The well of souls

At my work bathroom, one of the toilets is covered by a riser seat.

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A lot of employees avoid the stall with this toilet, myself included. I figure if you need it, you use it, and since the riser was put in presumably by request, I don’t want to use it when someone else might need it. (The disabled stall in our bathroom is not subjected to this kind of deference; I see a lot of staff members who prefer to use that one for reasons I can’t speculate on, since they can’t see my health problem. They might hear it if we happen to enter the bathroom together, but that’s another story.) During my first week back with my flare up, I made one of my sprints to the bathroom to find all the stalls occupied, except – yes, bingo – the riser toilet one. So I settled in and tried to do my business.

Observation #1: when you’re having a flare with messy, bloody movements, having to sit and shit on one of these is like trying to shoot a fly with a machine gun. It might get the job done, but there’s a lot of sprayin’ collateral damage. Also I felt bad about making a mess, because it’s a public toilet.

Observation #2: the echo. It’s like pooping down a well!

Observation #3: the plastic is remarkably rigid. I like to get comfy on the toilet, especially if I’m going to be there for a while. This thing turned my butt wooden in under twenty seconds. I need one of these bad boys.

Observation #4: I must confess, I worried about having this moment:

Incidentally and somewhat relatedly, I was on the second floor of the library last week and had to duck in to go to the bathroom. Like the bathrooms on other floors, it was arranged with four regular stalls and one large one. The large one had the typical wheelchair placard on the door. I did my business, washed my hands, and stepped out again – and realized suddenly that not only was there no automatic opener button for the bathroom door, but I had pushed the door to get out. What a weird, thoughtless construction. Why put such simple, easily-avoided obstacles in front of that obligatory large stall?

Sometimes I worry about making it in time, or, if that point becomes moot and I need to run, I worry about looking like a fool to coworkers or strangers as I streak for the bathroom. But at least I can generally count on being able to get the door open in time.

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