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Thursday, March 12, 2009

To pee or not to pee (with apologies to the Bard)

I know a lot of people are crying the blues today over the economy (and justifiably so in a lot of cases). However, you have all heard the statement made - "at least you've got your health", probably a million times. If you "have your health" and have remained relatively healthy, you probably ignore the statement or mumble a "yeah" and move on. The process of waste elimination is a pretty basic need. If you remember basic biology - taking in food and elimination of waste were signs of biological life. If you are a human, the waste elimination process has taken leaps of societal and hygienic improvements from Og and his lot heading for the other side of the bush. We now have restrooms, both public and private for the process. (where is this going?, you are probably asking by now). As most of you know that would be reading this, my wife is in a wheelchair. She is in it because she cannot walk any longer. She can stand for short periods, but does not have the balance to walk or maneuver well. Most if not all bathroom functions require mobility. To get down to basics, my wife requires assistance for her bathroom functions. (she would probably not approve of this post - but hey, it is what it is) That is the point of this post. Try taking a wheelchair bound person of the opposite gender to a bathroom when travelling. As I said above - "bathrooming" is a pretty basic need. My wife will signal a need for a stop and then we spend exit after exit, or rest stop after rest stop trying to find a family restroom (single party, oversized, unisex, handicapped equipped restroom becoming available slowly around the world) or a single setup with a lockable door that we can both fit into. We start looking and usually take hours finding a suitable place. It is extraordinarily frustrating to me and her - as well as being a physical challenge for her. I have the utmost respect for those that are installing the family restrooms. They are heaven sent. I just wish every rest stop would have one. So, next time you are travelling and have the need to use the facilities; when you are able to stop, walk in, do your business, and leave in one stop - be grateful your 401K is all that has taken a hit. Hey, at least you've got your health, and an empty bladder.

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