Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » College Question & Bathrooms

04-14-2017, 09:42 AM   #1
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Mehita's Avatar
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College Question & Bathrooms

Curious to hear from those of you who's children have been in college... did they request dorm rooms with their own or a minimally shared bathroom? DS and DH think a 40 person shared bathroom won't be a problem. I disagree. What have your experiences been?
Mom of DS, age 17, dx Crohn's and Celiac Oct 2008
- Remicade, started Nov 2013
- added Methotrexate/Folate March 2016
- Multivitamins, Probiotics, Vit D
- Small bowel resection, Jan 2013
04-14-2017, 12:27 PM   #2
Jmrogers4's Avatar
Ummm check the 40 shared bathrooms at the colleges you are looking at, Jack thought the same thing but his GI wrote the letter asking for private/semi-shared or at the very least to be placed in the room right next to the bathroom. We looked at the 40+ shared bathroom and it would have been awful during a flare, tiny, cramped with showers in there as well. Having to either spend a long time or having to keep going multiple times day and night would not have been the best.
He is in a semi-shared so 4 kids in a suite with a regular bathroom (tub and everything), he even has a washer/dryer in the suite (not coin operated). Check into the Honors College at the school of his choice - everywhere we visited seemed to have nicer accommodations for the Honors college kids.
Jack's GI went on worst case scenario when requesting accommodations even though he is currently and has been in remission for the last few years and we hope it lasts a long time. We went based off that with room/bathroom because if he were to flare and was in the super shared bath it would not be easy if not out of the question to move to private bath. So have him think about his worst days and which situation he would want to be in.
Good luck with the search we're moving in on graduation in just a month!!!!

Mom to Jack (18) dx Crohn's 2/2010
Remicade - started 1/9/14; 7.5ml/kg every 6 weeks
Past meds: Imuran/Azathioprine; allopurinol; methotrexate; LDN; Prednisone; Apriso; Pentasa; EEN

Husband dx Crohn's 3/1993
currently none due to liver issues
04-14-2017, 01:00 PM   #3
Tesscorm's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ontario

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When S applied, there was an area where he could apply for special consideration due to disability. While our request didn't centre on the bathroom, we requested an apt style residence which included a full kitchen (he/we preferred that he be able to cook some meals). The apt style residence had two bathrooms shared by four roommates.

Another consideration is cleanliness/germs... but a toss-up between which is cleaner! The 40+ shared bathroom is most likely cleaned and disinfected regularly by the school; in our case, students in apt residences were required to clean their own. And, in S's case, the roommate he shared the bathroom with developed mono! So... as I said, not really sure which would be the 'cleaner' bathroom.

At some of our universities (maybe all??), students with highest marks (honours??) and/or disability requests have first priority for the apt style residences. Our GI also wrote a letter requesting 'consideration' for issues related to crohns/infusions.
Tess, mom to S
Diagnosed May 2011

May-July 2011 - 6 wks Exclusive EN via NG tube - 2000 ml/night, 1 wk IV Flagyl
July 2011-July 2013 - Supplemental EN via NG, 1000 ml/night, 5 nites/wk, Nexium, 40 mg
Feb. 2013-present - Remicade, 5 mg/kg every 6 wks
Supplements: 1-2 Boost shakes, D3 - 2000 IUs, Krill Oil
04-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #4
Jmrogers4's Avatar
Oh yeah and when we met with disability office last week when he registered for classes she suggested and added priority registration so he will register with the seniors so that he has priority choice and can pick classes that start a little later since typically in a flare mornings are the worst for him.
04-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #5
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Maya142's Avatar
My daughter did request a room with access to a semi-private bathroom. She also needed a kitchen because of her Gastroparesis, so she was placed in suite style housing. She has a single and shares a bathroom with 4 other girls.

It has worked out VERY well and she is really grateful to have the private bathroom (vs. a big dorm bathroom with stalls) since her IBD has been flaring. She has diarrhea a lot and being in a big public bathroom would have been awful.

They do have to clean their own bathroom (vs. the dorm bathroom which is cleaned by the school) but they don't mind. M says she cleans the bathroom often because she is the one that uses it the most and she prefers it that way!

Of course, cleanliness may be a bigger issue with teenage/young adult boys .

She did get this housing through the office of Disabilities. She is living with sophomores since freshmen are usually in regular dorms not apartments, but she doesn't mind. She has the same sort of living arrangement for next year.
Mom of M (20)
diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 16
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at 12
Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis at 16

Mom of S (23)
dx with JIA at 14
Ankylosing Spondylitis at 18
04-14-2017, 08:32 PM   #6
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Location: DFW, Texas

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Just the title of this has me hyperventilating. We are supposed to do the college tour thing this summer and, honestly, my kid is no where near being ready to do this. I think I'm going stick with his dexa scan age, instead of school age.

Mom to: 15 year old boy
Crohn's in stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and perianal disease
Diagnosed April 2014, at age 13

Currently taking:
Remicade 10mg/kg every 6 wks
Methotrexate 7.5 mg/wk

previous meds:
6mp 50mg
Prednisone 30 mg
04-14-2017, 08:45 PM   #7
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Maya142's Avatar
I wanted to add - definitely plan for a flare - NOT for remission!! You can't know (unfortunately ) that they won't flare during college, even if they start school while they're in remission.

My daughter first wanted a "normal" freshmen dorm, but then changed her mind after talking to one of my older daughter's friends, who has IBD, who really encouraged her to ask for an apartment/suite.

I'm REALLY glad because she has been flaring this semester and a private bathroom has been very necessary. Especially with urgent diarrhea - imagine trying to clean up an accident in a bathroom with stalls - not fun.
04-15-2017, 04:18 PM   #8
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What y'all are saying is what I keep saying to DH and DS. They think DS occupying a stall in a big bathroom would be better than locking out a roommate(s) from a smaller shared bathroom while he's using it. Unfortunately, neither of them seem to remember the details of DS' flare ups! And just as a casual observer here over the years, it seems almost all the kids flare at some point in college, even those who'd been in remission (sorry, Jacqui!).

I like your thought Maya of planning of a flare, not remission. I'll try that angle next.

I didn't know about the Honors things. I'll keep that in mind.

Everything seems to be happening so fast. One Big 10 school has already told him he's in if wants in and he's only a junior. While that's cool and all, it's also very overwhelming and making us have to have these big talks that I don't think he's ready for yet. In a way, it almost makes angry that this school does this, but that's a whole debate for another day.

Thanks, everyone...
04-15-2017, 04:34 PM   #9
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My daughter was actually placed in an apartment with TWO bathrooms. One bathroom has just a toilet, the other is a full bathroom, with a shower etc.

But anyway, the girls never even have to use the second bathroom. They're all on different schedules and it really just works out.

M says it's never been a problem, even when she's flaring. Even if she happens to be stuck at home in the bathroom, the other girls are out - in class, extracurriculars, jobs etc.

It's 5 girls and I was kind of worried about the bathroom situation (you know how much time girls can spend in the bathroom!!) but it really hasn't been an issue at all.

I would definitely remind your son about wanting privacy during a flare - think messy, loud diarrhea .

I also wonder if you could have him talk to a college student with IBD -- maybe through your hospital or through CCFA? Also discuss it with his pediatric GI - the doc has most likely had other kids go to college and dealt with this issue before.
04-16-2017, 10:43 PM   #10
Jmrogers4's Avatar
And just as a casual observer here over the years, it seems almost all the kids flare at some point in college, even those who'd been in remission (sorry, Jacqui!).
Yeah, unfortunately, I'm kind of going in with a when not if mentality even though I desperately hope I'm wrong. Just too many changes, environment, schedule, food, stress, etc. etc.

As far as occupying bathroom in dorm, I figure it's kind of like at home if someone is in there too long you go use another one there are others in the building but then I think Jack is fairly open about his crohn's and will lay it out when he meets his roommates. I will, of course, stock the bathroom for him and his roommates with poopouri, good smelly spray, lysol, etc.

I think everything is hypothetical until he makes a decision and I think you should totally go over all the hypotheticals until that time but since every college/university is different with different living arrangements available it's hard to say. One of the college we looked at the dorm bathroom was only shared with 12 people and it was big with giant stalls on one side and showers on the other. I think that would have been okay as I said Jack is pretty open about Crohn's and it's easier to clue in 12 people that you see pretty often that you have Crohn's and sometimes it's loud and smelly as opposed to 40+ people if that makes sense.
04-16-2017, 11:08 PM   #11
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If it makes you feel better, my older daughter's friend has not had any major flares in college. She's had little ones, but nothing big that required a hospitalization, steroids or even changing a medication.

She went into college after being stable on Remicade for a year. Four years later, her biggest complaint is that she had to get infusions every 8 weeks. She was prepared for the worst though - always registered with the Office of Disabilities and always made sure she had a semi-private bathroom, which I thought was smart.

So fingers crossed!! Hopefully your kiddos will be ok!!
04-18-2017, 09:55 PM   #12
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kimmidwife's Avatar
I also hope he will be fine but agree with Maya it is better to be prepared for a flare.

Crohn's Dx'ed Sept 08
Allerg Imuran Sept 08
Fail Remicade Jan 09
Methotrex Oct 09-Aug 11
Pentasa stopped - nosebleeds
EENOct 31 - Nov 28th. Too hard!
Retried Remicade Dec 11
Stopped due 2 Anaphylactic Reaction
LDN Jan 2012-June 2014 Got My daughter back!
New secondary diagnosis: Gastroporesis Dec 2013
Lost remission June 2014
Started Entyvio April 2015. Decreased to every 4 weeks October 2015. Praying for remission.

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