11 Handicapped Probs: Public Restroom Edition (+ Disability-Related Updates)

Hey, gang. So I noticed my last disability post was at the beginning of August (eek!), but I’m not exactly brimming with ideas in that arena right now–probably because going out less means encountering less awkward situations, rude comments, access struggles, and other things that provide inspo for these posts. Also, the stress of things happening in America is weighing me down; I’m tryin’ to abide in Jesus, but still… After some contemplation, I think it’ll make for a fun post if I list out some “handicapped probs.”

But first, a brief life update regarding my disability: I’m going to complete my annual appointment to track my FA progression virtually this year. With COVID cases spiking once again, I’m not volunteering to travel across the country if it’s not completely crucial. Reminder–with Friedreich’s Ataxia comes cardiomyopathy aka heart issues. Consider my risk level “sky high.”

Also, I’ve started working out with my trainer in a gym again. Don’t worry, it’s a small-ish apartment complex gym; hardly anyone uses it. For the last six months, we were cooped up in his living room with some dumbbells and a few basic workout tools. Now, I’m readjusting to using machines again. For most of 2020, we’ve had limited space for walking practice, so my ability to do so was decreasing rapidly. I will resist the loss of my “land legs” as long as I have an inkling of power to fight back, so I recently found a way to practice at home. While my brother walks behind and lightly holds my sides, I push my rollator walker a few laps around the room, a basket of dumbbells propped in the seat to stabilize it. Well, when we got back in the gym, my trainer started to have me walk on the treadmill!

Initially, it was really challenging and also intimidating. I probably haven’t been on one in five years, seriously. Not sure why my trainer started going that route; maybe he noticed my decline and wanted to bump the walking practice to another level when we got the chance. Unbelievably, I’m doing it, I’m really doing it! Between the treadmill and walker, I’m getting more regular walking practice than I have in years.

And now that you know what’s happening with me and my disabled life, it’s time for the list. Once I began to write these out, I realized this could actually be a themed series. Did I somehow come up with a brilliant idea while going for something easy? Wow! Anyways, enjoy my attempt at humor through these handicapped probs, public restroom edition:

  1. When an object blocks the bathroom door from opening all the way (Y’all realize the accessibility inside is irrelevant if I can’t enter, right?! )
  2. When the bathroom door weighs two tons (perhaps the only point where little old ladies, small children, and people like me share a grievance)
  3. When non-handicapped people use the handicapped stall, esp. if they’re using it as a phone booth (I’ll just be sitting here busting my gut while you hash out all your friend’s relationship issues in one call.)
  4. When the toilet in the handicapped stall is clogged (options: hold my poop or poop on top of a stranger’s poop)
  5. When the toilet seat in the handicapped stall is loose (warning: you might go careening off and/or pinch that area between your butt and the back of your thighs…ouch!)
  6. When you can’t use both hands to take your pants on and off (Comfortable, classic, good ol’ jeans…you are my favorite pain-in-the-a**)
  7. When you have to lay your arms on the counter for your hands to reach the sink (and your arms inevitably touch the water others leave on the counter…eww)
  8. When the paper towels or hand dryer is across the room from the sink (so you inevitably have to get everything wet to get your hands dry…)
  9. When the bathroom mirror is taller than you are in your chair (I need to know if my eyebrows are still on fleek, people!)
  10. When the door opens IN to exit (making it nearly impossible to get out without putting a vice grip on the germy door handle, an especially appealing prospect in a pandemic)
  11. When you have to go through this list more than once if out more than a few hours (Darn you, lack of bladder control!)

Remember: God and a sense of humor will get you through life’s whims and woes. 😉

Thanks for reading! Do you have any suggestions for future editions of handicapped probs? Have you found ways to be active lately? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. Believe it or not, I started writing this post before receiving the news… Declan Lockheed, a writer for the blog run by Twinkl, an educational resource site, reached out via email. His team and he want to include Retrospective Lily in a post spotlighting great disability bloggers to celebrate International Day of Disabled Persons. He was so nice and said they appreciated my honest and positive takes + my spreading FA awareness. I’ve never received an honor like this before! Yay! Details to come. 🙂


20 responses to “11 Handicapped Probs: Public Restroom Edition (+ Disability-Related Updates)”

  1. Power on Lily! Peace and blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You left out one (though embarrassing and not funny at the time) : your MOM goes off on somebody for lack of accessibility . I truly admire your spunk, your sass, your stubborness, and your determination! You rock… and roll! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you for your courage I still do not know you well I cannot read all the posts I have 2, 500 plus follower but I will try better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your 11 points did make me chuckle! 🙂 Very amusing (but of course annoying as well!)

    Congrats on getting the feature for Twinkl, God is rewarding all your hard work!

    Peace and blessings always ❤️🙏🏻 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Steven! ♥♥

      Liked by 1 person

  5. […] 11 Handicapped Probs: Public Restroom Edition (+ Disability-Related Updates) — Retrospective Lily. […]


  6. […] 11 Handicapped Probs: Public Restroom Edition (+ Disability-Related Updates) — Retrospective Lily Direct link: 11 Handicapped Probs: Public Restroom Edition (+ Disability-Related Updates) — Retrospective Lily. […]


  7. Ahh so glad you’ve been able to workout!! You look beautiful!!

    And I could see how the bathroom issues would be a real “pain in the rear.” 😂😂❤️ love your mom’s comment too!❤️
    My dad was paralyzed during the last few years of his life and so I’m always paying attention to accessibility etc. frustrating when it’s not available.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, sweet lady! ♥♥ It is definitely a pain in the rear! hehe 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your positive, fighting spirit through all this is so inspiring. 🙂 And I often don’t think about how my actions or lack thereof affect disabled people, so this definitely makes me want to be more aware and helpful in that area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great, Heather! Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


  9. Congrats on the walking progress and the feature publication, Lily. And this is an informative post amid the humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post I related so much I even has spoken to legislators to put up signage on the big handicap stall doors to discourage people who don’t use them from using them

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Lily Pad, I like your post. Most people don’t know the dificulties a handicap person has. I hope your post make people more aware and they respect the handicap people more. During Roys radiation treatment we experienced some of what your post was about. He was in his wheel chair going to radiation and coming from his treatment. Luckily he had me to push him and help him in the dressing room and bathroom. He could not have managed alone. Glad to hear you are doing well on the treadmill and your walker. Thats great news. Roy has started beck with his walking this week. I’m glad you are back working out with your trainer too. I know that is so important for you. We miss every one at church and I heard you are teaching Sunday School for all classes. I know you are doing a good job keep up the good work. You take care and be safe. We love you our Prayers are with all of you. Deborah


  12. Congratulations, Lily, on your spotlight! I’m so happy for you! I was in a hotel where the doors could literally throw my weight around because they were so heavy! I figured they did that on purpose so no one could steal anything from the room. But, wow! I could barely get into the room, ha! I do have some suggestions on how to eliminate (some) of these issues:

    6. Would wearing skirts or dresses be a better clothing option for going out over jeans?
    7. Could you bring something to put in your chair so you can raise yourself higher such as a square yoga block or something similar?
    8. I’ve heard hair dryers contain tons of bacteria, so it’s probably best to skip that option anyway! Could you bring a cloth with to wipe your hands (after you wash them)? It’s also an eco-friendly/paperless option.
    9. Compact mirror? It wouldn’t be as big, but you could buy a big-ish version maybe?
    10. If this issue aligns with the first issue, could you place the object in front of the door to keep it open so you could easily go in and out? 😂 An alternative option is could you keep it open another via a door stopper maybe?
    11. Drink less fluid while out? 😂 I actually tried this myself once. It worked for me. 🙂

    I hope this helps! As for post ideas, you could list a resolve for each disability issue whenever you discover new solutions. Feel free to use my suggestions in a post if they work. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great suggestions, Daphne! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 Skirts/dresses can be easier in some ways, though not getting them in the toilet can be tough if it’s floor length. I love the shorter summer dresses. I need to bring a reusable cloth next time I go out. Never thought of that one!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Anytime.. Glad I could help!


  14. I enjoyed your post. These are some good bathroom issues for sure. As a man, my issues were slightly different. Usually the guy in the disabled stall is reading the newspaper while doing his business. There’s also usually no one else in the washroom, with the narrower stalls being empty – I guess they don’t let a guy spread out enough, if you know what I mean. 😉. An additional issue in men’s rooms is that they often don’t have doors on the stalls, or if there’s a door, the lock doesn’t work. Not really where a guy wants to use an in-out catheter, you know? And what is with the toilets that are impossible for a wheelchair user to flush? I mean the ones able-bodied people flush by stepping on the bar that takes a ton of force to flush. As a wheelchair user, the only way to generate enough force is to use both arms, thus putting your face directly over the opening in the seat, about a foot above it (if you’re lucky) and using as much force as you can generate. Putting yourself in the very precarious position of potentially falling in, face first! One last issue I can think of off the top of my head, is that many of the stalls aren’t big enough to fit my manual chair (when I used one, I’m bedridden now), which was actually a very small ultralight chair, in the right position for a safe, easy transfer. Or the safety bars didn’t line up properly to make the transfer simple. Thanks for bringing up some funny (if gross) memories.


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