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Q: As a wheelchair user, using a public bathroom without help is now challenging—advice??

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  • Q: As a wheelchair user, using a public bathroom without help is now challenging—advice??

    I got this question the other day from a member. -D

    Need some advice on traveling. I’m in a wheelchair with limited standing abilities. The restroom is my biggest obstacle away from home. I want to continue to travel but it is becoming a challenge. My husband can lift me but it puts a strain on him and he certainly doesn’t want to accompany me on every trip to the restroom. And there’s no way I can use the airplane restroom. So sadly, what every person dreads, I am considering adult diapers or a temporary catheter. Neither the ideal solution. Any thoughts or advice?
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    You are hardly alone! Indeed that challenge is hovering over me, too. I'll have more real-world advice once I start traveling again, but for now, here goes my best stab. Others hopefully will chime in.

    1) Protective undergarments, I wear them out often. But avoid "using" them in place of a bathroom. They aren't a substitute and beside the volume of urine is too much and it would be way uncomfortable. They are a great backup if urgency is an issue.

    2) I hear self-cathing is freeing and effective. It may be a little challenging at the start, but it's worth the effort. That's likely in my near future.

    3) Medications. You could try DDAVP. The nasal spray (desmopressin acetate) is an antidiuretic (it prevents the production of urine) hormone. The hormone works on the kidneys to control urine volume and frequent urination. It lasts 8-12 hours (great for long plane flights!). BUT since you can't pee, you have to limit fluid intake and can only take it once a day.

    I'm sure there are other great ideas, but this is a start.
    Dave Bexfield