I Have to Go!
We all have experienced it. We all try not to think about this when we are driving or get into the passenger seat of a car. I’m talking about the moment when you are driving and you have to get to a bathroom right away. Most of the time we can wait until we get home. But sometimes it’s an emergency and we have to pull into a parking lot of a fast-food joint or a Wal-Mart to run inside to relieve ourselves.
I developed a fear of driving because of bathroom use
Before I had my colon removed, I was using the bathroom over fifty times a day. I am not exaggerating! As my muscles in my backside were diminishing, I was having trouble making it to the bathroom in time. At one point, I was wearing adult diapers just in case.
Driving became a very hard task to do. I couldn’t jump on the highway and risk the chance of getting stuck in traffic. If I wanted to go to Atlantic City, I had to take all of the back roads that had easy access to the bathroom. I hated driving. I started to develop a fear of driving. And we all know that if you are afraid to drive, then you should not get behind the wheel.
Denied the bathroom at a retail store
One day in July 2005, I was driving when I had to use the restroom. I was far from home and knew I had to stop soon. I pulled into the parking lot of a shoe store. I ran into the retail store and went straight to the person who was sitting behind the desk. I said, ”Excuse me, can I use your bathroom.” She could tell something was wrong; it was all over my face.
She answered with a, “no!” I was caught by surprise. After she repeated herself, I started to tell her that I had Crohn’s, and this that and the other thing. I realized I really had no time to go through the whole story, When I asked the third time if I could use the bathroom, and after the third time she said, “No, it's only for employees,” I told her, “watch me!”
The employee called the police on me for using the bathroom
I walked right past her to relieve myself. Upon returning, she had the door of her store locked, and she told me she called the police for trespassing. I honestly was speechless. I told her that I didn’t want to make a mess on her floor and that using her bathroom was no other option. Then I thought to myself, “What am I doing?” Why am I getting upset? This lady doesn’t have a heart, and will never understand.
I allowed her to call the police and they did show up. When they heard both sides of the story the two officers were in disbelief. Of course, they were not going to write me up for trespassing. They actually asked the storeowner, “Let us get you straight, you called us because he had to use the bathroom?” The officers gave her a lecture about how to treat human beings. I had a grin on my face throughout the whole ordeal. I walked out a different person.
We deserve to be treated like human beings and should do the same to others
I realized that what the officers said was correct. We are humans with feelings. Sometimes the inevitable happens, and we have to take extraordinary measures. People have to understand and have a heart.
I am a schoolteacher and since that day, I act very differently towards my students. If they have to use the bathroom, I allow them to. I always think back on that day, the day when I was denied the bathroom. Hopefully, you have never denied somebody of something important. My hope is that the storeowner that day learned a valuable lesson. I hope she does not ever have to endear what I do. I hope she changed her views about humans. I can only hope...
What type of IBD have you been diagnosed with?