Monday, November 21, 2011

From Where I Sit:: Potty Mouth

Hello Lovelies. Did you have a nice weekend? Today I'm excited to share another From Where I Sit question with you. From the title you might think that the subject is about my thoughts on bad language. Although I can (At times) have a mouth like a drunken' sailor, today's topic is not about dropping the "F" bomb, but rather about the unmentionables of your personal bodily functions. Yes, today we are going to talk about how I use the restroom.

I received this anonymous question recently:

"I figure don't have many hangups or inhibitions, especially since you need help going to the toilet. I'm curious about several things. Have you ever had to ask a stranger to help you on to the pot? Once someone plops you down, is that it? Or do they have to pull down your trousers and underpants as well? Did your father or other male family member have to help you, post adolescence? That would drive me bonkers! Potty time is awfully private. I'd hate to have to share it with another person." 

As mentioned in this post I need assistance using the restroom. There are a lot of questions from this anonymous inquirer, and I think it will be easiest if I take them one by one.

Have you ever had to ask a stranger to help you on to the pot? This is sort of a yes and no answer. In my previous job I worked in a regular office building. It just so happened that at the time my roommate worked the evening shift, so during the day they were accessible when I needed to use the restroom. As is with everyone, there are certain times when nature calls and you don't have much time to wait for someone to drive to you. I asked some of my female co-workers if the occasion ever came up if they were willing to help me. They said they would be. I have found with having a disability, it is always smart to have a plan b, c, d. . .So although these weren't "strangers," they were still new to doing anything of this nature. There were times that they were needed, and so I just explained my needs and we got through it and then went on with our day.

Once someone plops you down, is that it? Or do they have to pull down your trousers and underpants as well? No that is not it. I need to lay down to get my pants and underpants on/off. So the person helping me has to lay me down, pull off my clothes and transfer me to the toilet. Once I'm there they don't need to do anything. Once I am done they just need to do the reverse.

Did your father or other male family member have to help you, post adolescence? You have to understand something. I have and will always need help with this. To me, it is simply a part of my life. So yes, if I am visiting my parents and I am home alone with my father and need to use the restroom, he helps me. For years I lived with my BFF who is a guy and he would help me. Am I just willing or able to undress in front of anyone? No, of course not. Although I have found ways to make this act more private.

An example, my BFF and I had something we called the "dignity towel." What we did was as I was laying down, before I undressed we laid a towel across my waist. He would reach under the towel to pull everything down and I'd have it over me to transfer to the toilet. So you see, there are ways to keep your dignity and still get the job done.

At home, to make it easier on my hubby, I have a rolling shower chair that looks like this. This device rolls right over the actual toilet. It makes it so much easier to minimize the lifting. Instead of carrying me from the bed to the toilet, he just lifts me from the bed to this shower chair and then wheels me in to the bathroom. It saves his back and makes for a much safer process. . .especially for him.

At home I also use something I like to lovingly call the butt buddy. This devices is used for wiping. When I am not sitting on the regular toilet and using the shower chair, it is harder for me to reach adequately to wipe. I want to make sure I am practicing good hygiene, so this little guy comes in handy. You stick the toilet paper in the rubber mouth, wipe and then push a button on the handle to drop the toilet paper into the toilet. Much more sanitary actually than wiping with your hand.

Would I love to be able to bypass all of this and use the restroom myself? OF COURSE! However, in my situation, that just is not going to happen. I'm fortunate to not have to deal with catheterizing, but if I had to, that would just be what I had to do. Yes, I do have to not have many hangups as my anonymous reader suggested, but that doesn't mean I don't also demand respect of the situation. Using the restroom is a very personal part of a persons day and even with help, it should maintain that level of respect or staying as private as possible.

The funny thing is I have been in more men's restrooms than I can count. Weirdly, their handicapped stalls are much larger generally then in the women's restroom. Since my hubby has to help me, the extra room makes it much easier. It is crazy how the men in the restroom never look at me in a "What are you doing in here?" kinda way.

Believe me, you get over your hangups really quickly, because when you gotta go, you gotta go!


  1. First, I have to call you out on equating cussing with drunken sailors. I proudly served in the Navy and heard very few curse words. It was generally looked down upon and was actually banned in my sector. And we did not spend our down time getting drunk. Many of the men were working on college degrees after their shift. We even had two E4s awarded a patent for a flow valve design. If you feel the need to use foul language, please do so. I fought for your right to talk as you please. But don't compare your salty talk to the fine men and women of the US Navy.

  2. Well, I will comment on the actual post (because while I appreciate this person's point, it's just an expression).

    Thank you for sharing this in such an open and honest way while at the same time reminding people that just because you need help doesn't mean you don't get to keep your dignity.

  3. I do appreciate your comment Anonymous and I am thankful for your service to our country. I am married to a wonderful man who served in our Navy, and he uses this expression all the time as it is not intended to reflect the armed forces in any way. When I used it, I didn't either.