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

(49 Posts)
GoodbyeRubyTuesday Thu 13-Jun-13 14:07:59

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!

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Tue 18-Jun-13 18:03:52

Hi hallamoo glad your DH is making good progress. I had my ileostomy reversed in January but I've been off work since the first surgery in November! I'm very tired and having various issues but I think part of that is the chemo so hopefully when that's finished it will all calm down a bit smile

And thank you everyone, I shall be roaming all over the country using the disabled loos from now on grin

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 18-Jun-13 17:47:23

Crikey - you have every right to use the disabled loo. Poor you. I hope things improve for you soon.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 18-Jun-13 17:43:36

Just adding my 'of course you can!' to the thread grin

I am a wheelchair user and can only use the disabled loos and I would absolutely say you had as much right to use them as me or anyone else

mymatemax Tue 18-Jun-13 17:38:05

of course!

hallamoo Mon 17-Jun-13 21:56:23

Ah thanks Goodbyerubytuesday, he's doing ok, had the pouch surgery in April, he's back at work full time from this week (has been on a phased return since 6 weeks post-op). He still has good days and bad days, but I think he's doing ok, still gets very tired. How about you? Thanks for the info on the radar keys.

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Fri 14-Jun-13 06:43:31

hallamoo radar key website if that helps, I don't know if that is the official place to get them?

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Fri 14-Jun-13 06:40:40

Eek BellaVita your poor DH! Good plan to delay the surgery until a more convenient time, such a shame about Christmas/New Year, what a rotten time to be in hospital. I will hold off on any stomach exercising until I have definite approval from surgeon and physio I think!

tigerdriverII I wasn't aware of that, thank you, it may have been mentioned but there's just so much information to take in! smile

hallamoo how is your DH getting on with his ileo-anal pouch? I hope it's settling in quickly. And glad the thread was able to help. I don't have a radar key either but will be looking into it too smile

hallamoo Thu 13-Jun-13 22:35:34

My DH had an ileostomy until very recently, and now has an ileos-anal pouch. He always uses the disabled loo at work or when out and about - it's essential with his (and your) condition. Didn't know about the radar key, will look into that! YADNBU

tigerdriverII Thu 13-Jun-13 22:25:24

Ruby. Another one saying yes, of course you should use the disabled loo. I'm sure you know this, but under the Equality Act, you are classified as a disabled person in any event, because of your dx. If you're challenged by anyone who thinks that disability = wheelchair, it's another thing you can use.

BellaVita Thu 13-Jun-13 22:10:24

Yes he had a temporary stoma. The hernia was a recurring one that he'd had fixed about 6 years ago which was originally from the opening on his stomach from having his intestine removed. The original hernia was not done keyhole.

He ignored the recurring hernia for a while until he got a blockage and felt unwell. It cleared itself but made a dr's appt for a referral. This time they decided to do it keyhole and found more hernias which they fixed too.

He ended up going to theatre three more times and they opened up most of his tummy. Guess what...another hernia has appeared. He said he is going to leave it till next April/May because if it goes wrong, at least it will be decent weather to recuperate grin. I said no to more ops near Xmas like the last one (ended up being in hospital for 21 nights over Xmas and new year) or near our holiday grin.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 13-Jun-13 22:05:55

I think that anyone who has needs over and above what is considered normal toiletting can use disabled loos; be that someone in a wheelchair who needs the adapted toilet, or someone with continence issues.

I would imagine that your need is greater than mine, and though I only use them when I absolutely need to, I still feel a bit guilty. thankfully in my local Sainsbury's there is a really good parent's room with a loo in as well as the usual parenting facilities, so if DS is with me I tend to use that instead.

I hope you heal soon and that things settle down and that the rest of your chemo goes as well as it can xx

SauvignonBlanche Thu 13-Jun-13 21:57:58

The MN jury has spoken - unanimously! grin

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Thu 13-Jun-13 21:51:59

Ooh Blistory that's interesting, thank you. My pouch is actually internal but glad to hear provisions are being made for stoma patients. I don't know if there's an official list somewhere of who can and can't use disabled facilities and I would hate to have used them if I weren't entitled smile seeing as so many people have said yes though I think I shall take that as me being on the allowed list grin

Blistory Thu 13-Jun-13 21:01:35

I thought that your condition automatically gave you access.

When we retrofitted our accessible loos at work, we had to incorporate shelves and were told it was specifically for colostomy bags and the like so there was somewhere clean to put them whilst changing, cleaning etc as otherwise they would be resting on the loo or in the sink.

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Thu 13-Jun-13 20:55:56

Ooh LackaDAISYcal that's quite like my card. I've never had the courage to use it either, people are so hostile in toilet queues and I don't want to end up the subject of an AIBU thread grin sorry to hear you have bowel problems too.

BellaVita that sounds terrifying, glad that he was okay in the end! smile if you don't mind me asking, did he have a temporary ileostomy before and was the hernia from that? No one will give me a straight answer on whether it's still a hernia risk now it's all healed up, I had my ileostomy reversed in January, at some point I'd like to start doing gentle tummy exercises smile

LackaDAISYcal Thu 13-Jun-13 18:29:15

Oh, and so sorry to hear about your operation and having cancer so young sad You sound like a very strong person though smile

Trazzletoes Thu 13-Jun-13 18:25:08

Definitely use the disabled loo!

LackaDAISYcal Thu 13-Jun-13 18:20:45

Of course you can!

I have coeliac disease and a type of colitis and use the disabled toilets as I often have to change my clothes and clean myself up when out and about. I have had comments and glares before, however I just keep my head held high. I have a Toilet Card from the Bladder and Bowel Foundation which is supposed to get me to the front of a queue, but I've never had the courage to use it that way, though I have used it to gain access to locked disabled toilets before. Well worth the £5 I paid for it.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 13-Jun-13 18:16:08

You are perfectly entitled to use the disabled loo.

Just keep the hand sanitizer away from broken skin at all times, that stuffs got alcohol in and it makes my eyes water just thinking about it!

I hope your recovery continues to go well. It's a lot to come to terms with at such a young age <don't mean to sound patronising>


BellaVita Thu 13-Jun-13 18:10:35

DH rings people too - pre and post OP grin

Up until Feb, he ran Pouch Information days around the country. He will be attending one in Edinburgh in Oct as a guest this time which he says he is looking forward to as he can sit back and relax rather than running around organising speakers and raffles and booking a venue etc.

He could have lost his pouch at Christmas. He had a routine keyhole hernia op which went wrong and his insides shut down. The surgeon who happens to know DH through the IA was shock blush and bloody terrified in case this happened. Luckily all was ok in the end <phew>.

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Thu 13-Jun-13 18:04:22

Sorry BellaVita I meant support from the IA. It's great your DH has been able to use his experience to help others, I'd like to do the same but probably from the cancer side as there are others out there with ileostomies and pouches at my age (22) but I haven't spoken to anyone with bowel cancer even close to my age so I'd like to try and get involved in bowel cancer support for young people smile

GoodbyeRubyTuesday Thu 13-Jun-13 18:01:14

Thank you BellaVita I had some fantastic support when I was first diagnosed (stage 3 bowel cancer, probable FAP) including a lovely lady who called to help me talk through the choice between ileostomy and ileo anal pouch smile

And thank you everyone for being so lovely! smile nest of vipers, my arse grin

BellaVita Thu 13-Jun-13 17:26:43

Absolutely you should use the disabled loo.

DH has an ileo anal pouch. He does a lot of voluntary work for the IA.

If you need any support go to

If he can help with anything, I don't mind asking him. He has answered a few posts on here for me.


CatherineofMumbles Thu 13-Jun-13 17:20:54

Be prepared to tell people to mind their own business
even if they are mumsnetters, as often on threads you will see 'disabled loo=wheelchair and nothing else', which is completely wrong.

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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