Sometimes disability brings a 'back to basics' approach to living. I can swear that as a non-disabled person I could go months and months without thinking about pooping, having a poop, looking for a place to go poo. Months. Now, poo has entered into my head at a dizzying rate. When we stop on the road we have to find if the gas station or rest stop has a 'poo friendly' place (other people call them accessible bathrooms but that's just a nice way of saying 'place where bent and crooked people can poo'.)
Some of them call themselves 'poo friendly' because they've got bars. But the bars were put on to look decorative to the unbent people who don't need them anyway. One bathroom in the Southern States, I'm not kidding, had two bars in the shape of a cross that were placed on the wall six feet opposite the toilet. You could see the bars, be inspired to pray, but you couldn't use them. The bars, for those who don't know, are not for places to hang towels, they are to bear our weight as we lift our odd bodies from sitting, or crouching if they have wee kiddie toilets, to standing.
There may be, somewhere in a government file, regulations for how to make a toilet poo friendly, but no one seems to know them. For me, and this is only for me - others with disabilities have other poo needs, I like a tall toilet and a grab bar within reach. Not much to ask, but it seems like a huge problem for so many places.
I feel sometimes that I need to stand on the top of the mountain and scream, "As God is my witness, I need to poo!"
Take my hotel, the one I'm sitting in. We booked it as an accessible room (poo friendly) and out side the door it says HANDICAPPED ROOM. Nice. But I wanted to do a couple things when I got in so it wasn't till bed time that the need to poo entered my head. The bathroom had no bars, a low toilet, and no adaptation for a disabled person. I called downstairs and mentioned this to them. The clipped voice said, "That is our disabled room sir." I explained that it might be listed as an accessible room but there were no bars in the bathroom and it was a low toilet. "Sir, you don't seem to understand, that is our accessible room."
"M'am you don't seem to understand that I need to poo."
Believe it or not, that got action, weird action, but action, "I'll notify the manager sir." She promised to be back to me in ten minutes. Fifteen minutes later, I'm on the low toilet. I'd played around with the room and found that the open door placed the handle right in front of the toilet, I figured I could grab on and haul up. I told Joe to stay out of view, I always believed that whatever magic is left in a relationship of 38 years can be destroyed in 5 seconds by watching your partner poo.
Well, I got up, uneasily and unsteadily and fearful that I'd pull the door from the wall, I got up. The manager, apparantly upset that I needed to poo with no where to poo said that a carpenter would put a bar in the bathoom the next day. She wanted to know where to put it. Remembering the grab bar tribute to Jesus, I told her to put it in a straight line above the toilet paper roll.
It was there when I got home. For the rest of the week I can poo freely. And, to make each poo better, I know that other disabled people who come here expecting the 'accessible means bars in the bathroom so you don't have to grow old waiting for the maid in the morning' will have the assistance they need to get up.
It's not even 7 AM and I've had a poo-tastic day. And I'm wishing one for you too.