……………………….loooooooook away now if you are eating, about to eat or do not like the honesty in some chronic pain posts, if none of the above apply I thought I’d share a post with you. The discussion started at my little brothers birthday meal the other night (we have the best conversations :-p ) and it was one of those things that just got said.
My family and friends have laughed at times at the length of time it takes me to go to the toilet, I mean I’m a bloke we wop it out anywhere and p!ss without thought right? Wrong I used to be able to do that, and it was another one of those things that I took for granted.Something as simple as going to the toilet.
Since suffering with back pain, nerve damage and spasms I have had to sit down to use the loo so it is no longer as simple as it once was. Then I need aids and handles to stand up again. On top of all this I need to be able to relax, I know it sounds stupid but it’s true and if I’m not then it takes me a long time to go, if I try to force it my back goes into spasm and my body resists, it’s like just as I want to deposit waste products my body goes no that involves muscles and nerves that are damaged so bugger you I’m not letting you. If you add any slight increase in pain to the mix and its see you in 30 minutes. This sounds funny to my friends, I know it does, hell if it was one of my mates doing it I’d be ripping the pee (see what I did there) out of him and accusing him of doing all sorts of wrong things to wind him up. Especially if he leaves in front of or behind another person 😉 but then we’re mates and they certainly can get away with saying and doing stuff that strangers cannot!
So now to the reason for opening up, or not as the case may be. I know it takes me a long time to go to the bathroom so I leave it as long as possible before going (this I know in itself is wrong but it is painful and it uses spoons, long gone are the days of a relaxing newspaper read, picking my football bets, now I sit in pain trying to go to the toilet. Even a wee is a big deal, I must drink more water, I know I must and it is important that I do to help my medication work but that in itself has a negative impact. The real issue though is it means sometimes when I need to go, I have left it so long I really need to go, and without grab rails etc to get up again I get stuck on the toilet, so here is my two biggest gripes about the disabled toilets firstly they are 99.9% of the time also baby changing rooms. Now being a dad I get the importance of these and I get the importance as to why sometimes you want a big room so you can park your buggy, change them and go yourself I understand that. The second annoying thing is for lots of other people to consider and that is next time you think you’ll just use it, it will be ok stop and ask yourself 2 questions firstly 1 are you disabled and do you need the aids in the toilet to help you go, and 2 how would you feel if you left and outside was a soiled disabled person? I have more times than I care to count waited for a disabled toilet only for a member of staff to come out having used them. If your own toilets are too dirty for you to want to use then chances are your patrons won’t want to use them either so please either clean them and vacate a room big enough for my wheelchair, crutches and all the other things needed. So next time you are tempted to use a disabled toilet, stop think and ask yourself is your need to not use a smaller cubicle more important than the need of all those people who need their dignity.
It is important to remember that disabled people do not all use wheelchairs or crutches, we go beyond simply the need of the grab rails, some may need room to empty colostomy bags, others who have suffered stomach, bowel cancers or Crohn’s need to run in to a toilet as soon as their body tells them, to name a few, so don’t jump to conclusions as an able bodied person or a disabled person – I’ve said it many time before that many disabilities are invisible! We all should remember that.
There is nothing more embarrassing or degrading than needing to ask your wife to help you to go to the toilet or to help you off again when you have spent the last 35 years doing it yourself, that sort of regression is not needed so any help you can get with aids and rails etc are not only important for me to get up, but they are also important for my dignity!