Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting Off the Pot

We live in a two story house that was built around 1922.  My mother lives downstairs and we live upstairs.  There was no heat or air conditioning upstairs when we moved in, but that has had to be remedied!  (especially the air!)

Since stairs are a problem with me, I come down them in the morning and go back up when I am sure I will not need to do anything else downstairs.  We have a den, bedroom and study upstairs.

There is also no bathroom upstairs.  We tried to have one installed, but it was going to be a major problem because of where the water pipes come into the house.  We decided that we would use a chamber pot.

If you do not know what a chamber pot is, it is a bowl-shaped container with a handle and usually has a lid.  In olden times it was kept in the bedroom under a bed or in the cabinet of a nightstand and generally used as a urinal at night. In Victorian times, some chamber pots would be built into a cabinet with a closable cover.    Ours sits on the floor near the bed.

It is very embarrassing to use a chamber pot. My husband, Howard, has often threatened to take my picture sitting on it and I have assured him that that would NOT be a good idea! Not only is it totally un-ladylike, it is hard to get up and down on a chamber pot.  The one we have looks like this:

As you can see, it does not add a lot of décor to our bedroom!

The biggest problem I have with this is that my legs are so wobbly it is often hard to get down to the pot and then get back up.  Just the other night I had to wake Howard up to help me get off of it. 

I realize that this is not a problem that most of you would have.  However, most of us DO have a problem with movement from up to down and back.  As my legs become more unstable, I find that just getting out of a chair is often a major to-do.  The chamber pot is way past that!

Howard says we are going to look for a “bedside commode” so that I can replace the chamber pot for something that will be more stable and easier to use.  He also wants to get a walker with a seat and storage area.  I know they both would make life easier for me, but I hate to get them because…………..you know………it means “I’m there”. 

I think we all hate to think of getting to the point where we are considered the older generation or handicapped.  I don’t mind getting older. In fact, I have really enjoyed it.  The handicapped part is a different matter.  Besides, I always said if I had a choice of losing my physical abilities or losing my mind, I would rather lose my mind because then you wouldn’t care what was happening.  It is really a pain to realize you are losing both!!!!!!!!!  Would you like the room next to mine?? ;-)


Muffie said...

Oh, Janie, what a cute story! No, I would never make it with a chamber pot! Do you have any stores near you that distribute free disability items? We have a county owned one not far from us, and they had hundreds of commodes which we needed for my mother. We also have MSAA, which handles such items for those with MS.
Yes, I understand your reluctance -- I go through it each time the awareness strikes me firmly up side the head!

Janie said...

No, we are in a small town with not much to offer by way of disability aids. We are looking into ordering a commode chair, though. I am so afraid that I will one day get down on the pot and not get up! What an obit that would make!! :)