When 1,400 people were asked to answer the CCFC's bathroom access survey, the results revealed that about three-quarters of IBD sufferers avoid leaving their homes during a flare up due to unpredictable access to washroom facilities. (Source: CCFC.ca) These numbers throw a spotlight on the number of lives being restricted or limited due to something which seems so fixable - washroom access.
In both Canada and the USA this issue is being addressed and people are finding solutions. The CCFC has released a new web and mobile phone application called Can't Wait (http://www.cantwait.ca/) which helps people to find and report on public washroom available across Canada. In Washington, bill HB1138 has passed which mandates that businesses provide emergency washroom access to people with bowel disorders. That's a start!
While I have never been denied washroom access when I needed it, I've also never had to explain my condition or state that it's "an emergency" in order to get access to a washroom that's not otherwise available to the public. I'm not sure if I could really get past the shyness enough to do so. Could you? I find it alarming that people are staying home and missing out on life due to fears around washroom access. Let's encourage each other to get out there, be brave, and insist on using the washroom if necessary. After all, in many places the law is on our side, and in others, society is moving in that direction.