Remember when your mother reminded you to change your underwear in case you were involved in an accident? Unfortunately, now, some of you won’t risk leaving home in case you do have an accident – a potty accident that is. If you’re living with a chronic digestive condition, like Crohn’s disease, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or sucrose (sugar) intolerance, you fear a potty disaster might occur, and you’ll get caught with soiled clothing.
This holiday season generally calls for long hours of travel, shopping, and celebrations at work and on the weekends; and it’s truly sad to have to miss get-togethers with loved ones due to the stress of this type of condition. Yes, all shopping can be done online, but missing an opportunity to spend time with family and friends can be really depressing, and you don’t want to miss out on a chance for fun.
So what if you can carry everything you need with you: a spare change of clothing, cleaning supplies, and adult diapers? Give yourself the peace of mind this season and create an emergency bathroom bag to take along everywhere you go. Read ahead for a checklist of items to include in your emergency bag.
The emergency bag should be one you are comfortable taking with you anywhere in public. Something to consider is a nice diaper bag, which is now referred to as “travel backpack.” They can be very discrete and come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. They are appropriate for both men and women. Diaper bags are generally leak-proof and designed to hold multiple items and keep them cool and dry. Regardless of your choice, be sure to find a bag that suits your lifestyle and one that you are comfortable with. No one need know what’s inside.
This one seems like a no brainer, but what if you are at work and wearing a skirt? Or you’re at a function such as a party or a dinner? Preparing for those events takes a bit of forethought. Generally, extra underwear is a must, and keeping clothing that is easy to change into is also important. Take the time to consider what you might need based on where you will be. Being prepared allows for you to manage any situation.
Many types of personal cleansing wipes are available these days – scented, fragrance-free, biodegradable, or septic-tank safe. There are even special wipes for men, called Dude Wipes. Regardless of your preference, be sure to have plenty of wipes on hand.
Bags and Baking Soda
You will need a bag that you can seal to place soiled clothing in and then toss in the wash when you get home. Baking soda helps absorb any smell and the dampness of the clothing in the bag. You don’t want to throw away countless undergarments or pants, so eliminating the odor is important.
Bottles of Water
You may find yourself in a place where you don’t have water available to you, like on a long car ride miles away from the nearest restroom. You have the wipes, but they aren’t always enough to clean completely or to wash your hands with. Keeping an extra bottle of water on hand also helps if you have any medication you need to take.
Medical Examination Gloves
Putting gloves on before you begin cleaning yourself is a good idea. Keeping your hands clean will help keep other things clean as well, like door handles and anything you touch with your naked hand. These gloves can be purchased at any pharmacy or large box store.
Adult diapers come in many sizes and colors, and needing reassurance is more common than it once was. Take some of the anxiety out of having an accident by investing in some discrete diapers, or wear one when you know you may not have access to a bathroom. Another tip is to wear the adult diapers backward. Adult diapers are made primarily for incontinence, or the inability to control your bladder, so most of the absorbency is in the front. By turning the diaper around, you will have the absorbency where you need it most, in the back.
Housekeeping items, like bleach or Lysol cleaning wipes, are a good idea to keep on hand if you make a mess in the bathroom. It can be embarrassing to leave a bathroom in an unsanitary condition due to an uncontrollable bowel movement. Another idea is to keep odor reducers like Poo-Pourri or incense matches to help tone down any odor left behind.
Miscellaneous Items to Consider
There are some other items to keep in mind that may make you feel more comfortable. First, be sure to pack any medications that calm your tummy and diarrhea when you have an episode. Next, purchase some rash cream to include in your bag. Anything that is used for diaper rash helps calm and cool your bum. A small bottle of liquid soap or hand sanitizer for washing your hands is a good idea. And lastly, an emergency bathroom card is a must. This card allows you access to bathrooms that aren’t open to the public. You can give it to a manager discretely and everything you need to say is written there.
Depending on your personal needs, the list could be longer. One last thing is to keep extra supplies in your car, such as extra clothes, wipes, and water, so that you can quickly replenish what you use from your bag. Life gets hectic and running around from place to place on time can make it easy to forget what you’ve used from the emergency bag. Or, if you are having a really bad day and can’t get home right away, you know you are covered with extras in the car. Taking the anxiety out of leaving the house is just one step in getting back to enjoying some of the things you were once able to. Happy holidays.