Monday, 17 August 2015

I Want To Shit In Peace

I have a fairly open life. Certainly this blog makes it a more open life than many others. On top of that, however, is the daily care, home care workers, guests, whatever you may who are in my life constantly. They see me in my wheelchair. They see me in my underwear. A good many of them see me in various states of disrobe from lightly covered to completely naked. Women who have never met me before walk in to my bathroom to help me transfer my naked body from shower to chair. Friends who have known me for many years help me in and out of bed, on and off of toilets, in and out of cars.

Most every part of my life is exposed to scrutiny and subject to intrusion. There is, however, one moment of privacy, one small time in my day when I truly get to be alone with my thoughts and myself, without needed help or care, without someone being with me. That is the short period of time when I get to be alone in the bathroom, on the toilet. It's all I got, and I plan on defending it.

There are very few people who are comfortable sharing this most private of acts, this sacred time when your body does what everyone else's body does. Even though we all do it, we all pretty much want to do it alone. The truth is that even this act forces me to ask for help now and again, where I cannot get onto or off of toilets, or where I am unable to clean properly. I mourn for those lost moments of dignified privacy, that last bit where I feel my singularity is sacrosanct.

Even within this most hallowed hall, people feel free to wander. They interrupt because then need to check on me, they need to make sure I am all right. They interrupt because they are care workers, and making sure this function functions is a part of caring. They interrupt because of what they see as urgent, critical. They interrupt, when all I want is a few moments of private dignity.

I am losing a lot to ALS. Mostly I can adjust. All I ask for is what remains of my self-dignity, that small portion when I get to sit alone in my bathroom, awaiting the inevitable, thinking my thoughts, working my body, planning for what comes next. All I want is a little privacy, to be left alone for once. to shit in peace.


  1. As things change, as they inevitably will, look on these audiences to your more private functions in the manner of Louis XIV. His courtiers battled to be included in his earliest levees, which included the voiding of the royal bowels!