I have had four injuries in public bathrooms since 2005. Three of which all happened in the same ladies' room at Cottonwood Hospital. The fourth injury was acquired today in the new Intermountain Medical Center lavatory. I thought that all the bad memories were behind me, but I was mistaken.
The first injury took place on a icy winter night. I had a favorite washroom that I felt relaxed and comfortable using, and so I would take the trip through the dimly lit hallways over by Human Resources and use the homestyle ladies' room with the marble stalls. Nice place, other than the old school baseboard heater that was dangerously close to the toilet. So dangerously close, in fact, that someone hovering over the seat to pee with their pants down around their ankles, might drop a key, bend over to get it, press a bare leg against the red, hot, baseboard heater, and sear the skin on that leg to a crisp. Not such an enjoyable bathroom after all, if that were to happen. And yet I continued to use it.
And now picture, if you will, a toilet seat shaped, not in a circle, but in a U-shape. The kind with the wiggly hinges that allow the seat to slide off the bowl and move around. Not too terrible of a thing. Unless . . .
Unless, you have a little extra inner thigh meat that could get pinched between the seat and the bowl as the seat slides off to the side. As the seat slides, it grabs the delicate inner thigh flesh and crushes it between a cold ceramic bowl and a rock hard, plastic seat. Take a moment to think what you would do, if you were pinned to a toilet by the most tender part of your inner thigh. Not much to do. Just get up fast and examine the damage.
Third injury . . . same as the second. Some people learn things the hard way.
And the final injury–
Some people have a wide stance, I have a wide squat. Nothing inappropriate of course, I just need a little extra leg room.
Take a moment and imagine the toilet paper dispenser. There are jagged edges that are used to tear the paper at the perforation. Not razor-sharp edges. Just kind of dull, sharp edges.
As I began to swiftly rise from the seat, my leg, being in the wide stance position, caught on the blunt serrated edges of the dispenser and gouged out a chunk of flesh from my knee cap. Which hurt. A lot.
It is not an injury you think much of at the time, but as the hours go by, thoughts of the necrotic bacteria infecting your wound surface throughout the day. Bathroom infections getting into the gouge were at the forefront of my mind. The injury from today had the potential of progressing into a deadly injury. Something so simple could have ended my existence, just like that.
And that is why, I have decided that it just is not safe to use the public stalls. I am opting for the open air approach to defecating, and I think I have found the perfect location. It is just outside of the Women's Center doors, and then turn North. I'll bring my own roll.