We all have embarrassing moments. Times when we would like to have a black hole come and suck us up because we are so mortified over a situation. When you are paralyzed, a lot of physical issues embarrass you! I decided… what the heck… I may as well throw my pride out the window and share a few of those moments that have made me want to crawl into a hole.

When you are paralyzed and you feel like you need to go to the bathroom, it usually means you have a very short time to get to the restroom before you will have an accident. Once my husband and I were driving along a highway in Ohio and I felt like I had to pee. Unable to find a rest stop, Steve just pulled off the road so that I could use my catheter to empty my bladder. It was very dark so we were sure no one would see what was going on inside my little Pontiac Sunbird. It felt like a smart decision at the moment but that moment of intelligence did not last too long.

I pulled down my pants in the front seat and used my supplies to begin emptying my bladder. Suddenly a bright light was shining through the driver’s side window by Steve. We both jumped, not realizing anyone had approached our car, and quickly realized it was a state trooper. And he had his flashlight and eyes focused right at me… and my pants and undies were around my ankles. Can you imagine what he thought was going on? {Blush}

Steve quickly rolled down the window and quickly tried to explain what was going on. “My wife is paralyzed. She had to go to the bathroom but we couldn’t find one so we pulled over.” The cop began to process what was going on and at that point, I’m not sure who was more embarrassed. He mumbled “Finish up” and retreated very quickly back to his squad car, while I couldn’t decide if I should laugh or cry. Steve chose to laugh.

Another moment where I turned redder than a tomato involved a bra. It may sound silly but I always put my clothes and undergarments on my wheelchair in case we ever have a house fire at night. I don’t want to be wearing pjs when the firemen come! One morning, when my kids were young, I woke up and got my clothes but I could not find my bra. Certain I had left one on my chair, I was baffled at where it went. But not overly concerned, I just grabbed another one and went on with my day.

I took my two boys to the bus stop and then my daughter and I ran errands to at least 4-5 stores. We went into the final store when my preschooler said very loudly, “Mommy, you have a bra hanging from your chair.” I looked behind me only to realize that my old lady bra was dragging behind my chair! {Blush}

And all of the people I saw and places I had been, with my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder stuck in my tire and dragging along the floor, flashed through my mind. I quietly asked my daughter to hand it to me and I stuffed it into my shirt. Self conscious and rattled, I grabbed my daughter’s hand and left the store without finishing my shopping.

One of my most embarrassing moments now makes me laugh a lot. I do not have any control of my lower body so when I have stomach issues, I cannot feel it coming. One morning I had a bad case of gastrointestinal distress. It happened when I was already dressed so I had to take off my clothing and take a shower to clean up. I threw my clothing in the washing machine and washed it on a hot, heavy duty cycle.

Unfortunately the washing machine began to leak and I had water pouring onto my kitchen floor. After a moment of panic, I rushed for a bucket to catch the water and a bunch of towels to sop up the inches of liquid on my tile floor. However, my tummy difficulties were not over! Just as I bent over with towels to clean the water, I had another explosive accident. Deciding to just throw the towels down to soak up the water, I tried to leave the kitchen to go back to the bathroom to take care of the newest problem when my wheelchair tires began to spin. I started to hydroplane and lost control of the chair as I began to go in circles, driving into the walls and the cabinets. After getting my chair to move a little in the right direction, I then got the wet towels stuck in my tires. But every time I bent over to get the towels out of my wheels, I had another unfortunate tummy event. {Cry} {Blush} {Cry}

That was one terrible, horrible, awful, no good day! But now it is amusing! So yes, you can laugh!

More recently I was using the bathroom at work when suddenly my catheter detached from the leg bag and the catheter started flipping around like a loose hose. Urine was hitting me, the floor and the walls as I tried to reattach it. I’m now in a urine speckled stall, knowing I needed to get back to my desk, praying no one would come into the women’s bathroom. {Blush} I quickly rushed for paper towels and cleaned up the mess in the stall and then focused on cleaning myself. I thankfully keep other clothes and cleaning supplies in my backpack so could change my pants and wash myself up! When I finally was able to go out of the bathroom, I had to share with my co-worker, Karoline, why on earth I was in the bathroom for so long. We both laughed then and even weeks afterwards.

As a paraplegic, I’ve had to endure some extremely embarrassing moments, especially due to lack of control over bodily functions. I would like to say that after 29 years, it doesn’t bother me when I wet my pants or worse. But it still does some days.

I am just thankful that God has given me a sense of humor and that I can eventually laugh about the situations! I hope these stories make you laugh and give you some encouragement to find joy in whatever journey you find yourself on!

2 thoughts on “{Blushing}

  1. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your challenges and joys. Your stories remind me to look for the silver lining and to know that some day I may actually laugh about things that happen that I don’t find funny in the moment. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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