To the woman who tutted at me using the disabled toilets…

Dear lady who loudly tutted at me using the disabled loos,

I know you saw me running in, with my able bodied legs and all. You saw me opening the door with my two working arms. You saw me without a wheelchair. Without any visible sign of disability.

You tutted loudly as I rattled the handle with my hands that work perfectly and my able voice call to my kids that I’d be out in just a minute.

My lack of wheelchair may have suggested to you that I was some lazy cow who didn’t care. Some inconsiderate bitch who was using something I wasn’t entitled too. (I actually carry a card to explain that I’m entitled to and have a disability key if you’d have cared to ask). You may have seen my face blushing as I caught your eye and assumed I was showing guilt at blagging the disabled loos.

The fact is that I have no bowel. I have a pouch formed from my small intestine which can’t handle volume and so I have to go to the toilet and poo several times a day. My lack of large intestine means that my stool is totally liquid as I have no means of absorbing the fluids in food and so its really hard to hold it when I need to go.

I sometimes have accidents which means a large toilet that has a sink right by me means I can clean myself up when things go awry.

I hate having to use the disabled loos as I have to deal with people like you staring, nudging, tutting. And whenever I can, I use the ladies toilets. Just so you know, disabled loos usually smell bad and don’t seem to be cleaned as often or as well as the ladies and so I wouldn’t choose this option unless totally necessary.

Whilst I’m at it, I’d like to address the cleaner in the supermarket ladies toilets I used this week. As I ran in, knees together, bursting through the door and running to the cubicle, I’m sorry that the noise of my (lack of) bowels made you burst out laughing.

I can actually take the sniggering as since I had a pouch made from my small intestine because my disease ridden colon was removed during surgery, the noise I make when I defecate is hilariously loud. Seriously, I get it. It’s comedic in it’s volume.

But before you ran outside the loos and called to your friend “OH MY GOD! You should hear the noise in there!!! I wouldn’t go in if I was you!!!!” Perhaps you could have noted my daughter who was waiting outside with our trolley because her mum had had to leave her stranded to run to the toilet. Perhaps you could have stopped and heard me sobbing with pain because the acid in my stools has no way to be neutralised because I don’t have a large intestine and so opening my bowels actually burns my skin.

Perhaps you both could have shown a little empathy, a little compassion, a little understanding.

Poo is funny. Disability is confusing.

I get that.

But humanity and care for fellow human beings is a choice.

To everyone else reading this, the next time you see someone who doesn’t “look disabled” using a toilet.

Or someone bursting through and crashing into the toilets noisily.

Take a moment. Remember that not all people who have the right to use disabled toilets are in a wheelchair. Some of us have a jpouch, a lot of us have an Ostomy bag that needs emptying and changing with the use of space, a sink and a bin. And even more of us just don’t want to shit our pants in public.

Think about the nearly 300,000 people in this country who have inflammatory bowel disease (not to mention the huge number of people with IBS!!!) who need to use the toilet urgently, noisily, smellily…

It’s an embarrassing enough thing to deal with before having to see disapproving looks or hear your laughs and jeering remarks.

Be kind yo…

Peace out

Sam xxxxx

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907 thoughts on “To the woman who tutted at me using the disabled toilets…

  1. Well said, people don’t realise what is a hidden disability. I have had my pouch for nearly 28years- one of the first ever done.
    Nobody understands really how it feels and its not visible. I recently had an accident and had my finger amputated-everyone can see and sympathize with that, but it is minor compared to the surgery I had for colitis. Rant over

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  2. that’s so awful. people just dont seem to realize that just because you do not suffer from any illness/disorder does not mean that other people don’t have feelings. The ONLY time they stop and think about their actions is when the exact same has happened to them. (sigh) What a world we live in where you must be ‘normal’ to be accepted and not commented on. What has happened to ‘humanity’ with such little humanity.

    I do not have anything similar to what you have, however, I will not only keep this post in mind next time such a situation should happen to arise, but I will also criticize and scold anyone for behaving in such an inappropriate manner. Thank you for educating others with your unfortunate experience with such morons.

    By the way, I am new to the world of Blogging and would love if you could stop by my page, check it out & share it with your friends / followers =]
    https://eatandtell1.wordpress.com/

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  3. I’m one of those people with an obvious disability. The wheelchair and Golden Retriever are hard to miss. In that way I am fortunate . I cringe in empathy when I hear stories of people with less obvious problems treated like you were. I would cheerfully slap the supermarket person for you

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  4. if you have ever had a bag ( and i did for a year )…then this person need`s to get her story right…either she has a bowel or she does not…read her story again

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  5. Feel completely wrong for ‘liking’ your story. Obviously wish you did not have to experience that but am certainly never surprised (and disappointed) by how insensitive people can be and their general lack of awareness (ever heard of whispering…or keeping it to yourself??)

    EVERYONE makes bodily sounds. EVERYONE’s sh!t stinks. I’d be interested to know who’s sh!t don’t stink.

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  6. Reblogged this on Arachnoid Mommie and commented:
    There are so many people with Invisible Disabilities that don’t have “obvious” reasons to need the Handicap stall in the bathroom but unlike the parking lot where many of us have tags giving us a special pass to use them, Handicap stalls are free to be used by anyone for any reason.

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  7. Just wanted to let you know I used this particular blog at work in a ‘bite-size’ teaching session. I manage a big outpatients department now, so we see patients before diagnosis and follow ups after surgery. We have a quick teaching session once a month for all the trained nurses and HCA’s and as it was my turn I did a brief refresher in IBD, but wanted to emphasise the patients perspective so I read them this blog. Stunned silence and then lots of discussion. ‘Thought provoking’ and ‘I won’t be so judgemental now’ were two of the comments. Thank you Sam . Keep well xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Good on you for letting rip————–at her, NOT the toilet———–hope she reads it————-people are very short on understanding——-the problem wouldnt be there if you could help it——best wishes, Ben

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  10. I’ve read this before but thought I’d comment this time. I sympathise with the looks. I have a chronic bladder condition which means I get the urge to go suddenly and when I need to go I need to go, despite what people think I really cannot hold it. Rather then wet myself in public I’ve often ran into a disabled loo, only to come out to the looks you describe in your post. It’s made worse by the fact I’m in my early 20’s but look much younger so people think I’m just an immature teenager stealing the disabled facilities for my own use – I hate using them! I do occasionally have accidents and like you say the use of a sink (and sometimes a seat) means I can easily clean myself up if necessary. I wish people would understand that disabilites (or serious medical conditions) can be invisible.

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  12. For goodness sake, why do passive aggressive people have to be like this? “Judge not, lest thee be judged” is a good thought to keep in your head. There are plenty of things far more important to be concerned about in this world than which loo someone has used.

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  15. I hear you and I feel for you, I have some of the same issues, but not as bad. The only thing I can say is that older people do tut a lot, at everything, even if you are in their way, or you walk pass them etc. they tut, they might not know they are doing it but they tut. Well done for posting and next time tut back.

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  18. To you dear lady who made your point so well I applaud your bravery. To you who graced this lady with your “TUT”, Shame on you. Not all disabilities can be seen.

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  19. I have mild IBS so have some understanding of need to go immediately. But I’ve got to the stage in life where I really don’t care about noise and smell and I have a good vicious stare for anyone who tries to find my condition amusing. This story has made me more convinced of the need to educate the ignorant. Next time something like this happens to me I will be explaining to the tutters what is happening and why in close detail.

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