My family have had a lot of bad experiences when it comes to toilets, but I was recently asked for the worst one.
The worst one wasn’t the time I nearly dropped my son in Tesco as I struggled to lift him to the toilet.
The worst one wasn’t being stuck in a toilet with nobody answering the alarm bell.
The worst one wasn’t the time we had to leave the zoo within 40 minutes of arrival because my son needed the toilet.
The worst one wasn’t when he realised he needed to “go” with just twenty minutes of a theatre show left to run. Not only were there no usable toilets in the theatre, but none in the whole of the city centre. He didn’t want to miss the end of the show but he also knew that it was going to be almost an hour before we would get home if we stayed to see the end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just a wee that he needed!
The worst one wasn’t the day I was crying with pain, fearful that I wasn’t going to be able to lift my son off the toilet again.
Nor was it the multiple number of times where he has nearly fallen off the toilet because I couldn’t hold him steadily enough.
The worst experience wasn’t having his clothes, sling and wheelchair seat soaking wet after a trip to Sainsburys for a “treat” in their café. Nor was it that we were unable to go out as planned in the afternoon because the wheelchair lap belt had needed to be washed as well as the seat cushion.
The worst experience wasn’t even when my boy “held on” all the way home on a flight from Manchester to Cornwall because there were no toilets he could use. He was sore and uncomfortable but determined to hold on.
The worst time of all happened when my son was 10 years old. And it was the day my 10 year old son pretended to be ill in order that he could get out of a planned trip to the cinema with friends, to see a film he wanted to see.
He faked illness to avoid going out because he knew the town we were going to had no toilets he could use.
He faked illness because he would rather miss out on fun with friends than risk having an accident in front of them.
That was our worst experience ever, even though it didn’t actually involve any desperate situation or horrific moment in a toilet.
It was the worst experience because it showed the true extent of the damage a lack of usable toilets was already doing to a 10 year old child.
Please help me to stop this harm. Make sure you have signed this petition set up by friend Lorna Fillingham. Lorna is another mum who is finding that her child’s world is shrinking and she desperately needs things to change before her daughter starts feeling the same way that my son does.
Please help us to help so many others. One day, this could be you.