Ulcerative colitis is a disease that affects every aspect of my life, as it does with other sufferers. Even decisions such as where to live has to be carefully thought out or life will be very difficult.
I can remember when I rented my first apartment. I did not know what to look for and as a result I ended up in an apartment where I was absolutely miserable. Since then, I have thought about what I should have looked for and things I should have considered when before I signed the lease on that apartment.
First, and this is the biggest consideration, look at where the apartment is located. No, I am not talking about the neighborhood. I am talking about the floor on which the apartment is located. A first floor apartment is the best option for a person with ulcerative colitis.
My first apartment was on the second floor. This made it very difficult for me to make it to the bathroom in time if I had to leave home during a flare up. If for some reason you are not able to find a first floor apartment, you should try to find an apartment building that has a bathroom available for tenants to use on the ground floor.
Now, to some, this suggestion may seem like I am telling people with ulcerative colitis to be picky. That is not at all my intention. Consider how difficult it would be to climb stairs or have to wait on an elevator when you have uncontrollable diarrhea. It would be almost impossible to do either without having a serious and embarrassing accident.
Now, onto the next consideration. Think about the parking. In some locations and properties like The Linq condo, the parking will be close to your apartment. In other areas, you may have a fairly lengthy walk. So if you don’t want to experience the hassle of walking to the parking everyday, make sure to carefully consider the parking when finding an apartment. When you are looking for an apartment, look for one that has parking close to it. Ideally, this parking would be designated so you know it will always be open when you get there. This is not possible at every apartment building or complex.
Lets move on to the inside of the apartment. If you do a considerable amount of entertaining, you may need to look for an apartment that has at least one and a half bathrooms. In the event of an unexpected flare up while you have company, you can take care of your business without preventing others from going to the bathroom.
Ideally, the apartment should have a tub and a shower. These can be the all in one type. An apartment with only a shower is certainly not ideal for someone with ulcerative colitis because soaking in the tub is a great way to get rid of cramps. Plus, during a flare up, it is hard to stand up to shower. I know that I get weak during a flare up. So much so that even walking to the bathroom is a chore.
If you have some doubts or concerns about the apartment, consider signing the shortest lease possible, even if that means slightly higher rent. You don’t want to be stuck for a year, like I was, in an apartment that simply doesn’t fit your medical and comfort needs.
Lastly, just pay attention to the feel of the apartment. A flare up will not seem so bad if you find your apartment cozy, comforting and relaxing.