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Would it be okay for me to use the disabled loo?

(49 Posts)

I've had my colon and rectum removed and I now have an ileo anal pouch. It's still in the settling in phase and I often have to go to the toilet quite urgently and frequently. I'm also have chemo at the moment which is adding to the problems.

The skin around my bottom is very excoriated and I need to use various creams to protect it. As the skin is often broken I need to wash my hands before applying the cream. It sounds melodramatic but the short amount of time it would take me to leave cubicle, wash my hands and then go back in (assuming no queue) can be enough to damage the skin. My solution has been to use hand sanitiser when I'm out of the house so that I do not need to leave the cubicle.

However my specialist nurse thinks this might be bad for my skin and has suggested I use the disabled toilet so I can wash my hands without leaving the cubicle. I feel guilty about the idea as I am not disabled.

Does anyone have an opinion/any advice? smile sorry quite a boring and TMI topic I expect!

Pootles2010 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:11:17

Of course you can! I'd say on the basis of needing toilet urgently/frequently alone, but especially as your nurse is saying you ought to. Please don't make youself more poorly!

Hope things improve for you soon.

Pancakeflipper Thu 13-Jun-13 14:12:55

Yes.

piprabbit Thu 13-Jun-13 14:14:02

Of course you can.

Thank you both, I'm glad I asked now smile

Yes, you bloody well should!
Having a disability does not just mean being a wheelchair user. Obviously,having an 'invisible' disability means that the occasional numpty make 'judge' you but you every right to use this facility.

Oops, x posted piprabbit thank you too smile

BrianTheMole Thu 13-Jun-13 14:15:56

Yes of course you should. Get yourself a radar key.

MisselthwaiteManor Thu 13-Jun-13 14:16:36

Of course. You need a cubicle with a sink and that cubicle has a sink, so really there's no question.

LoopyLooplaHoop Thu 13-Jun-13 14:17:46

Oh my goodness of course you should use it!

That's an interesting point Sauvignon I hadn't really thought of myself as having an invisible disability. And I was thinking of disabled toilet facilities being for those with mobility issues rather than just an illness related thing but I can see I'm being a bit silly and I shall do the best thing for my health - you're right, I was worried I'd be judged or upset someone with a more visible disability! smile

Littleballofhate Thu 13-Jun-13 14:18:24

My heart goes to you. I hope things settle for you very quickly! You absolutely should use disabled toilet.

Oh everyone has been lovely and reassuring, thank you smile I was expecting everyone to agree with me and tell me to stop making a fuss and just run to the sink with my knickers round my ankles! grin

Littleballofhate Thu 13-Jun-13 14:20:39

Ruby, I have a very visible disability and I rarely give thought to anyone using the disabled toilet. Most of us are aware that disabilities come in many forms.

Abra1d Thu 13-Jun-13 14:22:09

Of course you should use the disabled loo.

If you wanted to have an instant riposte to any stupidity you might encounter, I would print up some little cards to hand to people telling us what you have said here and watch their faces go red as they realise what tits they have made of themselves.

Not that you should have to AT ALL, but sometimes it is good to have some ammunition on you.

SugarandSpice126 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:22:41

Yes of course! And if anyone challenges you, you can just say you are using it for health reasons (eg an employee of a cafe/supermarket or something - if just an idiot member of public challenging you then ignore!) I don't know any disabled person who would be angry/upset at your use of it, so really don't worry.

And it doesn't sound melodramatic at all, you need to take care of yourself in the way you have been advised to by professionals. I hope it recovers well.

MrsDeVere Thu 13-Jun-13 14:23:24

Of course you can!
Anyone who thought you couldn't would be bonkers.

Disability is not just about wheelchairs.

You sound like you have such a lot to cope with.

BistoBear Thu 13-Jun-13 14:23:56

I'm a student nurse and I recently had a placement with a colorectal specialist nurse. All the patients with similar conditions to you were given a radar key and a card which said they had a medical condition that requires urgent use of the toilet at times.

You are definitely entitled to use the disabled facilities, perhaps ask your nurse for a card or something similar.

valiumredhead Thu 13-Jun-13 14:24:02

Of course!

ShatnersBassoon Thu 13-Jun-13 14:24:23

Yes, you absolutely should use it. I have a friend with a similar problem, and she always uses the disabled loo.

Be prepared to tell people to mind their own business, or to give them a graphic explanation of your condition. I'm constantly amazed by those who just have to say something when they see my friend going in or out of the disabled cublicle apparently able-bodied. Lots of "The rest of us could wait, dear" snidey comments. Nasty busybodies, but my friend is so used to it she has a few well-prepared responses ready for them.

Abra1d and BistoBear thank you, I have a bright orange card saying I have a bowel condition and need urgent access to the toilet. So I will keep that to hand in case anyone challenges me. Plus I've found that mentioning the word rectum really unsettles people so if the card doesn't work I will try that grin

ShatnersBassoon grr at the comments/attitudes your friend has received. That's one of the things I was worried about. I'd never judge someone using the disabled toilets, I'd always assume they had a less visible disability or medical condition, I just seem to have double standards when it comes to my own health smile plus it sort of makes it all a bit more real I guess.

You need to treat yourself with the same respect you would treat others Ruby grin
Good luck!

Madsometimes Thu 13-Jun-13 16:52:09

Absolutely you should. AFAIK, lots of people with bowel conditions have a radar key.

Bunbaker Thu 13-Jun-13 17:05:41

I have never heard of a radar key. I have a friend who had her bowel removed a couple of years ago and she now has a pouch. I will make sure she knows she is entitled to such a key.

Goodbye I hope you continue to make a good recovery. My friend has been very open and honest about her condition so I have a bit of an idea of what you are going through. It does get better flowers

CatherineofMumbles Thu 13-Jun-13 17:18:56

Yes! And get a radar key. DF has one I got for him.

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