No Handicap Bathrooms

I am very fortunate that my disability doesn’t prohibit me from using any bathroom available.  A port-a-potty included.  Even on the days I can’t bear any weight down on my left foot, I am able to enter any bathroom and do my business.  It might be tight quarters making it more difficult to maneuver the crutches, but I have yet to find a bathroom that the crutches prohibit me from using.

For many disabled people this is not the case.  If they are using a wheelchair getting through the door of a bathroom can be a challenge.  Once in the bathroom space is needed to move around in the wheelchair.  Are the stalls able to accommodate the wheelchair and are there bars to assist them in transferring from chair to toilet?  Imagine having to consider all these details just to do something humans need to do several times a day and most do without thought.

Isn’t that the very reason public buildings are required to have handicap accessible bathrooms?

I work on the 12th floor of a building. This sign is on the door of the bathroom on the 12th floor. IMG_0144The sign is a good warning as there are two doors to get through before entering the actual bathroom.  Between the two doors is a very small alcove.  If someone else is entering or exiting I can have a tough go at it with crutches, almost knocked over several times.  A wheelchair would never make it through.  Once in, the bathroom is large but lacks a lower urinal or a stall that would accommodate a chair.  Needless to say, if you worked on the 12th floor of this building and required a wheelchair, using the bathroom would not be an option.

For most people having to deal with my pain and using crutches seems intolerable.  To me seeing that sign on the bathroom door each day makes me feel very grateful.  I can go to the bathroom whenever I need to.  It pains me to think that if someone on this floor was using a wheelchair they would need to wait for an elevator and go down two floors just to take a leak.

The most incredible thing about this sign is, I bet most people never give any thought to it as I once did, taking two healthy working legs for granted.

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About Darryl Partridge

I am a husband, father of three and amputee. I was active all my life, a Certified Ski Instructor, DYI enthusiast and Elementary Special Education Teacher. My life came crashing down when I was 42 years old after suffering a life changing ankle injury. I endured six ankle surgeries that forever changed the anatomy of my lower left leg, ten leg casts, recovery time on crutches that added up in the years and debilitating pain. In the end wound up with a deformed lower leg, chronic pain and unable to walk without crutches. Oh yeah, I also lost my teaching job after the third surgery. Being left a 47 year old unemployed disabled father. I took two years to rebuilt my life using crutches full time, achieving a new career in public health and preparing to amputate my leg. I amputated my lower left leg 9/24/14, 15 months post amputation became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Follow me on my life without limits journey as an amputee. I now hope my stories will help others find some support and comfort in living with their disabilities. Explore my website .com to read my story.
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