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AIBU to use the disabled toilet at the restaurant today??

(80 Posts)
clumsyoaflike Mon 11-Feb-13 20:10:34

Okies, am 41+3 with severe SPD (also crippled in pain after major back surgery 18 months ago) + I have two broken bones in my left foot after falling down the stairs Friday just gone so am pretty immobile atm. I had a sweep this morning and on the MWs suggestion decided to try and have a walk (shuffle) round the shops. I really couldn't cope so DP took me to the Toby for some lunch before returning to the sofa. The male/female toilets are up a windy flight of stairs so I asked the waitress if I was allowed to use the disabled one (downstairs) and she said that this was ok. I was only in there for literally 5 mins and when I left a lady started shouting at me that I am a young fit woman (I had only opened the door so she didn't see me shuffling). I was in bits, left my dinner, paid and went home.

I only use my stairs at home when I really have to and have been pretty much bed bound.

So should I have struggled with the stairs as I am NOT registered disabled and am a 30 year old woman??!!

badtime Tue 12-Feb-13 12:28:01

Some people have no consideration for what a disability might be.

I can merrily bound to the toilet, but in some places the cubicles are so small that my OCD and anxiety go pretty damn wild (I. Can't. Help. Touching. Things!!! because of the lack of space) so I have to use the more spacious disabled cubicle. I have never been called on it, but I know I would say in response 'no, actually, I'm mad, and that's a disability'.

You are currently disabled, just as someone with a broken leg would be, regardless of your general health.

JenaiMorris Tue 12-Feb-13 12:18:20

sashh I feel a bit of an arse now. Sometimes it takes getting something out to realise your thoughts are possibly way off the mark. Or at least it does with me. Hope I've not offended anyone blush

Just to fully out myself for the prejudiced individual I am, I once assumed a v.nice roadster was illegally parked in a disabled bay. Because of course disabled people don't drive cool cars hmm

sashh Tue 12-Feb-13 12:07:50

and 9/10 times she hasn't even made it to the corridor before the disabled loo is free again. Standing for me is much worse than walking.

Also if I have to walk further then I know I have to walk further back and that may make me move more slowly.

She could be putting it on. But if there really are a gazillion then there should be one free.

elliejjtiny Tue 12-Feb-13 12:06:44

Jenai My DS2 will put on an exaggerated limp if we go on a double decker bus and I decide it will be easier to fold the wheelchair rather than wait for the next bus. He can walk to a seat on the bus fine as long as I carry him up the steps.

OP YANBU. I have a disabled DS who uses a wheelchair if he needs to walk further than 100 yards or so and I would have had no problem with you using the disabled loo. In fact if I'd seen you trying to get up the stairs I would have suggested you use the disabled loo and told the old lady where to go as well.

weare I think the old lady should have been punished asked to leave

JenaiMorris Tue 12-Feb-13 11:38:16

God I sound like a right cow. And I'm going to get flamed. She does suffer and I sympathise, but she'll shuffle along in an even more shuffly manner than usual, and 9/10 times she hasn't even made it to the corridor before the disabled loo is free again. Maybe she shuffles more than usual because she's desperate for the loo and isn't making a dramatic gesture after all. blush

JenaiMorris Tue 12-Feb-13 11:27:48

I'm not sure what I think about cards and whatnot issued by support organisations for people with hidden illnesses. If I see someone using the disabled loo I just assume they have their reasons - I wouldn't dream of asking someone to justify it!

I can see they'd be handy if you needed to use a non-public toilet somewhere but other than that, who they hell do people think they are?

Can I ask a question though - we have gazillions of disabled loos at work - one per office (there's probably about 50 desks per office, which are rarely all occupied at the same time). We also have (ahem) bog standard loos in stalls. One of my colleagues (who indeed has issues walking) is continually complaining about other people using the disabled loo. If someone is in it when she wants to use it, she makes a point of slowly making her way to the non-disabled bogs along the corridor. Is she being U? I'm never quite sure; she does make a right song and dance of struggling along and I'm quite certain she hams it up.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 12-Feb-13 11:22:35

She was BU for declaring you were healthy and didn't need to use the disabled toilets when she had no idea of your circumstances.

I take my 6 year old son to the disabled toilets and he looks very healthy (especially as he won't stay still for 2 minutes!). He has an ASD and the noise of the hand driers in the public toilets cause him to scream in pain. He also can't handle busy crowds or queues so couldn't cope in a busy toilet and could have a meltdown. If there's anything on the floor such as toilet roll or water then he'll get distressed and will need me to help him get to the toilet to use it.

I've only been challenged once, by a security guard at a big event, and I stood my ground and explained that his disability isn't visible and it was resolved. Afterwards I questioned if it was maybe worth just taking him to a public toilet so asked his clinical psychologist and his occupational therapist but they both agreed that he needed to use the disable toilet.

LadyBigtoes Tue 12-Feb-13 11:15:47

YANBU! Of course you can use the disabled when you have SPD. Not only that, I use them all the time when I'm with DD, on the basis that I need space to help a toddler use the toilet. I check first if anyone who needs it more is hoving into view and if not I nip in. Otherwise it's very rarely used. By using it you free up space in the other toilets. If it turned out I had held someone disabled up I would apologise profusely but it's never happened.

Plus, there are many reasons why someone might validly use it that aren't visible - eg colostomy bag, claustrophobia.

Also I had a blind friend who would always use it, he didn't really need to but he said it was provided for him to have privacy and space and why not? I agree with him.

The lady was a miserable cow IMO and it probably affected you more because you're PG and unwell. Perfect your comeback for next time. "I'm sorry, didn't you notice my prosthetic leg/arse/head?"

YouOldSlag Tue 12-Feb-13 11:04:07

Op you are totally YANBU. Who are these crazed people who think it is their job to

1) ask why you are using it and
2) make a judgement call on whether that's "serious" enough.

Your medical condition is nobody's bloody business. It's time we were ruder to people who cannot understand that disabled doesn't mean you have to be in a wheelchair.

If I saw a pregnant woman coming out of a disabled toilet I wouldn't question it. I had SPD and it was really horrible. I had to shuffle everywhere as if my ankles were tied together. Stairs were agony.

WeAreEternal- I'm not a nasty woman but the woman who shouted at you and asked for you to be punished should have been yelled at right back and asked to leave the premises. Shame on her. She should be embarrassed with herself.

pumpkinsweetie Tue 12-Feb-13 10:54:21

You are heavily pregnant, overdue aswell as having spd, which is a disability.
Yanbu, the woman was very rude and unreasonable-Has she never heard of hidden disabilities???

It was very prejudice of her to assume you being in your 30s as a reason for you not to be disabledconfused
Some people have their judgey pants hoiked well and truly up their bum cracksgrin, unfortunetly op came across one of those today.

Floggingmolly Tue 12-Feb-13 10:52:02

shock. WeAreEternal. She demanded you were punished????
grin. Did she specify what form this was to take??? They should have sent for the men in white coats.

mrsjay Tue 12-Feb-13 10:50:56

and there is no such thing as 'registered disabled'

mrsjay Tue 12-Feb-13 10:49:53

you are disabled at the moment of course YANU to have used the disabled toilet, I hope your baby comes soon smile

Flobbadobs Tue 12-Feb-13 10:48:09

Older DC's.. Got carried away with the only's there...

Flobbadobs Tue 12-Feb-13 10:47:33

YANBU, silly rude cow should have minded her own business!
Not all are like that though, the first time I went out with all 3DC's on my own an older disabled lady offered to let me in the disabled loo with her radar key as I had a pram. I refused as it was only the only DC's who needed it and they're old enough to go in on their own but I was rather touched by the offer. I thought it might have been against the rules too... grin

WeAreEternal Tue 12-Feb-13 10:31:51

I think it is disgusting how people can just assume that you do not have a disability because you 'look' healthy.

I was mostly offended by the fact that she repeatedly (at least 10 times) called me fat and lazy. I wouldn't have minded but I was a size 8 at the time and apart from my masive (obviously a) baby bump I though I had kept my figure quite well.

The waitress did say to the woman that she was being very out of order and that if she didn't go back to her table she would have to ask her to leave immidiatly as verbal abuse was not tolorated, which is when she stopped and went back to her table, but I don't think the woman thought she was at all in the wrong.

MadHairDay Tue 12-Feb-13 09:47:32

WeAre - there are some startlingly ignorant people around. How did she know you didn't have a disability as well, in any case?

OP - YANBU. You have SPD, you have broken bones. You are temporarily disabled.

To the poster who goes into disabled toilets 'because they're empty and there's a queue at the others' - YABVU.

I've had looks, but have learned to tune them out. I sometimes use disabled access toilets because I'm having a bad day with my disability (lung disease), so I can't stand in a queue. If there's no queue I use the ladies. But no one should judge because no one knows what is going on with a person.

NotGeoffVader Tue 12-Feb-13 09:35:52

WeAre - If I'd have been the waitress I'd have kicked the mealy-mouthed woman out!

WeAreEternal Tue 12-Feb-13 09:33:52

I was very overdue with DS (2w6d) two days before I finally gave birth (so 2w4d OD) my sister and some friends took me out for a 'sorry your still a whale and very uncomfortable and misrable' lunch.

My pregnancy had been perfect but in the last few weeks I was huge and uncomfortable, and when DS engaged (if that's the right term) walking was agony, it literally felt like my pelvis was being held together with a rubber band, and ever step I took I could feel it cracking and rubbing, it was horrible. it would have be obvious to anyone watching me walk that I was in pain.

The restaurant that we went to has its toilets up two flights of stairs, they are wide large stairs and I don't think I could have made it even if I tried, so asked the waitress if it was ok to use the disabled, after giving her a brief explanation of my situation. She said it was absolutely fine.

I use the toilet twice. The second time I was coming out a older woman marched across the restaurant and grabbed me by the arm, she started shouting that I was a selfish, lazy woman and that being pregnant doesn't entitle me to use the disabled toilets as they are for disabled people, not lazy fat people. She said she had watched me use the disabled toilets twice and she thought that I was absoloutly disgusting, and that I was occupying the facilites so that genuinely disabled people could not use them (nether time was there anyone else waiting)
I tried to explain that I wasn't able to walk up the stairs and that the waitress said it was ok, but she just carried on shouting it me and I burst into tears.
She ranted on for about five minutes while I sobbed, eventually my friends came looking for me (they were sitting in another area do couldn't see/hear) also two members of staff came over to see what was going on.
The woman tried to demand that I was punished for using the disabled facilites when I was clearly not disabled, just fat and lazy.
The waitress burst out laughing, and said that I was clearly not fat and lazy but extremely pregnant and suffering the affects. But the woman wouldn't have any of it and refused to accept that I was allowed to use the disabled toilets.
After we returned to our table we could hear her ranting away to her friends about me.

MERLYPUSS Tue 12-Feb-13 09:30:07

I was told I was on the local register when I applied for my blue badge 20 yrs ago and as such would be 'registered' as disabled if the need for council housing arose. It would mean I would be ahead on the list above someone without disabilities. Sorry for any offence caused.
I think perhaps disabled loos should be renamed to acessable loos and be there for families too. My OH hates taking the 2 boys in the gents as he says it generally stinks. With a double buggy in tow I always chose the disabled loo for acessability rather than leave the kids alone in a corridor outside the main loos.
That is not to say I do not use the ordinary loos when 'I have the kids in tow', it is just much quicker not to.

NotGeoffVader Tue 12-Feb-13 09:12:39

Of course, if all toilets were built a little wider, and on the ground floor (or every floor in shopping centres etc), then more of them would be accessible.

I don't understand why we have 'normal' and 'disabled' toilets. I'd rather see accessible facilities wherever I go. They surely can't take up that much more room? Or be that much more expensive to build?

Say this as I have several friends with disabilities (visible and invisible), and it just bothers me...

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 12-Feb-13 09:06:57


If it makes you feel any better, the same thing happened to me in Ikea on Saturday and I am disabled. Some people just ooze anger and have to find an outlet, if even when they're wrong.

SunflowersSmile Tue 12-Feb-13 07:41:35

Oh I wish you had mentioned to staff what a bitch she had been so they could embarrass her.
Sorry your meal was ruined but be glad you are not such an ignorant, unpleasant person as this woman.

MummytoKatie Tue 12-Feb-13 07:17:47

Aaaah posted too soon.

The only way my (quite long) legs will fit. On Sunday I had to sit in a regular toilet as dd was taking her time and I couldn't crouch any longer and there just wasn't anywhere to put my legs!

MummytoKatie Tue 12-Feb-13 07:15:06

Disabled toilets are often also the only one with baby changing in so you are going to spend a lot of time in them over the next few years. I've never had a problem though - I guess the presence of the small girl and buggy makes it obvious why we are using them.

We are potty training now so I get to use the proper toilets. grin

Although as dd is scared she'll fall down I have to hold her on and at 25 weeks crouching is getting harder so I think I'll need to go back to the disabled ones soon so there is space for me to sit on the floor. Not sure if that is right or wrong but it is the only way

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