The writing is on the toilet door.

On a recent visit to a supermarket, I was caught short and had to avail myself of their facilities. I chose what was previously known as the ‘disabled toilet’. There was a double whammy of relief as on approach there was a sign on the door which read “Not every disability is visible, Accessible Toilet.”

Now I can walk in and leave a toilet without the guilt I previously had when people would say either under their breath or with an accusatory tone, “What’s his disability; he can walk alright?”

These are no longer disabled toilets, which in itself is grammatically incorrect as the toilet does not have a disability as implied but its user. They are accessible toilets and show a man, woman and wheelchair user.

I have diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, and an enlarged prostate.

In the past I have stood at a urinal desperate to urinate and not a drop would pass; waiting, lingering and straining to the point of arousing the suspicion of other users as to my purpose. Not a pleasant experience, humiliating, embarrassing, and making me potentially vulnerable to abuse.

“The other conditions are unpredictable and an urgency to use the bowel can be unpleasant in a public place. This can be an uncivilised theatrical event of some duration, accompanied with my crying out in pain”

The other conditions are unpredictable, and an urgency to use the bowel can be unpleasant in a public place. This can be an uncivilised theatrical event of some duration, accompanied with my crying out in pain, voluminous flatulent sound effects and a pebble dashing with force, not dissimilar to the noise of emptying a coal bucket into a fireplace.

Advertisements
-Advert-

Dignity has long since been lost, and I have over the years adopted an approach of making fun of myself. In a motorway service station (and you know how busy they are) all fell silent at the sound of ‘parking my breakfast.’ I heard myself saying “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”, and rapturous laughter followed.

Now I can suffer and recover some composure in privacy before re-emerging, and the handrail is bloody useful when getting back up these days, damned arthritis!

Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.