Public Restrooms

Tru here.  Leaving for travel again next month.  One of the things i always dread is strange bathrooms.

TOILET (Symptom/memory)
Sometimes cannot find flush mechanism.
i know i have been shown many times, but if it does not have a handle sticking out somewhere, then my frustration has begun.
It always worries me.

(Sx/memory, and lack of initiator):
Public restrooms often have sinks with faucet-type devices, but no way to know which is hot, cold, or soap … and no way to turn any of them on or off.
Sometimes they have a single handle, but cannot tell what to do with the handle in order to get desired water.  Sometimes they don’t even have ANY handles !  i know i have been shown many varieties before – with instructions,
but instead, i stand there in confusion —
then anger.

Then my engine stalls.

Often have problems with my “starter” (or initiator) … so after confusion with faucet controls, dont know what i need to do first to wash my hands, and which is what and how to work ANY of the strange-looking things on the counter.
Not unusual for me to just give up.

(Sx/over-sensitivity to noise):
Many strange bathrooms have no towels to dry your hands.  i am expected to use contraptions with noise that makes ping-pong balls explode in my head.  The harsh scary sound makes me want to run from the room in panic mode.

(Sx/disorientation to space, and short-term memory):
Large public bathrooms (such as airports) will often have three hallways; one is entrance/exit, one to stalls, and one to sinks.  Problems with multiple hallways when i dont remember which i have already tried, so how to get out.

On a bad day, same thing can happen in any restroom with multiple doors on the stalls (especially if stall doors are tall); cannot register which is a stall door and which is exit door, and do not remember which doors have already tried.

(Sx/disorientation to space, and short-term memory):
By the time i finally get out of those unusual bathrooms, with unusual faucets, unusual handles, and unusual soap dispensers … i am often near tears.  Does not make it real hopeful for me heading the correct direction when i finally find my way OUT of the bathroom, or recognizing my husband.  Better to find a handicap single-unit, or bring someone with you.  Next-best is someone waiting at door of bathroom.  Third option is someone at table watching, and they stand to wave and bring you to the table.  I guess a fourth option might be cell phone.  (But personally, my Service Dog brings me to my husband, LOL.)

In the confusion, i probably forgot to wash my hands (or gave up).  On a good day i wont complain if you try to get me to wash my hands “again”, but it could make a bad day worse.  So Afterward, it might be better if partner can offer “skin-softener” wipe (preferably cleanser mixed with moisturizer).

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4 thoughts on “Public Restrooms

  1. Hi Tru:

    I feel your frustration and I don’t have the level of confusion that you do. It would behoove designers and architects to consider the issues that the public with challenges have. I think the percentage of “normal” people – those without any challenges whatsoever, would be much less than those with challenges, and yet technology is designed for the norm not the challenged.

    This hi tech robotic era we are in is supposed to make things easier but so often it just causes frustration and anger.

    Simple solution to cleanliness at the end but I’m sure it takes more than a cleaning wipe to overcome the episode just endured. I keep pocket hand sanitizer at the ready anyway. Just touching a shopping cart is an adventure in germ warfare.

    Take care Tru, always wonderful to read your post.

    Ellie and Gord

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My love went into the bathroom in a restaurant and didn’t come out. I watched and waited. Finally I went in
    and found her crying. The stalls were full and she couldn’t wait. Not knowing what do, just stood and waited.
    Her first lesson that it was time for Depends. She didn’t want to believe it,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bob. Tru here. Thanks for reading and sharing this episode. So sad to hear about this traumatic experience. “Depends” sounds like a good back-up plan. My husband suggests that you accompany her to restrooms, and remind her at the door to come and let you know that she can — or cannot — take care of her needs immediately. IF you both normally carry cell phones, she can call you and let you know what the status is. ie stalls are occupied, bathroom is filthy, cant find my way out, etc. Then maybe it would be time for a visit to the “unisex” or into the Men’s Room — while you accompany her. If you have other thoughts or work-arounds, would be happy to hear them. — Tru


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