I sometimes feel like me and my loo are the best of friends. We spend a lot of time together due to my IBS-D. I’m definitely reliant on it and can spend numerous hours scuttling between there and my bed. Because of this innate knowledge, I’d class myself as a bit of an expert, knowing exactly what I need close by when I’m doubled over in pain. None of this is groundbreaking stuff but it does help calm and distract me, which is a saviour.
Back up loo roll. I can hear you laughing because you may think that at 31 years of age, I’d have my shit together enough to never run out of loo roll. And yes, at this current moment in time I have at least 15 loo rolls filling my bathroom cupboard. But alas, this hasn’t always been the case. Desperate times have called for desperate measures and by that, I mean kitchen roll. It’s not pleasant, I don’t recommend it and I never hope to find myself in that situation again. Always buy back up kids. If my husband and I are ever within a whiff of a supermarket, we will purchase a trusty 9-roll pack. Failing all of that, I’ll call my mum who lives down the road to see if she has a spare…
Reading material. I’m never too sure how long my bowels want me to spend in the bathroom so I like to be prepared for the worst case scenario of 30 minutes. In order to stop myself from going insane, my anxiety creeping off the charts and the stomach pains from making me cry, I read like a loon. This could be blog posts I haven’t yet managed to catch up on, the latest books I’m reading or a magazine I have lying around. Anything that will work as a distraction and keep me entertained.
A Notebook. Now, you may think this is a weird one, and I agree, but all my best thoughts and ideas happen in the bathroom. My memory isn’t the best so I need to be able to jot down my shopping list (loo roll anyone?), blog ideas and inane doodles. Again, it’s a distraction technique. How do you think I got the idea for this post?
Somewhere to ditch all your layers. If you’re anything like me I develop a hot sweat if I have a bad and urgent flare and need to be able to whisk my layers over my head as quickly as possible and fling them somewhere. Sometimes I even hang them up on the towel rail, if I can be bothered.
Candles. This feels like I’m stating the obvious but I’ll let you in on a little secret, it doesn’t always smells of roses. Gasp. Sometimes I need the window open, the extraction fan on and a lovely smelling candle to mask the shit show. End of.
My phone. Because I need to be able to message my husband to ensure a hot water bottle and peppermint tea greet me on the other side of the door when I emerge. It’s also likely that I’ll need to be able to reschedule my plans, because a flare for me means multiple toilet trips across multiple hours.
An elasticated waist. During a flare my stomach swells and becomes painful to even the lightest touch, meaning I want to be wearing anything that’s roomy enough for it to expand, preferably that has an elasticated waist. Be that my glitter joggers, PJ bottoms or an oversized dress. Comfort is king.
There you have it, my bathroom essentials for when I’m having a particularly hostile IBS flare. Now, tell me yours.