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Thread: What do you do if you have a bowel accident when you are at work?

  1. #1

    What do you do if you have a bowel accident when you are at work?

    It happened to me once. I was 19 or 20 and it was my first day at my first real job. By "real" job, I mean it was my first full-time, good pay, benefits, serious job. In the morning of my first day, I was told that I had a morning break at a certain time, lunch at a certain time, and afternoon break at a certain time. I was also told that we if we needed to use the bathroom, we were expected to use the bathroom during our breaks. Sometime after lunch, I became, um, a little loose in the caboose. It wasn't real bad, but I could smell it. I was hoping no one else could (but of course they could) and finally my supervisor came to my desk and suggested I take a bathroom break. I did, but there is only so much a person can do without a shower and a change of clothes. I was hoping I got cleaned up good enough. Apparently I didn't because not long after that, my supervisor suggested I take the rest of the day off. As much as I never wanted to show my face there again, the job was too good to throw away, and so I went back the next day. Much to my surprise, no one ever mentioned it or even noticeably snickered behind my back about it. And it never happened again.

    Recently, I've been thinking about getting a job. Just this past Saturday, I was washing dishes when I suddenly had a big blow-out. This doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. It was much worse than the time it happened at work. It took me a good hour to clean myself up. I started thinking, what if this happens when I'm at work? What would I do? I know from experience that pretending it didn't happen doesn't work.

    I'm wondering what other people have done? The only thing I can come up with is to hope my boss is approachable and then to tell him/her when I first start working there that I might have a problem someday that will require me to suddenly leave. I thought about approaching my boss only if and when it did happen, but I'd much rather just leave without having to bring my stinky self into my boss' office and tell him/her that I've crapped myself.

    I appreciate any thoughts.

    Alive for 33 years
    T4/5 complete for 25 years
    Mom for 6 years

  2. #2
    I let my boss know before hand that I may need to leave. I did a number of times. She understood.

  3. #3
    Liz, when it happened to you, were you able to leave work without telling anyone that you were leaving?

    Alive for 33 years
    T4/5 complete for 25 years
    Mom for 6 years

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    BC, Canada
    I wouldn't say anything until it happens...there is really no point in bringing it up when it may not be a problem at all. If it does (and hopefully it never will), dont pretend nothing happened. Just go to your boss and say you feel really sick and you have to go home. I dont think most superiors would have a problem with that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    BC Canada
    I just tell them I have to go home for awhile. I only live about 5 minutes from work if that. A few people in our organisation have SCI's & my boss broke his back a few years ago (no deficit)so its not a big deal. Quite often I'll even e-mail him from home to let him know the current status of "Mt. St. Asshole" latest eruption.

    One thing I do worry about it is happening around some of my female co-workers, embarassment factor more then anything.

  6. #6
    I want to go back to school to finish my degree, but a few things are keeping me from going right now. One is transportation, the other is I haven't dicided what to change my major to. I was double majoring in comercial aviation flight operations and law enforcement, so obviously that isn't going to work now. The other is what to do if I crap myself during class.

    I've gotten my BP under control, and have had very few accidents recently. The time's I have had an accident though have always been when I'm out somewhere.

    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  7. #7
    I do my bowel program everyday by the morning so I dont have to worry about it at night when I'm at school.

  8. #8
    I work in a small, casual office atmosphere and now have a private office rather than shared open space, and it's happened both areas. I'd suggest that during interviews, that the employer knows there's are occasional "complications" due to SCI, that won't affect your quality of work so much, but may require you to take leave on occasion. Should you get the job and have an accident while there, tell your boss you have to leave for personal reasons, if they question you further about it, give them a quick and concise explanation on the wonders of a neurogentic bowel/bladder as related to SCI. I'd venture to guess most will understand and unless you mysteriously develop an increasingly active bowel, the occasional mishap isn't going to be looked upon critically. It's happened to me, it smells, its embarassing, it's shitty to clean up, but that's life. Good luck with the job hunt.

    Free to Ride, Ride to be Free.

  9. #9
    Is there any way you could keep a spare set of clothing in a closet or desk drawer on the job just in case you would need to change?

    "The only true currency in this bankrupt what you share with someone else when you're uncool." - Almost Famous

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Newcastle, Australia
    Go home and get the shit cleaned up!
    Use discretion like Kanuck.

    Welcome to the party pal!
    Bruce Willis, Diehard

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