Let’s talk about the The Unmentionables of Chronic Illness ; The Bathroom Trip. #unmentionables


After spending 10 minutes trying to ensure I have successfully locked the cubicle door, I awkwardly pull down my tights and I let out a little cry as I plonk myself on the toilet seat.

This thing we all do daily, as simple as going to the bathroom can be a struggle for me. It sounds ridiculous but it is the smallest of things that can be the most difficult in my daily life. As my hands hurt it is such a huge effort to do something we all need to do numerous times a day. The whole thing during a flare up can be an ordeal. Trying to lock the bathroom or cubicle door to removing tights, jeans or whatever clothing you are wearing from trying to turn on taps and redress yourself and don’t even get me started on trying to re -open the door.

I have literally been locked in public bathrooms because after the whole ordeal of a trip to the bathroom my hands won’t function enough to open the door. Sometimes it can be quite embarrassing when I’m at a social function and I disappear to the bathroom for maybe a half hour at a time (who knows what they think I’m at), simply because I’m locked in.

Nobody has any idea how difficult this is for me, why would they? It’s not like we talk about our toilet activity with anyone. It is a completely private moment and for the most part it should be. However this ‘unmentionable‘ is a real struggle for me.

A healthy person doesn’t even consider this, they need to pee they walk to the loo , do what they need to do and go back to life. I on the other hand spend time agonizing over do I really need to go…and if so how badly, especially during a flare up and most especially in public places. (As the locks are the worst!)

The best way to explain to someone without RA what it is like for those few minutes of life every day is try to imagine a time you were so drunk you barley knew your own name. You make your way to the bathroom, locking the bathroom door just seems like it should be a task in the game show ‘The Cube’. Then you stubble around the cubicle like a baby calf trying to undress and when you are done you need a nap on the toilet seat because the effort of all that was exhausting. And now you have to somehow manage to muster up the energy to get re dressed, get yourself out of the bathroom, turn on a tap that is as stiff as a porn stars ding dong and get your hands washed. By the time you leave the bathroom you pray it’s time to go home because you can hear your pj’s calling you.

Well for me it’s kind of like that every time I make a bathroom trip. Except I am not drunk, I am in pain. Why am I telling you this? I suppose I feel it is time we start talking about what life with a chronic illness is REALLY like. Why it is so different to that of a healthy person. The struggles we go through that no one really sees or knows about.

It’s not like when people ask you how arthritis affects your life you can say ‘Well actually wiping my ass hurts now so that’s new!‘.  Arthritis or chronic illness sucks and can make you feel like  life is exhausting. The most exhausting part of it though can be trying to justify why you do the things you do the way you do. So let’s talk about The Unmentionables. The things no one talks about. The things like going to the bathroom being a pain in the ass and not the way one might think :p


Have you found toilet trips difficult? What other daily tasks do you struggle with that the others in your life have no idea? I would love to know.

If you liked this piece I would love to hear from you, or you can contact me on Facebook where I share some funny memes, inspirational quotes and any tips I have on dealing with my chronic illness. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Let’s talk about the The Unmentionables of Chronic Illness ; The Bathroom Trip. #unmentionables

  1. You are too funny! But seriously, FINALLY, someone gets me! One things I learned in my 17 years of RA, DON’T wait too long to get to the bathroom. Locking doors, unbuttoning pants, pushing them down, sitting down…it takes time. Wait too long and you have another problem, one that’s a bit more difficult to hide! It’s been a long time (sadly) since I was that drunk, but your analogy is spot on.

    Since we’re talking bathroom issues, here’s another one. I’ve always wondered if anyone else has ever considered wearing adult diapers to bed, only because getting up in the morning is such a bloody chore. Everything is stiff, it hurts to walk. Thankfully there isn’t a mirror close to my side of the bed, I would hate to see what I look like hobbling around.

    And I’m certain the other ladies in public restrooms must think I’m a germaphob due to the length of time I spend at the sink. But anytime I can get my hands in warm water, I’m going to stay a while.

    My latest unmentionable happened last month. My book group was meeting at a restaurant for our holiday party. I was in the middle of a flare and it was wet and cold out, but I really wanted to go. Everything was going OK until our meals were served. It was then I realized the only way I’d be able to eat my delicious looking food was if I asked one of my table mates to cut it up for me. She was very sweet about it and did it in the most discreet way possible, but still, I felt like an idiot.

    Thanks for the laugh. I needed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you on that I love steak but have to get my other half to cut it for me a lot of the time! And get people to pour out my tea or open my bottle of water!!! Hmm haven’t thought about diapers but I have a great ability to hold my water!! ❤️❤️❤️thanks so much for your comment!!


  2. All very very familiar… I haven’t been able to wear tights, leggings or trousers for over a year because of the difficulties when going to the toilet… In terms of locks, I avoid them as much as possible by taking a friend to hold the door shut. Embarrassing to ask but after the first time it gets easier.

    In terms of needing food cut up, I’ve emailed a friend who’ll be there in advance and explained I might need help which was much easier than having to ask at the table

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good tip! Ask in advance! My boyfriend is used to it now so he doesn’t mind at all of I need help. ❤️ I can Sadat leggings but that’s mostly what I wear. Jeans are just a nightmare for me!


  3. I love this! I’m 24 and have RA and gastroparesis, so my life revolves around bathrooms and bloating. Everyday I play a game of “what size pants will I wear today based on my bloating?” You know, because when you’re literally full of shit, it’s hard to squeeze into skinny jeans.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank goodness for this discussion. It’s so embarrassing to talk about this part of RA. Right now my biggest struggle is cleaning myself, both after using the restroom and in the shower. Not only the various pains, but the tightness in my shoulder keeps me from being able to do an effective job without great struggle. I turn on the sink and fan hoping people won’t hear me whimper if they walk by.

    Liked by 1 person

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