to have used the disabled loo?

(171 Posts)
HighwayRat Mon 17-Mar-14 19:23:49

I went to the supermarket earlier and needed a wee, I have ms and scoliosis and have been suffering the last few days with a relapse and back pain so need the rails to lift myself on and off the loo (I use the sink and looroll holder at home so have been managing well) anyway I came out and a woman in a wheelchair was waiting she looked me up and down and said 'you know this is a disabled toilet' I said 'yes' to which she said 'well you dont look disabled' well Im not proud of it but I said 'well you dont look like a twat but here we are' and walked off.

But it got me thinking, I could have used the normal loos - I normally do but today was a bad day - it would have been a lot more awkward but I could have done. I can legitimately use the disabled toilet but should they be left for those with more urgent or obvious mobility/disabilities? How do you deal with people who assume you are fine and just taking the piss using the disabled facilities?

ProudAS Fri 21-Mar-14 14:05:09

I agree with Dawn. Don't feel guilty Allthatglitters

allthatglittersisnotgold Fri 21-Mar-14 14:16:38

Thank you appreciate it, I know it's a condition, but it's not like I regularly go to the drs or think about it day in day out. I'll occassionally get a flare up and think oh yes there it is.

No one has really said oh it's not a "real" problem, but I don't talk about it and I guess I feel like it's not as serious as some things people have to live with or need an accesible toilet for. In the past I've even got a friend or my mum to flush over and over the toilet in the next cubicle to drown out the orchestra of my bum issues! Therefore when an enclosed toilet is free I thank all the gods as I sit there!

Don't want to make this thread about me, so thanks for the little reassurance.

Inertia Fri 21-Mar-14 14:19:19

Allthatglitters- don't feel guilty. You have a medical need to use the accessible loo.

I hope that everyone with a genuine disability or medical need will gain the strength from this thread to say , if challenged, that their disability may not be visible but it certainly justifies the use of accessible toilets.

MrsDeVere Fri 21-Mar-14 14:33:34

When mine flares allthatglitters I will use the disabled loo.
IBS is fecking horrible.

Topseyt Fri 21-Mar-14 16:01:24

Allthatglitters, and other sufferers of IBS and similar conditions, please do not feel guilty or stressed.

When I had a severely overactive thyroid (severe thyrotoxicosis due to Graves Disease) I had IBS so badly that I would sometimes hardly dare to walk down the street. I would plan any outings I did have to make around where the nearest loo would be, and how far away from it I dared to get. It was awful, and it dictated my life. If the only available loo was the disabled one then so be it. I used it before I exploded all over myself. It was a medical condition which took a long time to come under control.

The thyroid issues are now under control, and I have far fewer flare-ups, but when I do have one then I just HAVE to go. Believe me, anyone who has suffered IBS for any reason at all, even if no definite reason can be found, will know exactly how you feel.

I sometimes wonder if the signage denoting the disabled toilet should perhaps be amended. It does give a diagram of a person in a wheelchair, and that may give the misleading impression that these facilities are only for wheelchair users.

ProudAS Fri 21-Mar-14 16:36:13

I agree Topseyt apparently only 5% of people who have a disability as defined by equality act use a wheelchair.

allthatglitters I think you do have a disability as defined by the legislation so can expect certain adjustments to be made. This is not quite the same thing as considering yourself disabled - I prefer differently abled!

Minimou Sat 22-Mar-14 10:56:51

If you have a choice and you are able, I think you should use the normal toilet, but I think it's fine for able bodied people to use the accessible toilet if all the others are occupied. I don't think it's necessary for all the disabled toilets in the land to be standing open on the off chance that a wheelchair user might want to use it at that exact moment. Most of us can probably hold on for a minute while the person inside finishes up. It's not like a disabled parking space, which could be occupied for hours.

Minimou Sat 22-Mar-14 11:05:28

And yes I know a thing or two about IBS, but having an urgent need to use the toilet quickly is not the same as needing a wide cubicle, grab rails etc. If that's the problem then you just need to get into any toilet quickly, and if there is a queue you can say to people you have an upset stomach, they will usually let you pass in front of them. That's a separate issue to the accessible toilet.

ALittleFaith Sat 22-Mar-14 11:09:19

It's also about it being a separate loo though....I don't like the thought of people hearing from the next cubicle/queue when my IBS is problematic.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 22-Mar-14 11:09:57

Minimou On the one hand you state that everybody should be allowed to use the 'accessible' lavatory and on the other you have a go at those with ibs doing so.
My dd has also explained what waiting means to her. Have you read the thread?

Minimou Sat 22-Mar-14 11:15:56

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I'm not having a go about people with IBS using the disabled toilet. I totally see why they would need and want to! I just meant that if someone happened to be in the disabled toilet and it was an emergency, they could use one of the other toilets.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 22-Mar-14 11:16:28

Ahh, okay. Sorry.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 22-Mar-14 11:26:49

And yes I know a thing or two about IBS, but having an urgent need to use the toilet quickly is not the same as needing a wide cubicle, grab rails etc. If that's the problem then you just need to get into any toilet quickly, and if there is a queue you can say to people you have an upset stomach, they will usually let you pass in front of them. That's a separate issue to the accessible toilet

That's not correct,IBS is a condition that allows you to correctly obtain a radar key as are several conditions that mean you don't need to use the grab rail ect.

An accessible loo can be just about it being more likely to be available for those who have illnesses that require haste to prevent pain and accidents.

Minimou Sat 22-Mar-14 11:50:24

Dawn, I went back and found your bit about your DD and that is awful, I really sympathise. I'm lucky that I no longer have any problems, so no urgent or official reason to use the accessible loo. But, imagining a situation where there is a long line of toilets and a bigger accessible one at the end. There is a queue. Of course, if someone came in with a need to use it, I would let them go in front of me. But I don't feel I have a moral obligation to leave the bigger toilet free just in case someone comes along at that exact moment who a) has an urgent need to go that cannot be contained for the 60 secs I am in there and b) cannot use the normal stalls.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 22-Mar-14 11:52:46

Well you do really.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 22-Mar-14 11:54:43

As if everyone thought like you the disabled toilet would always be free.

Still. .better someone wets themselves or my DD gets distressed than you just have to wait longer (now you have no problems ) or walk past the disabled toilet to the ladies.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 22-Mar-14 11:55:00

Would never be free of course, not always.

Minimou Sat 22-Mar-14 12:20:27

It's free again every time someone comes out. Usually people were good enough to let me go to the front of the queue and most people are in there for a very short time. So when it affected me, I didn't think people were unreasonable using the facilities that were available.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 22-Mar-14 12:29:58

Oh well thats ok then. hmm

Dawndonnaagain Sat 22-Mar-14 16:52:44

I'm sorry mini it's rude and selfish not to leave it free just in case.

missmarplestmarymead Sat 22-Mar-14 18:50:44

If you fancy? What an ignorant remark and good luck with telling people that they are thick!

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