great~ learning what normal is~ wow


Jenn C
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 5/27/2009 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I would take the job, if I really wanted it, and just bring a air freshener that you enjoy the scent of (since it is an enclosed space) to use as needed, or maybe one of the automatic ones that spray every 30 minutes, and you can push the button while in there for an extra burst if needed.

fitmom00
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 5/27/2009 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Urgh, I don't know, man. I'm so freaked out about having an accident in public that the panic would probably send me into the worst flare EVER! :) Also, I don't know about you, but when I'm in a flare every BM sounds like a total "ass-plosion" (my brother's lovely term for a rear end explosion), and I sometimes can't even control the sounds out of my mouth (grunting, breathing hard, moaning - ha!) For me personally, I would probably turn the job down if none of the other options worked (bathroom down the hall, etc.). Just keepin' it real.

I currently work from a home office, and even when I'm in a flare, I can call my clients and tell them that I need to do a webinar instead of meeting in their office (which I've done before). Imagine if they knew that their professional colleague was sitting on the toilet while she gave her presentation!!!!
Renee
Diagnosed w/ UC in August 2007
Was in remission for almost one year (using only Lialda 4xday)
Rowasa and Canasa did not work.
Current status: In Flare since May 2009, undergoing Colal-Pred trial

4 Lialda/day maintenance, healthy diet
Starting Colal-Pred trial May 18, 2009


FightingChance
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 5/28/2009 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Haha, all good responses, thank you very much. I don't know what I'm gonna do yet...I have a meeting with them tomorrow and we are going to discuss compensation, ect, so I will see. I really appreciate the biological odor killer idea, I will try that out at home because that could really be a good asset to have anywhere, like when I am visiting friend's houses ect. But the thing is that I have a flare most of the time, or at least d often, so it's very hard for me and I feel kinda the same way as the person who wrote that they would possibly turn the job down because it would set the into such a bad flare because of all the stress that would accompany that situation. However I feel bad about that, but it is sorta just accepting my situation...at least what my situation is right now. It is really helpful to hear all these different points of view, because even 2 years ago, I would have never considered turning a job offer down because of a bathroom situation, NEVER! It makes me sad to think about the fact that I have these limitations now, but it also motivates me to make the situation better and better. It's weird either I can really go, it's d. OR I am really constipated...so frustrating. I scoped out the bathroom situation and I didn't see a way to be able to use on in another building, although there is a restaurant closeby, I don't know that they would understand why I was constantly up and leaving though...but I could always try it out and then if it doesn't work, then it doesn't work I suppose...I dunno. This sucks :( But thanks soooooo much for the advice and for sharing your experiences. It really means a lot to me to hear from you guy's experiences because I start to wonder if I am the only one that has to think about this stuff...

Take Care
27 year old female diagnosed with UC at age 22.
On Asacol 3x's daily.


Serenity Now
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2153
   Posted 5/28/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Please let us know what you decide!
ack, 42, Vancouver BC
 
DX: UC (Pancolitis) as of Jan2009.  Symptoms first began June 2008.
Current Meds: Ferrous Sulfate, plus various supplements
Previous Meds: Jan-Mar 2009: Asacol 800 mg (1 pill x 4 daily), stopped Mar14/09. 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 5/28/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Also, have you had any success with using immodium or a liquid diet to get through the work day? I used to do some substitute teaching and couldn't take a bathroom break easily. I would get up an hour or so early to poop as much as I could. Then I would take two immodium and head to work. I would consume liquids only (including broth or apple sauce) until I got out of work. Then I would eat a small meal on the way home (sandwich) and have dinner with my family as usual, then repeat. I know you couldn't do that every day for the rest of your life but maybe just until you are a little more comfortable with the situation.

In this rare case, I would casually bring it up, up front, at the meeting about compensation etc. I would just say "I noticed that you have this little bathroom right here. I have a condition that makes me use the bathroom pretty frequently. Are there any others in this building that I could use? What do you do if this one stops working?" They might surprise you and say "oh yeah, xyz company down the hall lets us use theirs too" or something like that. No need to say what it is or go into great detail. If you are already talking compensation you have the job so its not like they are going to pull your offer.

Good luck! What a crappy situation :)
27 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 take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


atj31
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/28/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I would definately agree with everyone's answers. I would take the job, and have no shame in your game. If you gotta go, you gotta go, and you have something that people don't have to deal with and they will be more understanding than you think - trust me. I have had a very similar situation, and I just come clean about what is happening with me. I have even had a boss tell me about HIS IBS situation, lol! It just feels good to be honest and open, then your stress is gone!

I am about to do a trade show and I am scared to death because I don't know the BR layout yet, but I am definately not going to let UC get the better of me, thats for sure.

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted.
28 YR Old Married.
 
Diagnosed 2000 with Moderate to Severe Left Sided UC
 
Lialda, Immuran and Rowasa daily
Flare 2x a year, prednisone therapy.  Gluten Free diet helps remission.
 
"Skip to the loo..."


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 5/30/2009 12:07 AM (GMT -6)   
This is a tough issue! I bet, though, that every person in that office, even without colitis, hates having a shared bathroom in their workspace. Everyone needs some privacy sometimes!

I think that once you accept the job, you could bring up your concerns and ask the employer whether there is any chance that they will improve the bathroom situation. I don't know what kind of building it is, but is it possible that there's another bathroom that isn't functional that they could renovate?

I think that getting your colitis under control would help address this issue. I see you're taking Asacol. Are you taking anything else? Maybe it's time to try some other things. Even without the intimidating bathroom situation, running to the bathroom all day sucks.

One last thought -- people with colitis are now protected by the American with Disabilities Act which means that employers need to make reasonable accommodations for us, including job applicants. I don't know if improving the bathroom arrangement would count as a "reasonable accommodation" but it's something to keep in mind in case.


Definitely once you get closer to the people you work with it will get easier.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Lialda, Asacol foam, Lomotil
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine, Cortifoam)
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy

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