Now nature calls and I decide not to try to wait until I've taken
my bath. Having thought ahead (which I generally do with procedures
involving this much), I have taken my shoes off in my room. I now
remove my pants and socks (described later) and put them in the dirty
Making certain I have a regular washcloth available, I transfer onto
the toilet. There are many different ways to do this. I have learned to
use different methods depending on where I can place my wheelchair
relative to the stool. Other factors concerned with transfer are muscle
control, muscle strength, and closeness of other objects to the toilet.
When I'm at home I set my wheelchair at approximately a 90 degree angle
to the toilet, put my legs over the opposite side, and slide from my
wheelchair to the toilet seat.
Transferring onto the toilet at home
This leaves me sitting sideways, so I have to turm myself around ninety
degrees before I am comfortable enough to have a bowel movement. After
I've flushed, the washcloth is used to clean myself. I've found that my
fingers, tending to be rather spastic, go right through toilet tissue.
Therefore, some sort of cloth is needed to solve the problem. The
washcloth gets pretty well rinsed off before I'm through cleaning
myself because I flush two or three times during the process to assure
myself of having a fresh, clean supply of water with which to work.
When this is done, I reach over and drop the washcloth into the
bathtub, where it remains until the laundry is done. I then transfer
back into my wheelchair, move to the side of the tub, place my legs
inside it, and lock my chair flush against it. (This is easy because I
do not have foot rests on my wheelchair.) I slide from my wheelchair to
the tub and lie down in it.
I can easily turn the bathtub knobs with my feet
I can bathe all parts of my body thoroughly with my
I can operate the stopper and hot and cold water controls with my feet
because of protrusions similar to the knobs on the sink. Having taken
my bath and allowed the water to drain away, I get onto my knees, reach
over to get the towel I conveniently placed beside the tub, and find it
gone. Our dog has struck again! When it is there, however, I dry my
head and the upper part of my body, pull myself back into my
wheelchair, and dry the lower half of my body.