OCTOBER IS SPINA BIFIDA AWARENESS MONTH.
It’s been one of those days. I’m exhausted! Since I have class on Tuesdays, I had to go over to UCF today. I had to use the restroom right after my first class, and I waited for it to become available. Finally, I called out “There’s a wheelchair waiting for the stall!” (I know I’m a person, not a wheelchair. But which detail do you think will attract more attention?) I was sure she heard me. Still, I had to wait about ten more minutes for her to finish washing her hands (come on– she’s not a surgeon! And there are sinks outside). Finally, the girl with the heart of stone came out, and I gave her my best evil eye.
This happened once more in the afternoon. It seems trivial, perhaps, but just think that I’ve actually observed that a large population of wheelchair users exists at UCF, and you may begin to understand why that pisses me off, for lack of a better term. (As long as it’s “off” and not “all over myself!”) Most of us with spina bifida have neurogenic bladders, which means that we cannot be kept waiting to use the bathroom. And why would anyone want to infringe upon the rights that have been granted to others? Is it fair that people like us must use only the handicapped stall, while everyone else has their pick? Here’s the other thing– normally, there’s only one. Why are you going to provoke me and make me late for class when there are five stalls readily available for your use, and not mine?
Clearly, this is a society that wants to have their potty and use it, too. So, forgive my rant, friends, but I hope I have given you all something to think about. If you’re not physically challenged in any way, next time you use a restroom and there’s a regular stall free, use it. It’ll save me many trips to the urologist!
And, speaking of bathrooms…I E-mailed the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, which is responsible for the production of many of the most often-used products for incontinence. These include Good Nites underpants, Cottonelle toilet tissue, Depends, and Poise pads, as well as wipes. The company itself is strongly committed to environmentally-sound practices, while encouraging sustainability. The Kimberly-Clark Foundation has partnered with nonprofits like United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the American Red Cross, and UNICEF to support local and widespread charitable causes.
My hope is that companies such as this one, that actually make products that help to improve quality-of-life especially for people with a physical challenge, will step up to the batting plate for heroes! Please keep sending me your thoughts, ideas, and feedback to topics that have been discussed at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you feel comfortable sharing your story with others, please do so in a comment on my blog.
Have a great night!
P.S. I still need to finish writing a speech for a Hispanic Heritage event I was invited to by members of a Kissimmee correctional facility. I can say with all honesty I will be doing my time this week!