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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Potty Talk and More

It sounds absolutely crazy. I confess. I love going to the
bathroom on campus. No, I'm not some kind of toilet freak.
It's the freedom I like. It's the fact that I'm doing this
very simple, basic part of life completely alone.
The Languages building is the only place outside of my home
where I can use the restroom on my own. It is the only
public bathroom anywhere that i'm able to do without help.
Usually someone has to guide me to the restroom and take me
to a stall. Then they help me find the sink, soap, and
paper towel. After throwing away the towel, they guide me
out. It's an act of total dependency. It makes me feel
very limited.
on campus, I have the ability to do it all by myself. I
asked my Mobility teacher to help me locate the restroom
and navigate inside. It seemed like an important step to
becoming an independent student. Now I have the power to
pee when I want to. No one's waiting right outside the
stall to help me wash my hands. It's all me... What I want.
When I want it. In and out alone. I truly love it.
Today's story represents a problem I never expected to face.
I was in the women's restroom on the third floor. I
usually walk past the three sinks and into the far stall.
It's a straight line along the wall from that stall to a
sink. It's just easier for me. When that stall is
occupied, I move down a stall at a time until I find an
empty one.
There were several people in the bathroom. I had to move
down to the fourth stall. I've never had to search that far
for an empty stall before. Okay, no big deal. I was in
there for a purpose and set to work on what I needed to do.
I was squatting down, just barely above the toilet bowl
when I made a shocking discovery. Quickly I struggled to
stop my downward momentum and regain my balance. I managed
but it was a very close call. With horror, I turned around
and felt the toilet. There was no seat! I don't mean the
seat was up. There was no toilet seat at all. I almost
took an unplanned swim.
With a gasp and a laugh, I moved to another stall. This
time I checked to make sure there was a seat. Hey, you
learn something new every day.
I've written a lot in this blog about how hard it is to be
deaf-blind and the troubles I face in my quest for
independence. But there are times when things work out.
And there are times when I get lucky. Every once in awhile,
a potential problem has an easy answer.
Here's story number two for today. After my exam, I needed
to text message my father to pick me up. This was planned.
Since I was going to a Deaf party tonight, I needed to get
home fast. I didn't have time to wait around for the bus.
No problem... until my Braille Note wouldn't connect to the
server. That had never happened before.
I was still struggling to connect when someone touched my
hands. It was one of the ASL iv students I'm working with
this semester. We talked for a few minutes. I told her I
was having trouble connecting to the internet. She offered
to call my dad on her cell phone. It worked out very well.
I was lucky she just happened to walk by at that moment. I
wish all probably could be solved so easily.
Midterms are over! It's officially Spring Break! I'm not
going to the beach and I'm too old to party. But I do have
very special plans. I am going to SLEEP. Hasta La Vista,
Baby!

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