Crohn’s Colitis Lobby For Public Restroom Use

I probably don’t say enough about Crohn’s Colitis.

I have both. I was diagnosed at the age of 19 when I went from my normal 165-170 to 135 in about 6-8 weeks.

I was hospitalized and then almost died in the hospital from a subsequent infection when I was 23. I have luckily been very healthy ever since. I attribute exercise/active lifestyle, generally good eating habits, and taking my medication with this success. Other folks are not quite as lucky. My buddy Frits Kwant has a daughter Rachel Kwant for example that has been in and out of the hospital every week for almost 7 years. She’s had multiple surgeries and is very ill a lot of the time.

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready is lobbying Washington State Legislature for legal rights to use Public Restrooms..

In order to give you the mental picture of what it is like to live with Crohn’s Disease I give you my top five (more or less embarrasing bowel movements).

Top Five Moments
1. Sneezing and losing control over my bowels at a bowling alley. (ok that one is no one’s fault, but it is sort of funny)
2. Being deprived of bathroom use at my own bank and then crapping behind their dumpster and notifying the manager after the fact, then changing my bank.
3. Arguing over restroom use in my bad pigeon french with algerian women in Paris metro. Filled my pants and had to return to youth hostel.
4. Arguing with an irate Dublin bartender about using the toilet without buying a pint first, only to discover the toilet had no toilet paper after buying pint and filling trousers while trying to get into the world’s smallest toilet at the dingy White Horse pub. (it’s sort of fancy schmanzy now).
5. Being told at a convenience store in record heat somewhere in DC that there is no public restroom. Asking for directions to the nearest place while I am filling my trousers.

Non-Small business owner item, but maybe 5.1
Having to crap over the side of my kayak on a long crossing between islands in Lake Michigan in very cold weather.

I will so take a: “I have a legal right to poop here card” for use anytime. Write your congressman.


  1. The East coast is the worst for this. I grew up out West, and never even thought about this problem until I moved to Massasschusets, and, in a similar state, said “What the f*ck do you mean, no public bathroom”. I think a lot of this has something to do with old buildings that are grandfathered in, before building codes required public restrooms. Whatever, it is BS.

    #5.1 is a serious downside to a wearing drysuit. Still wondering when my number is going to come up with that one, and who will be my ‘best friend’ for the event. Should we practice this at the next pool session?

    BTW, I read a McCready interview in a gastrointerology trade mag while waiting to see my GI doc two weeks ago. Unfortunately, she was so late for the appointment that it caused me to miss a kayaking date.

  2. The best post I have read in a long time. Thanks for sharing. My brother has Crohn’s disease and has had similar experiences as well.

    David J.