The Big Green Chair

bio_dave_hingsburgerA picture from a moment in my life. I have to go to the bathroom, really, really, have to go. I get in my chair and push as fast as I can to the accessible, family, washroom. I am in luck there is no one there. I push the door open. I can’t get it to open. I push as hard as I can and it only opens a quarter of the way. I simply can’t get in.

My need is desperate.

I get out of my wheelchair. This is a day where I’m particularly bad and walking and balancing. But I have go. I look into the bathroom to see what’s blocking it. And there sits a big, green, comfortable chair that has been put in for people to relax in. Who wants to relax in what’s in essence just a ‘shitter’ is beyond me. But it only allows the door to be opened between a half and a quarter of the way. I hold on to the door, step over, reach down, push the chair out of the way, and then get back into my chair.

Now I can push the door wide enough to enter, but surprise, surprise, there’s not really enough room with the two chairs. I get up, fold up my chair to give me room to move.

I do my duty.

I’m of an age where I make ‘old man’ noises when I pee.

That done, I struggle to open my chair, open the door and get out.

A big green chair.

But beyond all that, I can’t believe how much of my time as a disabled person is involved in just finding places to go to the toilet. I’ve become so used to these conversations that I now have no idea when I’m oversharing. Because I talk to hotel desk clerks, reservationists, airport personnel, random strangers about my toilet needs.


Or perhaps, better said …


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