Nothing gets your bladder percolating or your Irritable Bowel Syndrome flaring up like passing a rest stop off the highway and seeing a big blue sign a few minutes later announcing “NEXT REST STOP 47 MILES.”

FOR-TY SE-VEN MIIII-LES. Zero other options. Seven hour road trip. I felt waves of nausea hitting me, twinges in my bladder, and was sure the air was filling with the scent of toots from the kids in the back seat who I knew would need a bathroom the minute one wasn’t available because #MurphysLaw. The next minutes of that drive were intense as the wave of panic was still washing over me — the only adult driver on this road trip. I drove alongside field after field of corn thinking, “How hard would it be for these farmers to just put a Porta Potty alongside the shoulder of the road for emergencies?!”

I know I’m getting old now because I basically get IBS just thinking about getting IBS when I need to go out in public. Public restrooms were terrifying for me as an adult, but now that I have kids — who are wild cards and blissfully unaware of the freaking BIOHAZARDS around them — public restrooms are the things of my nightmares.

After being at the mall for several hours I drug the two kids into the bathroom so all three of us could resolve our various biological depository needs. As I was preparing to change the littlest one’s diaper, I failed to tell my 4-year-old son to wait for me to help him. It was too late. As I turned around he had already LIFTED THE TOILET SEAT of that public restroom toilet. My uninhibited scream of alarm at him touching infested things with his bare hands startled him and he lost his balance. Both of his hands came down onto the under seat rim of the porcelain toilet which was covered in splashes of urine from an unidentifiable number of public restroom users before with unidentifiable possible communicable diseases.

(I’m dry-heaving while typing this)

So when I get ready to leave the house with the kids to run errands and I ask my son if he needs to use the restroom before we leave and he says, “No, I think they have a potty there”, my initial reaction is to want to spank him for being willing to put his mother through the anxiety of dealing with public restrooms.

The next time you venture out into the great unknown — be it to the grocery store or on an adventurous road trip — pack some hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, and a roll of toilet paper. You just never know what #MurphysLaw will throw at you.

Do you have any nightmare bathroom experiences to share? Comment below!