Living with Crohn’s requires some adjustments to your living situation – whether you live on your own or with someone, here are some tips and essential equipment that help me when I’m at home dealing with it all:
1. PLENTY of toilet paper! Always keep a massive stock on hand! And the softer the better… 3-ply or more is totally lush for your butt! Trust me, when you need to wipe regularly, especially poop of all textures, you want softness and absorbent toilet paper!
2. Wet wipes – keeps you fresh! I love Cottonelle Kleenex packs. They call them “cleansing cloths” to sound more fancy than wet wipes. I assume baby wipes would work the same magic. Makes you feel clean. You can get take-away small packs of 10 wipes…I have them tucked away in my handbag for out-and-about activities…just in case.
3. Keep the toilet lid UP! You have no idea, when you have the urge (a SERIOUS urge), taking the time to lift the lid, while simultaneously pulling down your pants is a bloody nuisance, and can make the difference between making it INTO the toilet bowl and not. It’s bad enough already that for some bizarre reason, when you need to go, the urge happens when you are about 5 minutes from your house, and then you have to begin speed walking to the front door (but not too fast, because then things could start coming out), so it’s some weird penguin waddle, while you hold your guts in…and then, you can’t get your bloody keys into the door lock (seriously, why the hell do you become an absolute SPAZ at opening doors at this point in time??!?!) and when you finally do make into the house, it’s a mad rush to make it to the loo. And that toilet lid is going to destroy you!!!
4. Chinese herbs – If you can go down to your local Chinese shop, get your hands on Po Chai Pills (sometimes labelled Bao Ji). These miracle vials of Chinese herb balls are SENSATIONAL! They help relieve diarrhea, nausea, bloating, over-eating, food poisoning, and help maintain healthy gut function. It’s basically a Chinese probiotic. Its ingredients include chrysanthemum and magnolia – these were the only Latin names that I recognised!! But it’s all natural, and the best part is, even if you take it, it won’t interfere with your other medication, and you can’t overdose on Chinese herbs! They just make you feel better. Easily swallowed with a swig of water.
5. Privacy – whether you have more than one bathroom in your place, or just have a rule that the other person you live with cannot be ANYWHERE near the bathroom while you are doing your business (my rule on holidays!), it’s important to feel comfortable and at ease when you are on the loo. With Crohn’s, doing a number 2 has it’s own set of anxieties – is it runny? will it come out? what noises will accompany it? will I get to the loo in time? will it be painful? will there be blood or pus to watch for? So knowing that someone else isn’t waiting for you to hurry up out of the toilet is a real relief. Some tips to disguise sounds and smells:
– drop toilet paper into the bowl to disguise that “plop” or “splash” sound
– flush on the first drop, it disguises the sound and the smell (the first one released is always the smelliest! It’s been there the longest!)
– use Aesops post-poo drops (yes these are a real thing, and totally disguise the smell, better than the old matchstick trick!)
– flush often when either straining or splashing
– run the tap or shower while pooping
Obviously be sensible when trying these sound and smell disguising tips – don’t clog your toilet with paper and don’t waste water!
Share what tips or must haves that you have at your house to make living with Crohn’s or IBD better… remember, sharing is caring!