Trudy Triumph's Neurogenic Bladder Blog

No Trash Can in Stall: Disposing of an Intermittent Catheter

I am going to get real with you and take a moment to express what really comes natural to me: Honestly, “What would Jesus do?”  Here goes:

Not long ago our school district had a meeting for substitute teachers at the local high school where I retired from and occasionally “sub”.  I’ll set the stage:  The auditorium was packed and there was only one woman’s restroom.

When I go to the Ladies’ Room to pee, I ALWAYS wash my hands first. I wonder if it raises eyebrows because to some it might seem a bit out of order. I always wash my hands again, Yes, twice, before and after, my duty is done.

As I cleanse my hands, it always allows me to get the “lay of the land”.  A double sink with paper towels and a trash can beneath, on either end, in this case. The paper towel holder and trash can, were right in front of a full wall mirror.  Multiple stalls, means many seeing eyes. No secret disposing of trash, by golly.

So, I go in and do my business and at completion I notice there is no trash can in the stall! I am now horrified.  I have this long skinny catheter, yellow now, in fact, that still needs to be disposed.

I chastise myself because I usually carry little baggies for this very thing.  I could have put it in a zip top and slipped it in my pocket or purse.  But, in this instance, I did not have one.

Do I wrap it in toilet paper, long and soggy? . . . Then walk discreetly through an ocean of my peers with a dripping tube, as I try desperately not to make eye contact with other women, some of which I have worked with for years, by the way . . . to finally toss my bulky, tattletale, millstone away? Or do I take the easy way out?

These are my choices:

Do I

a) humiliate and expose myself to prying eyes and the possibility of questions I don’t want to answer

or

b) take the cowardly route?

Remember, the restroom is packed with women that I want to look cool in front of . . . AND there is a full length mirror in front of the trash can. [No secrets there].

I’m sorry to report: I just kicked the offending object behind the toilet.  If you are a custodian, I indeed lament my deed. Please accept my apology — I in no way feel proud. I was backed into a corner.  It was simply a survival tactic.

Just as a person bound to a wheelchair fights for sloped curves and wheelchair access, I take my fight to: “Within the public restroom stall”.  My disability is hidden for the most part.  Many don’t know.  Please, if you have any say in how a public restroom is set up, please insist that a trash container is incorporated into the stall itself. It provides a certain amount of hygiene and privacy.  Basically, it allows me to save face.

Neurogenic bladder comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  Some of us use aids. Please help us dispose of them privately, and safely.

Thanks!

What would you have done?

Leave a Comment