Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger’s own.
Several times over the past few weeks, i can safely say I’ve had a real toilet slap in the face reminder, why it’s so vital to have access to a crazy thing like a ‘toilet’.
As a campaigner you feel like you’re stuck on repeat or that no one hears your cries for help!
I have a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy a progressive muscle wasting condition, I spend a lot of my time seeing specialist for various reasons like dentists, doctors and occupational therapist. As the world has open up all my appointments that I’ve missed over the last couple of years are now slowly filling my diary back up again. But it’s also been a big reminder of how my life is governed by a ‘TOILET’.
Do I feel like I’ve gotten complacent and forgotten a little the reasons ‘why’. Yes, definitely! when you spend 99.9% of your time over the past 18 months confined indoors it’s easy to forget. As my toilet at home is accessible!
Remember at the beginning I said I see a lot of specialists!? My dental surgery is just one of the many specialists I see, all of their patients have a form of disability, whether it’s visually, physically or mentally they have the training and equipment. For instance I need a hoist to get in and out of my wheelchair safety, that an average dental surgery many not offer.
The staff at my dental practice have always been brilliant and even though it had been over 18 months nothing had changed, the attention to detail when it came to my needs and making sure I felt comfortable was still there. They had even had a little revamp.
So why complain!? I hear you saying. My dentist knowing my love for a good toilet asked the dental nurse if they would show me the ‘new’ revamped accessible toilet, I couldn’t believe my eyes, it wasn’t spectacular before but this. I have no words for – no one with a manual wheelchair could get in, so I certainly had no hope, and what is with grab rails next to the mirror!?
If they had only consulted with the staff that engage and have relationships with all of their patients or even a focus groups that is user lead – this could have been a far better accessible toilet, it now just means that very few of the patients will be able to use it. I certainly won’t be able to have any fluids while I am visiting.
Like I said earlier I’ve had several toilet slaps reminders – this one was probably the hardest reminder. After having a fall a couple of weeks ago my GP was concerned I had an infection in my knee and sent me to A&E to get it fully checked out.
You wouldn’t think that going to the hospital you would be risking your life more, but I was!
Yet another ‘accessible toilet’ not big enough to fit me and my wheelchair, I couldn’t even get in the door, let alone my PA who accompanied me fitting in – after 5 hours of not being able to have fluids, uncomfortable in my wheelchair, dehydrated. I was deflated and angry. This is place lots of disabled people and their families go to get medical attention, you can spend hours at an appointment or A&E. Yet you are forced, because of not having access a toilet to no have something that’s vital for your body ‘fluids’.
These are just a small but very big reason why Changing Places toilets are so important, to not just give us the independence but also the safety of knowing that we can attend vital medical appointments.
Until next time.
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