About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretty, But Not Functional

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and excited about the adventure that awaited me. Maybe because I had my first solid nights sleep in weeks, or maybe it is because I am finally recovering from my pneumonia, but for whatever reason, Chicago didn't seem quite as intimidating and scary. I was ready to go for an explore.

After drinking some coffee and checking my email, I grabbed my portable grab bar and got ready to take a shower. Although I requested a shower chair, the hotel did not have one available. I wasn't surprised; I am at a conference where a lot of the attendees are amputees. I would make due with sitting in the tub.

Since my amputation, I would have to say that I don't enjoy the bathing experience in hotels. I suppose much of my dislike stems from being out of my comfort zone. At home I have the bathroom fully accessible. I chose the location for the grab bars, and I am the only one who uses the shower chair. I am familiar with the height of the tub etc..

I knew that I was going to have a problem the moment I looked at the decorative tile in the bathroom. The "modern" motif of the hotel features a wavy textured tile along the shower walls. Pretty, yes. Unfortunately the suction cups on my grab bar couldn't make a seal, rendering the tool useless.

I assumed my position sitting in the tub and started the water. The shower head was stationary, making washing my hair more difficult. I was forced to try to follow the weak stream of water with my soapy head until all of the shampoo was rinsed away. Needless to say, it was not a relaxing experience.

Getting out of the tub was an interesting experience. Since I was lacking a grab bar and the tub was more shallow than most, I had a difficult time formulating my approach. I tried to develop a plan that would not involve my having to go onto the bathroom floor. Every option I considered posed the risk of falling, so I was left with no choice.

There I was, on the hard tile floor of a hotel bathroom, dripping wet with quasi-rinsed hair. I wanted to cry. I hated that I was missing my foot, and that I couldn't simply "take a shower." I hated that the process was laborious and needed to be well-planned. Crawling around a hotel bathroom floor, naked and wet, is a humiliating experience. Nobody should be put in that position!

I did try to put the bathroom mishap behind me. I was able to explore the city. Well, to be honest I only walked about 10 blocks. But I did it, and that's a start! I didn't make it to the Weber Grill Restaurant, but I did meet some new people and I am optimistic about tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Oh, Peggy, this makes me feel so much more compassion and understanding of what Pat goes through. Thanks. Someday, we will have a truly inclusive world.Enjoy your break from Rotten Robby, although I know you miss him. Can't wait to hear more.....

  2. I actually thought of our conversation when I was trying to get out of the tub. Very frustrating...
    I miss Robby, but I do admit that I am enjoying sleeping soundly, controlling the remote control, and room service..

  3. Last week was the first time I had showered in a different bathroom. You describe the experience perfectly! Takes a lot of planning. I used to curse our small bathroom and now I am psyched about it :) No hopping needed at home, just hang onto the tub and the sink at the same time.