I had a little incident today that made me a bit indignant and made me act out in a completely American way that I was somewhat embarrassed by in retrospect, but at the time I couldn’t help myself. I guess I feel the need to come clean here to somehow justify my rude behavior.
As most of you know I have to use a cane when I go outside walking. My balance is crap, my legs and back are completely messed up and in pain, plus I would probably trip and fall on my face if I didn’t have something to balance on. In addition to this I have an awesome bladder issue that forces me on command to run (well, limp in my case) to the nearest toilet whenever it decides it must call. It is either heed to the call or pee in my pants. Yes, gross, I know, but I can tell you a lot more fun facts about spinal cord injuries that are a lot worse, trust me.
Anyhoo, that is back story. I am a slave to my bladder is the bottom line.
Today I went out to lunch with a colleague and on the way to our destination my bladder decided to start screaming at me. I thought it was wise to listen so I limped into the closest location – a hotel – that I was familiar with. Mind you, this is a hotel where we recently spent several hundred euros for dinner so I knew where the toilets were located. I limp in with my cane and a hurried expression on my face and went straight for the door to the bathroom when I hear the front desk person yell at me to stop.
“This is only for hotel guests!”, he yells in front of about 4 people checking in who all turn to stare at me like I have kicked their dog.
I look at him with a pleading eye whilst crossing my legs in that ‘I really gotta go’-fashion and say, “I only need to use the toilet!”.
To which he thinks for second and you can see the robotic brain ticking along and says, “Um, well, you need to leave your bag here”.
Uh – yeah, dude, where am I going to run with a cane?!? So, I say, “Really? What do you think I’m going to do?” and he tells me that there have been a lot of thieves. Again, I wonder, WTF?!? This is my guise? I dress up as an American middle-aged woman with a cane to rob bathroom soap?
Clearly I am annoyed at this point and embarrassed that all of these people are staring at me like I am a bum that walked in off the street to the use the toilet.
So I have to hand over my bag, but I also have to get a catheter and a packet of lube out of my handbag in front of everyone while he says, “You only have to leave your bag” which makes me point out that I need actual medical supplies to use the toilet. Yes. Embarrassing. Thanks, dude.
I finally get to use the toilet and then walked out and stated in a loud American way to the staff that I had recently spent a good amount of money on a dinner at their restaurant and you would think they would be kind enough to allow a person with a visible handicap to use the toilet.
Then I felt bad.
I felt bad because I don’t like acting like an asshole and being a loud, dumb American.
And I felt bad because I was embarrassed that I have to pee every 10 minutes.
And I felt bad because I have to worry every 9 minutes that I am going to pee in my pants in front of the world.
And I felt bad because I just want to be a normal person again who can walk and hold their urine.
Is that too much to ask?!?
I guess that next time I will just go full force with it if I have to feel bad about it afterwards.
I guess that next time I’m just going to hit him with my pimp stick and pee on the floor.
That’ll learn ’em.