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Covid Fatigue or Just Ugly Human Syndrome?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:09 pm
"This is the best website for people with an Ostomy, hands down. So much understanding. Everyone should join."

Hi Folks,  This is mainly just a vent session as I calm down from a very unpleasant encounter I had this morning at my local Walmart.  I was using the 'Handicapped' washroom, something I don't often do by the way.  If all I have to do is pee, why would I?  On the other hand if I have to empty my pouch, especially if it's become quite full quickly and there is the chance of things getting messy, splashbacks can happen, if there is a private washroom available I am definitely going to use it.  In this case the 'Handicapped' washroom also doubles as the 'Family' washroom.  There is nothing written on the door, just symbols indicating a wheelchair and a family group.  When I opened the door to exit there was a thirty something man with his two kids, a girl of five or six and a boy a year or two older standing there waiting to get in.  He gave me some serious stink eye and said in a very loud voice "this is the family washroom".

I was unsure how to respond to this cretin, tempted to just tell him to f*!# off (which I wouldn't do with his two kids standing there) or just ignore him and not dignify him with a response.  Instead I pointed to the symbol on the door and quietly informed him that this was also the 'handicapped' washroom.  What did this creep do next??  He looked me up and down in a very rude and obvious way (I want to say almost lewd) and said, again in a very loud voice "well you don't LOOK like a handicapped person".  I was angry and humiliated and outraged and even though I knew there was no need for me to justify myself to this arsehole, I felt I needed to say something to try to educate him as futile as that might be.  I started to say something to the effect of "you should never judge someone by their appearance and not all handicaps are visible", but he wasn't interested in what I had to say and quickly ushered his kids inside the washroom and slammed the door in my face.  I was left standing there shaking in anger and embarrassed at the attention his loud verbal assault on me had garnered.  I slunk out of there wishing I could become invisible.

My biggest takeaway from this?  This man is a father!  It certainly wasn't a teaching moment for him but it was for his kids, the lesson learned being that his behavior was normal and acceptable.  It makes me angry and sad.

I still haven't completely calmed down but just writing it out has helped!  So what do you all think?  Is this guy just a victim of Covid fatigue or is this just an example of his lovely self.  I'm going for the latter. I should also mention that he was NOT wearing a mask, no surprise there.

Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:12 pm

Hi,

Déjà vu for me and I totally agree. I tried posting about the same thing in another forum called, "Some people got a severe case of the uglies," however the meaning was taken out of context by a few. I was talking about "parents" as well and received some interesting comments. I have since then decided to just talk about ostomate issues (of which I have few luckily) or post on topics with much less depth - funny seems to be safer. The thing about on-line forums is - that is exactly what they are and people can come out of the woodwork a few times to make one not want to post anymore. Just saying ... Karen

MeetAnOstoMate - 27,282 members
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:23 pm

I always try and remind myself what a horrible life that person must have in order to be so mean and ugly especially in front kids.  People like that just can't be living good lives, there is absolutely no way!!!  That always makes me pity them and I end up feeling much better because my life is good and I'm not a ugly person 😁

Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:40 pm

Lots of crazy people out these days.. crime is the San Francisco Bay Area has gone up since June! People are racing on the freeway like it is a racetrack..and they somewhere important to go.. every thing is closed!! The days of the 🦠 virus.

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:02 pm
Maried wrote:

Lots of crazy people out these days.. crime is the San Francisco Bay Area has gone up since June! People are racing on the freeway like it is a racetrack..and they somewhere important to go.. every thing is closed!! The days of the 🦠 virus.


Hi Maried,


I have noticed a lot of crazy behaviour as well here. A doctor was murdered (first degree) in our province the other day which is rare news for us. Mental health (underfunded here) due to covid-19 will have long term effects on people, which is unfortunate. Speeding tickets remain a cash cow plus there are still a lot of people who will not wear masks.

We wear seat belts and motorcycle helmets but there is something about the of wearing masks that people feel infringed upon. I will probably never understand that behaviour but I guess until we all know someone that has the virus or has died from the virus it remains the “not in my backyard” syndrome. “It is what it is.”

On the other hand, there many considerate, thoughtful and knowledgeable people out there. Take care, Karen

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:23 pm
Sangria wrote:

I always try and remind myself what a horrible life that person must have in order to be so mean and ugly especially in front kids.  People like that just can't be living good lives, there is absolutely no way!!!  That always makes me pity them and I end up feeling much better because my life is good and I'm not a ugly person 😁


You are so right and thanks for reminding me.  That man must be a very unhappy person.

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:40 pm
kmedup wrote:

Hi,

Déjà vu for me and I totally agree. I tried posting about the same thing in another forum called, "Some people got a severe case of the uglies," however the meaning was taken out of context by a few. I was talking about "parents" as well and received some interesting comments. I have since then decided to just talk about ostomate issues (of which I have few luckily) or post on topics with much less depth - funny seems to be safer. The thing about on-line forums is - that is exactly what they are and people can come out of the woodwork a few times to make one not want to post anymore. Just saying ... Karen


Hi Karen,  Well, I hope I didn't offend any parents out there!  But you are right, there are lots out there lurking in the woodwork with differing views and values from yours and mine.  It is much safer to keep to the 'ostomate' issues, which technically mine was.  I've certainly been guilty lately of getting way off topic and may have turned off some other members.  If so, they have remained silent.  Take care.

Terry

Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:49 pm

Yes indeed, where are they all rushing to?  But you know to be honest, I'm finding for the most part people are being nicer.  Our provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry who has become a bit of a rock star has a motto that our province has adopted; Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.  Most people seem to have embraced it.  There will always be the exceptions.  Thanks for your response Maried.

Terry

Maried wrote:

Lots of crazy people out these days.. crime is the San Francisco Bay Area has gone up since June! People are racing on the freeway like it is a racetrack..and they somewhere important to go.. every thing is closed!! The days of the 🦠 virus.




Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:58 pm

Terry, I'm torn between whether you should just ignore him altogether, or calmly say "You don't know anything about me or my disability" and then walk away. I'm sorry that you had to endure this. While I think that we are all suffering from covid fatigue, that alone wouldn't explain his behaviour. It is possible, though, that one of his kids was not feeling well, and needed to get to a washroom; perhaps that affected his mood. But the bottom line is - you don't need to apologize or explain to anyone, and he alone is responsible for his bad behaviour. 


Laurie

Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:43 pm

I think I would have said go home and look up colostomy then say I am not handicaped.

Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:49 pm

I was at a CFL game a few years ago and refused entry to the handicap wash room. They said I needed a card or some kind of id.  I thought that was wrong, I do not go to many games so did not look into it any further. 

I would not have given the man the time of day.

Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:23 am

Hello Delgrl525. 

Thank you for sharing this experience as I feel sure there are many others who have been through the same sort of thing and wondered what they should have done in response. My own most memorable incident was pre-stoma, when I was faecally incontinent. My own way of coping and managing my emotions in such circumstances is usually to make a lighthearted comment at the time and then go home to write it up - often in rhyming verse. However, on this occasion I decided that the story would be better written in prose, ( in 'Laugh or Lament' 2019) so I will copy and paste below:

Best wishes

Bill

THE POOPERSTORE.

“There are few people on this earth
who have less sense than a jobs-worth.”

My first true story is one of my favourites, not only because it encompasses misfortune, toilet humour and filth, but it epitomises the concept of an embarrassing disaster almost entirely caused by a security guard with a ‘jobs-worth’ attitude. (Always good for a laugh when the consequences of their obstructiveness rebound on them)
When viewed from a historical perspective, this story gets more amusing to me each time I tell it.
I will not bore you with the gory preliminary details but, there was a time in my not too distant past when, due to a botched surgical operation, I was left chronically incontinent of faeces.

For anyone who does not know about this type of chronic condition, it is not immediately visually apparent, that faecal incontinence is a serious disability which requires immediate attention in much the same way that a heart attack, stroke or anaphylactic shock might require.
As you might imagine, this was not an easy condition to manage, either practically or from an emotional, psychological and social perspective.
After several personally embarrassing incidents, I was beginning to get the hang of managing the condition by a combination of knowing exactly where every local toilet was situated; anally irrigating at regular intervals and wearing anal plugs to give me a fighting chance of making it to the nearest toilet in time.

On the occasion in question, I happened to be in a local superstore shopping, when the dreaded feeling came over me and I knew that I needed to get to a loo in a hurry.
The obvious place to cater for this type of emergency was to use the toilet for disabled people, which I had done successfully on several previous occasions, in other locations.
Unfortunately, this time there was a large male security guard standing between me and the toilet and he made it clear that he was not going to let me use the facility.
I quickly and politely explained, that I was incontinent and that I needed to use the toilet in a hurry but he stood his ground, saying that he did not believe I was ‘disabled’.
What do you do in such circumstances? I protested and tried to persuade the guard that there would be ‘consequences’ if he did not allow me access to the toilet immediately. The more I protested, the more resolute he became, stating that there was no way he was going to let me use the disabled toilet and that I should find somewhere else to go.
Unbeknown to him, I usually had a proverbial two-minute warning before the ‘bomb’ dropped.
The anal plug gave way and the build-up of warm, wet crap flushed down my trouser legs, ending up in a smelly heap on my shoes and the surrounding floor.
Those of you from rural areas might be able to relate to this by imagining standing in a large wet cow pat, except for the fact that this crap was also coagulating in my underpants and seeping through my trousers legs which would have made my walking gait a bit like a demented crab.
Now! One of the things about having such a catastrophe happen in a food store is that it becomes an immediate health and safety issue, as well as being a stinking, embarrassing mess for all concerned.
From my perspective, this was not the first time such an accident had occurred so I was relatively experienced in coping with the embarrassment and the mess.
However, the social dynamics of such an occurrence for those who were close by was instantaneously dramatic and overwhelming.
People were simultaneously disgusted, nauseated and panicking as they were trying to exit the store as if there had been a fire alarm.
Another aspect about the human public is that, if there is someone in a uniform present at a disaster, they assume that person will take control of the situation and sort it before it gets out of hand.
In this case, it was the guard who had precipitated the incident and who then did not quite know what to do about rectifying his mistake.
Not wishing to ‘rub it in’ by stating the obvious that “I told you so!”, I kept calm, stood stock still, shrugged and in a matter-of-fact manner, stated that I ‘still’ needed to access the disabled toilet to clean up.
This time, the guard was relieved to be semi-instructed on what should happen next, so he was only too willing to get me out of sight of the other customers. Thus, he allowed me instant access into the toilet.
Having the lower half of one’s body covered in crap is not at all pleasant and is not easy to clean up in the confines of a public toilet, especially if you haven’t brought anything to change into once you’ve disrobed.
Fortunately, in the age of mobile phones, calling for reinforcements does not pose the same sort of problems as it might have done in previous generations so, by the time I cleaned myself up, I was expecting the new clothes to arrive. (I always carry my mobile phone in a pouch above my waistline to avoid the obvious problems associated with having it in my trouser pockets.)
Meanwhile, I’m literally ’privy’ to the conversations going on right outside the toilet door, which involved the security guard protesting that he was ‘only doing his job’ and that it ‘wasn’t his fault’.
I presumed that it was the manager of the store who came to tell him to get the mess cleaned up as quickly as possible. She came to the door and asked me if I was ‘okay in there?’ I sarcastically replied that ‘I could have been better, as all this could easily have easily been avoided’. adding that ‘I hoped that the store would teach their staff that not all disabilities are overtly visible’.

My only real regret about this incident was that nobody recorded it on their phone for a YouTube clip, as I feel sure that, even without the reality of the accompanying smell, the footage would have been appreciated by that very discerning audience on the World Wide Web.

Any adverse incident was always worth a rhyming verse or two, so here’s one I penned on this subject once I got home:


WALK A MILE WITHIN MY PANTS.

There would be little that you’d lose
to walk a mile within my shoes.
But walk that mile within my pants,
you’ll soon desire to decant.

For I am one of just a few
who cannot hold onto their poo.
I do not do this with intent,
it’s just that I’m incontinent.

When you take your first big stride
you’ll surely wish that you could hide.
The shame upon your face will tell
of warm-wet feeling and the smell.

From that point on, your gait has changed.
You’ll walk along as if deranged.
Do you walk or do you run?
Either way, it’s not much fun.

You’ll pray to know, where is the loo?
Hoping no-one noticed you.
Then there is a greater fear
if you forgot your change of gear.

And if you did not think ahead
it’s now you’ll wish that you were dead.
Whilst on that edge of life’s abyss
how do you ask for help with this?

Who would want to get involved
so your problem gets resolved?
In this facile, selfish land
very few would understand.

If you try to just stand still
the nausea will make you ill.
The proverb will then live to prove
there’ll come a time you’ll have to move.

‘You’ will have to realise
help will not materialise.
So ‘You’ will have to take control
to loose ‘yourself’ from this hellhole.

When you’ve done this all alone
the proverb’s meaning will be shown.
Within my pants, you’ll start to know
there’s still most of that mile to go!

                                     B. Withers 2011

Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:36 am

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."  Albert Einstein


Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:53 am
xnine wrote:

I was at a CFL game a few years ago and refused entry to the handicap wash room. They said I needed a card or some kind of id.  I thought that was wrong, I do not go to many games so did not look into it any further. 

I would not have given the man the time of day.

Xnine, in Ontario (and probably Alberta) this would constitute a violation of the Human Rights Code, as discrimination based on disability. What possible law is there that requires ID for a disability? That would place an unfair burden on the disabled person, simply because they are disabled. You might want to look that up so you can quote it if this ever happens to you again. You could also file a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal. I have done this - please contact me if you want to do it. I have also found that writing to the CEO, and pointing out exactly how they have violated the Code is helpful in getting an institution to change its policy. Unfortunately, this is after-the-fact, but little by little, we can move the bar. As a society, we need to recognize that not all disabilities are visible. Sorry this happened to you.

Laurie


Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:01 am

Bill, I love your story and poem. I love how (although the situation was probably distressful for you) you calmly allowed the natural consequences of the security guard's actions to unfold, and allowed it to become his problem. What a beautiful lesson for the rest of us in how not to take ownership of someone else's problem! And what a teachable moment for the security guard! Thanks for sharing this story. 

Laurie


Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:21 am

After over 30 years it's like water of a ducks back to me I just give them the internatonal 1 finger sign language and laugh at them and carry on walking.....here in the Uk we call them disabled toilets over the last few years there's been a campaign to get them to have "Not all disabilities are visble" signs added to the doors still dosen't make any difference to ignorant rude people like that

Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:55 am

Hi Del,

  I use the same "family" bathroom at my Walmart........so I know what you mean.  I use it because the stalls in the men's rooms are always wet, and I kneel to empty my bag.  Public bathroom behavior has always baffled me.........from using multiple toilet rings to sit on......to using tons of toilet paper to line the seat if said rings aren't available.....to my biggest pet peeve.....not flushing.  I'm not aware of any disease that's transfered via a toilet seat to your ass.......but people (most of whom practice very bad oral hygiene to begin with) are petrified of a toilet.  So much that they refuse to come in contact with it even to flush.  Yet those same people who won't flush also won't use a stall if it's unflushed when they enter it.  It's utterly amazing how stupid people are. 

 As for your specific incident........if it were me.........after he said "well, you don't look handicapped".......I would have said........."but YOU certainly do!.....so have at it".  Ya know, to be honest.......I was were he was once.  Meaning when I was a younger fool I might have said the same thing.......not to anyone older than me (always respect your elders), or even out loud, but for most non-handicapped folks in the general population the term "handicapped" means a physical handicap.  I know that's not right............but it's how it is.  I think that's primarily because the universal symbol for handicap is a wheelchair.....so that's what pops into everyone's mind when they think that.  The guy was a jerk, especially in front of his kids.......but the world is full of bad parents.  And the number is increasing by the number of kids they have.  It's a pretty ugly place in general, this world is, but since nice folks are now in the minority..........you just probably better get used to it.  I just ignore the idiots......and I do a LOT of ignoring during the course of a day. 

regards,

bob 

Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:10 am

I am going to check with my Doc before I go further. All I can find on the net is building code stuff.

Padfoot wrote:

Xnine, in Ontario (and probably Alberta) this would constitute a violation of the Human Rights Code, as discrimination based on disability. What possible law is there that requires ID for a disability? That would place an unfair burden on the disabled person, simply because they are disabled. You might want to look that up so you can quote it if this ever happens to you again. You could also file a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal. I have done this - please contact me if you want to do it. I have also found that writing to the CEO, and pointing out exactly how they have violated the Code is helpful in getting an institution to change its policy. Unfortunately, this is after-the-fact, but little by little, we can move the bar. As a society, we need to recognize that not all disabilities are visible. Sorry this happened to you.

Laurie




Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:22 pm
xnine wrote:

I am going to check with my Doc before I go further. All I can find on the net is building code stuff.



Xnine, Google Alberta Human Rights Act. Look under Code of Conduct, sec 4, Discrimination re goods, services, accommodation, facilities. You cannot be discriminated against because of physical disability. Your argument would be that it places an unfair burden on you to be denied the use of the handicapped washroom, and it is discriminatory to require you to provide proof of your disability, because that requirement is not in place for the larger community. In order to file a complaint, the incident needs to have occurred in Alberta, and within the last year. You can, by the way, include the institution in your complaint, as well as the individual. It's best if you can demonstrate that you have tried in some way to resolve this matter,  but when it comes to being denied use of a washroom, it's hard to resolve this at the time, only after the fact. Something I suggest you do is write to the General Manager of the facility, CEO of the institution, and a copy to all the members of the Board, if there is one. You can explain how they have violated your human rights, and suggest, as Panther suggests above, that employees be informed that not all disabilities are visible, and that signs should be posted indicating this on handicapped washroom doors. Explain in detail, like Bob did, above, why you need to use the handicapped washroom, and that an ostomy is, in fact a disability (of elimination) accepted by the CRA.  You never know, you may get a favourable response, and maybe score some free tickets. The way I see it, we can ignore the problem, or moan about it, or try to change it in some way. I favour the third option. Never walk away from a good argument when you have morality and the law on your side. 


Laurie

Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:36 pm

Thanks

Padfoot wrote:

Xnine, Google Alberta Human Rights Act. Look under Code of Conduct, sec 4, Discrimination re goods, services, accommodation, facilities. You cannot be discriminated against because of physical disability. Your argument would be that it places an unfair burden on you to be denied the use of the handicapped washroom, and it is discriminatory to require you to provide proof of your disability, because that requirement is not in place for the larger community. In order to file a complaint, the incident needs to have occurred in Alberta, and within the last year. You can, by the way, include the institution in your complaint, as well as the individual. It's best if you can demonstrate that you have tried in some way to resolve this matter,  but when it comes to being denied use of a washroom, it's hard to resolve this at the time, only after the fact. Something I suggest you do is write to the General Manager of the facility, CEO of the institution, and a copy to all the members of the Board, if there is one. You can explain how they have violated your human rights, and suggest, as Panther suggests above, that employees be informed that not all disabilities are visible, and that signs should be posted indicating this on handicapped washroom doors. Explain in detail, like Bob did, above, why you need to use the handicapped washroom, and that an ostomy is, in fact a disability (of elimination) accepted by the CRA.  You never know, you may get a favourable response, and maybe score some free tickets. The way I see it, we can ignore the problem, or moan about it, or try to change it in some way. I favour the third option. Never walk away from a good argument when you have morality and the law on your side. 


Laurie



Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:01 pm
xnine wrote:

I was at a CFL game a few years ago and refused entry to the handicap wash room. They said I needed a card or some kind of id.  I thought that was wrong, I do not go to many games so did not look into it any further. 

I would not have given the man the time of day.


Hi xnine,  That is terrible and should not happen.  It's bad enough to have to ask for the key but I'm sure it was some sort of human rights violation for them to deny you access.  I've been asked if I'm handicapped when requesting the key and I feel like being sarcastic in my response and saying something like "No, I just like the wallpaper better in the handicapped washroom" but of course I haven't. 

Terry

Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:07 pm
Bill wrote:

Hello Delgrl525. 

Thank you for sharing this experience as I feel sure there are many others who have been through the same sort of thing and wondered what they should have done in response. My own most memorable incident was pre-stoma, when I was faecally incontinent. My own way of coping and managing my emotions in such circumstances is usually to make a lighthearted comment at the time and then go home to write it up - often in rhyming verse. However, on this occasion I decided that the story would be better written in prose, ( in 'Laugh or Lament' 2019) so I will copy and paste below:

Best wishes

Bill

THE POOPERSTORE.

“There are few people on this earth
who have less sense than a jobs-worth.”

My first true story is one of my favourites, not only because it encompasses misfortune, toilet humour and filth, but it epitomises the concept of an embarrassing disaster almost entirely caused by a security guard with a ‘jobs-worth’ attitude. (Always good for a laugh when the consequences of their obstructiveness rebound on them)
When viewed from a historical perspective, this story gets more amusing to me each time I tell it.
I will not bore you with the gory preliminary details but, there was a time in my not too distant past when, due to a botched surgical operation, I was left chronically incontinent of faeces.

For anyone who does not know about this type of chronic condition, it is not immediately visually apparent, that faecal incontinence is a serious disability which requires immediate attention in much the same way that a heart attack, stroke or anaphylactic shock might require.
As you might imagine, this was not an easy condition to manage, either practically or from an emotional, psychological and social perspective.
After several personally embarrassing incidents, I was beginning to get the hang of managing the condition by a combination of knowing exactly where every local toilet was situated; anally irrigating at regular intervals and wearing anal plugs to give me a fighting chance of making it to the nearest toilet in time.

On the occasion in question, I happened to be in a local superstore shopping, when the dreaded feeling came over me and I knew that I needed to get to a loo in a hurry.
The obvious place to cater for this type of emergency was to use the toilet for disabled people, which I had done successfully on several previous occasions, in other locations.
Unfortunately, this time there was a large male security guard standing between me and the toilet and he made it clear that he was not going to let me use the facility.
I quickly and politely explained, that I was incontinent and that I needed to use the toilet in a hurry but he stood his ground, saying that he did not believe I was ‘disabled’.
What do you do in such circumstances? I protested and tried to persuade the guard that there would be ‘consequences’ if he did not allow me access to the toilet immediately. The more I protested, the more resolute he became, stating that there was no way he was going to let me use the disabled toilet and that I should find somewhere else to go.
Unbeknown to him, I usually had a proverbial two-minute warning before the ‘bomb’ dropped.
The anal plug gave way and the build-up of warm, wet crap flushed down my trouser legs, ending up in a smelly heap on my shoes and the surrounding floor.
Those of you from rural areas might be able to relate to this by imagining standing in a large wet cow pat, except for the fact that this crap was also coagulating in my underpants and seeping through my trousers legs which would have made my walking gait a bit like a demented crab.
Now! One of the things about having such a catastrophe happen in a food store is that it becomes an immediate health and safety issue, as well as being a stinking, embarrassing mess for all concerned.
From my perspective, this was not the first time such an accident had occurred so I was relatively experienced in coping with the embarrassment and the mess.
However, the social dynamics of such an occurrence for those who were close by was instantaneously dramatic and overwhelming.
People were simultaneously disgusted, nauseated and panicking as they were trying to exit the store as if there had been a fire alarm.
Another aspect about the human public is that, if there is someone in a uniform present at a disaster, they assume that person will take control of the situation and sort it before it gets out of hand.
In this case, it was the guard who had precipitated the incident and who then did not quite know what to do about rectifying his mistake.
Not wishing to ‘rub it in’ by stating the obvious that “I told you so!”, I kept calm, stood stock still, shrugged and in a matter-of-fact manner, stated that I ‘still’ needed to access the disabled toilet to clean up.
This time, the guard was relieved to be semi-instructed on what should happen next, so he was only too willing to get me out of sight of the other customers. Thus, he allowed me instant access into the toilet.
Having the lower half of one’s body covered in crap is not at all pleasant and is not easy to clean up in the confines of a public toilet, especially if you haven’t brought anything to change into once you’ve disrobed.
Fortunately, in the age of mobile phones, calling for reinforcements does not pose the same sort of problems as it might have done in previous generations so, by the time I cleaned myself up, I was expecting the new clothes to arrive. (I always carry my mobile phone in a pouch above my waistline to avoid the obvious problems associated with having it in my trouser pockets.)
Meanwhile, I’m literally ’privy’ to the conversations going on right outside the toilet door, which involved the security guard protesting that he was ‘only doing his job’ and that it ‘wasn’t his fault’.
I presumed that it was the manager of the store who came to tell him to get the mess cleaned up as quickly as possible. She came to the door and asked me if I was ‘okay in there?’ I sarcastically replied that ‘I could have been better, as all this could easily have easily been avoided’. adding that ‘I hoped that the store would teach their staff that not all disabilities are overtly visible’.

My only real regret about this incident was that nobody recorded it on their phone for a YouTube clip, as I feel sure that, even without the reality of the accompanying smell, the footage would have been appreciated by that very discerning audience on the World Wide Web.

Any adverse incident was always worth a rhyming verse or two, so here’s one I penned on this subject once I got home:


WALK A MILE WITHIN MY PANTS.

There would be little that you’d lose
to walk a mile within my shoes.
But walk that mile within my pants,
you’ll soon desire to decant.

For I am one of just a few
who cannot hold onto their poo.
I do not do this with intent,
it’s just that I’m incontinent.

When you take your first big stride
you’ll surely wish that you could hide.
The shame upon your face will tell
of warm-wet feeling and the smell.

From that point on, your gait has changed.
You’ll walk along as if deranged.
Do you walk or do you run?
Either way, it’s not much fun.

You’ll pray to know, where is the loo?
Hoping no-one noticed you.
Then there is a greater fear
if you forgot your change of gear.

And if you did not think ahead
it’s now you’ll wish that you were dead.
Whilst on that edge of life’s abyss
how do you ask for help with this?

Who would want to get involved
so your problem gets resolved?
In this facile, selfish land
very few would understand.

If you try to just stand still
the nausea will make you ill.
The proverb will then live to prove
there’ll come a time you’ll have to move.

‘You’ will have to realise
help will not materialise.
So ‘You’ will have to take control
to loose ‘yourself’ from this hellhole.

When you’ve done this all alone
the proverb’s meaning will be shown.
Within my pants, you’ll start to know
there’s still most of that mile to go!

                                     B. Withers 2011

OMG Bill, you have left me in stitches and made my day!  What a horrible thing to have gone through and how wonderful to be able to look back on it and use humour to cope.  I can relate to your situation more than many I suspect as before my colostomy I had suffered from decades of "motility" issues which means the muscles in my intestine didn't work properly to move the stool along.  I needed to use lots of laxative (still do actually) in order to achieve a bowel movement so it was always very loose.  Unfortunately because the muscles didn't work properly they would suddenly decide to let the stool out without warning, and I mean really no warning at all.  Lucky for me this happened rarely and I was able to get control before very much actually came out (well except for one time when I basically filled my pants but I was practically on my doorstep returning from a walk on that occasion).  Anyway, I love how you handled it and I'm glad that full of himself security guard was taken down a few pegs.
I was also thinking while reading your post that it must be difficult to deal with the whole issue of public washrooms living in the U.K., or there are secret washroom that only the insiders know about.  My husband and I spent almost a month in the U.K. about a year ago.  I was nervous about the issue of public washrooms before we left and did what research I could.  This was pre-colostomy but I still had major problems that required frequent and fast access to a washroom.  What I could find out didn't allay my fears.  An ex pat Brit friend of mine said not to worry, that you could just use the loos in pubs which were everywhere.  What I found was that most if not all pubs had signs saying the washroom was strictly for clientele and most were locked, so you couldn't just surreptiously go in and use it.  Almost no stores had washrooms and a lot of the more touristy areas that did have facilities made you pay by coin to use them.  I was often in a state of stress when we were driving from one place to another wondering if I would find somewhere with a washroom I could use.  I'm not talking about handicapped or disabled here, just any kind of loo.  So where are all the public loos?  I would love to know how you coped because we want to go back if and when travel becomes an option again.  In spite of the dearth of public loos, I loved England and enjoyed our time so much.  There is so much more I would like to see. We visited the birthplaces of my grandparents in Devon and Cornwall and my husbands distant relatives in Lincolnshire but would love to see the other side of my family roots in Norfolk and Lancashire.  We also loved London and would like to spend at least another week there.  

Bill, I love reading your prose and poetry.  You are a very talented guy.  Please continue to entertain us.

Cheers,

Terry

Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:34 pm
w30bob wrote:

Hi Del,

  I use the same "family" bathroom at my Walmart........so I know what you mean.  I use it because the stalls in the men's rooms are always wet, and I kneel to empty my bag.  Public bathroom behavior has always baffled me.........from using multiple toilet rings to sit on......to using tons of toilet paper to line the seat if said rings aren't available.....to my biggest pet peeve.....not flushing.  I'm not aware of any disease that's transfered via a toilet seat to your ass.......but people (most of whom practice very bad oral hygiene to begin with) are petrified of a toilet.  So much that they refuse to come in contact with it even to flush.  Yet those same people who won't flush also won't use a stall if it's unflushed when they enter it.  It's utterly amazing how stupid people are. 

 As for your specific incident........if it were me.........after he said "well, you don't look handicapped".......I would have said........."but YOU certainly do!.....so have at it".  Ya know, to be honest.......I was were he was once.  Meaning when I was a younger fool I might have said the same thing.......not to anyone older than me (always respect your elders), or even out loud, but for most non-handicapped folks in the general population the term "handicapped" means a physical handicap.  I know that's not right............but it's how it is.  I think that's primarily because the universal symbol for handicap is a wheelchair.....so that's what pops into everyone's mind when they think that.  The guy was a jerk, especially in front of his kids.......but the world is full of bad parents.  And the number is increasing by the number of kids they have.  It's a pretty ugly place in general, this world is, but since nice folks are now in the minority..........you just probably better get used to it.  I just ignore the idiots......and I do a LOT of ignoring during the course of a day. 

regards,

bob 


Hi Bob,  Yes, after the fact I'm thinking of all kinds of snappy comebacks I could have come up with to put this guy in his place, but then that's par for the course.  On the topic of toilet seats though...I have to admit I'm one of those people who doesn't want to come into contact with a public one and I take precautions not to.  Why?  Because I know what's on those seats and it's not just pee.  So yeah maybe I'm not going to catch anything that will kill me, but do I really want to sit in someone else's crap?  No!  I don't even want to sit in my own! And don't tell me that you can tell by looking at a toilet seat if it's clean.  You can't, period.  I have been straddling toilet seats for years, and no I don't pee on the seat because I raise it first (with a piece of toilet paper).  The not flushing thing is something I've never understood either but I enter a public washroom assumming that the people in there before me were pigs and I go from there.  Have I mentioned that I HATE public washrooms!

Thanks for your comments!  I felt like the world was full of jerks yesterday but I'm already realizing that isn't true and all of your comments have helped me get to that conclusion.  

Somehow I don't think even your young fool self would have acted the way that guy did.

Regards,

Terry

Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:16 pm
w30bob wrote:

Hi Del,

  I use the same "family" bathroom at my Walmart........so I know what you mean.  I use it because the stalls in the men's rooms are always wet, and I kneel to empty my bag.  Public bathroom behavior has always baffled me.........from using multiple toilet rings to sit on......to using tons of toilet paper to line the seat if said rings aren't available.....to my biggest pet peeve.....not flushing.  I'm not aware of any disease that's transfered via a toilet seat to your ass.......but people (most of whom practice very bad oral hygiene to begin with) are petrified of a toilet.  So much that they refuse to come in contact with it even to flush.  Yet those same people who won't flush also won't use a stall if it's unflushed when they enter it.  It's utterly amazing how stupid people are. 

 As for your specific incident........if it were me.........after he said "well, you don't look handicapped".......I would have said........."but YOU certainly do!.....so have at it".  Ya know, to be honest.......I was were he was once.  Meaning when I was a younger fool I might have said the same thing.......not to anyone older than me (always respect your elders), or even out loud, but for most non-handicapped folks in the general population the term "handicapped" means a physical handicap.  I know that's not right............but it's how it is.  I think that's primarily because the universal symbol for handicap is a wheelchair.....so that's what pops into everyone's mind when they think that.  The guy was a jerk, especially in front of his kids.......but the world is full of bad parents.  And the number is increasing by the number of kids they have.  It's a pretty ugly place in general, this world is, but since nice folks are now in the minority..........you just probably better get used to it.  I just ignore the idiots......and I do a LOT of ignoring during the course of a day. 

regards,

bob 

Just a slight correction on my previous comment, re toilet seats.  Instead of straddling I meant to say squatting, as in, not touching the seat!  So maybe I'm a bit of a germaphobe, but maybe that's not such a bad thing to be living in these Covid times!

T

Axl
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:31 am

Hi Del

Like Bob says ...... there is an asshole on every corner these days and getting worse year by year, its not the world I grew up in.

Just laugh and walk away


Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:59 pm

  Hi del,

I agree with y'all some folks should never be parents, they are no role model. I'm sorry that that happened. 

I have thought about such a situation and yes it may be different given the factors, but if it's trouble in the men's room like that I (myself) will pull up my shirt and say whatever the situation requires. Obviously with children in the mix I probably wouldn't show em, but I (myself) would give them something to think about later. 

That's just me though.  mtnman 


Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:05 pm

Terry,

 I have been thinking about people's responses in light of the human rights violation aspect of your story. While it is so, so tempting to flip off ignorant people with a snappy comeback, unfortunately, I think sometimes that further entrenches their belief that they are justified in saying what they've said. It's just another brick in the wall. Sure, there will always be people who don't care to understand, but wouldn't it be better for all of us if we could bring about a change in attitude, even for some?   I really like what Panther said about the UK campaign to educate about some disabilities being invisible. Why can't we do that in other parts of the world? Why can't we engage our elected officials to take some leadership on this? What about a letter writing campaign to Carla Qualtrough, the Minister responsible for disability inclusion? She is from your neck of the woods - what do you think about her? I know you felt cut off by the guy who was criticizing you in Walmart - if you could have pointed to a sign that said Not All Disabilities are Visible, that would have given you some more clout than you felt you had in that moment - if only because it would have been more than just you stating that position. And while it might not have changed his views right then, it might have given him something to think about when he had calmed down. And maybe it would have prevented xnine from being denied the washroom he needed. And Bill might have avoided an awful humiliation. Your thoughts? The journey always begins with the first step.

Laurie

Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:44 pm

Several have mentioned asking for keys to handicap rest rooms. where I live the doors are not locked. Why do they lock them ? I would think if you had to wait on a key it may be too late sometimes.

Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:05 pm
Padfoot wrote:

Terry,

 I have been thinking about people's responses in light of the human rights violation aspect of your story. While it is so, so tempting to flip off ignorant people with a snappy comeback, unfortunately, I think sometimes that further entrenches their belief that they are justified in saying what they've said. It's just another brick in the wall. Sure, there will always be people who don't care to understand, but wouldn't it be better for all of us if we could bring about a change in attitude, even for some?   I really like what Panther said about the UK campaign to educate about some disabilities being invisible. Why can't we do that in other parts of the world? Why can't we engage our elected officials to take some leadership on this? What about a letter writing campaign to Carla Qualtrough, the Minister responsible for disability inclusion? She is from your neck of the woods - what do you think about her? I know you felt cut off by the guy who was criticizing you in Walmart - if you could have pointed to a sign that said Not All Disabilities are Visible, that would have given you some more clout than you felt you had in that moment - if only because it would have been more than just you stating that position. And while it might not have changed his views right then, it might have given him something to think about when he had calmed down. And maybe it would have prevented xnine from being denied the washroom he needed. And Bill might have avoided an awful humiliation. Your thoughts? The journey always begins with the first step.

Laurie


Hi all,


This is an interesting post, so of course, I have to add my 2 cents worth and another perspective.

Disability could vary according to provinces; I am not sure. I received a disability placard for my ostomy with just one application.

The fact that a non-visible disability like an ostomy or even a mental disability is often questioned by others, is a reality, I agree. When I put my placard up, people look at me with a “what the fudge attitude.” I just consider it their problem not mine. That is not a hill I want to die on. Most of everyday life is questioned by someone or another. One of my native students told me something I often refer to, when she faced workplace stereotyping, “Life has taught me not to mind those that don’t matter.”

On another note, for about a decade, on and off, I helped a retired lawyer-friend who had a life-changing stroke with many pro bono cases.  It made me feel fortunate to just have an ostomy.    I have learned 2 sayings from this experience, “The Halls of Injustice” and “Inhuman Rights.”

I discovered by typing cases (affidavits and motions) and accompanying him to court, that this ugly system works best if one has money and time – mostly money. If you are “one against the mob or a “David versus Goliath” case in a civil, not a criminal case - a lawyer, defending an institution like a labor union, a human rights tribunal or an employee standards board, can keep a case in court for many years using dirty little back doors. That time and money causes stress and stress leads to "inter alia" disease. It is never about whether you are right and the opposing side is wrong (even if that is the absolute truth) it is about who IS the “last one standing.” If you want to go to court to defend a principle on its merits, it can be very costly in Canada.

A lawyer-friend of mine told me this joke one day. “A young son went to work for his father's legal firm after he passed the bar. His father, pointing to a pile of papers, said he could work on any case he wanted to. One day the son asked his father quite sincerely, "All of these cases span many years. Why are they not settled by now?” The father looked at him and said, “How do you think you got through law school?”

Fighting the good fight has both positive and negative repercussions.

I did my thesis on working conditions in Alberta and the law – employees versus employers. It was an extremely rewarding insight into how institutions work. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

Later, K.


Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:32 pm
kmedup wrote:


Hi all,


This is an interesting post, so of course, I have to add my 2 cents worth and another perspective.

Disability could vary according to provinces; I am not sure. I received a disability placard for my ostomy with just one application.

The fact that a non-visible disability like an ostomy or even a mental disability is often questioned by others, is a reality, I agree. When I put my placard up, people look at me with a “what the fudge attitude.” I just consider it their problem not mine. That is not a hill I want to die on. Most of everyday life is questioned by someone or another. One of my native students told me something I often refer to, when she faced workplace stereotyping, “Life has taught me not to mind those that don’t matter.”

On another note, for about a decade, on and off, I helped a retired lawyer-friend who had a life-changing stroke with many pro bono cases.  It made me feel fortunate to just have an ostomy.    I have learned 2 sayings from this experience, “The Halls of Injustice” and “Inhuman Rights.”

I discovered by typing cases (affidavits and motions) and accompanying him to court, that this ugly system works best if one has money and time – mostly money. If you are “one against the mob or a “David versus Goliath” case in a civil, not a criminal case - a lawyer, defending an institution like a labor union, a human rights tribunal or an employee standards board, can keep a case in court for many years using dirty little back doors. That time and money causes stress and stress leads to "inter alia" disease. It is never about whether you are right and the opposing side is wrong (even if that is the absolute truth) it is about who IS the “last one standing.” If you want to go to court to defend a principle on its merits, it can be very costly in Canada.

A lawyer-friend of mine told me this joke one day. “A young son went to work for his father's legal firm after he passed the bar. His father, pointing to a pile of papers, said he could work on any case he wanted to. One day the son asked his father quite sincerely, "All of these cases span many years. Why are they not settled by now?” The father looked at him and said, “How do you think you got through law school?”

Fighting the good fight has both positive and negative repercussions.

I did my thesis on working conditions in Alberta and the law – employees versus employers. It was an extremely rewarding insight into how institutions work. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

Later, K.

Karen, yes, I agree. Fighting for a principle can be expensive; I'm in the middle of that process now, so I understand how frustrating it can be. But I'm not talking about fighting a legal battle; I'm talking about enlisting the help of our elected officials - specifically one who is responsible for disability inclusion. It is always better to change attitudes through education than to drag kicking and screaming. If enough of us (in Canada) contacted Carla Qualtrough and asked for an education campaign, one that would be helpful to all with invisible disabilities, not just ostomates, she might actually agree that it is something her Ministry could do. Her Ministry's mandate is to facilitate inclusion - education would be one way to do that. If they don't ever hear that there is a problem, how can we expect them to know? The timing isn't great right now, with covid still front and centre, but I think it is worth trying when things quiet down.

 I think you're right about different provinces having different ways of handling disability issues. I have never heard of a disability placard in Ontario. I'm not sure, however, that disability itself is defined differently by province; the CRA has country wide criteria for what constitutes a disability. I will post a new forum on that soonish. 

My point in all of this is that there are more effective ways of dealing with this than just snappy comebacks, as cathartic as they may be at the time.

Laurie

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