I’m not sure of the usefulness of the contraption to make sitting down and getting up from the toilet easier for the Goldfish. It wasn’t what I expected. I thought it was going to be a loo-shaped seat type thing to sit on top of the toilet. Instead, although it does fit over the loo, it’s a large, clumsy bit of engineering with arm rests – and it doesn’t half complicate matters.
If the Goldfish only needs to pee, it’s almost impossible to get him to stand close enough to actually get the stream into the toilet bowl. This means we have to remove the contraption before he gets into position – and before we can do that, we have rather a lot manoeuvring to do. It’s not a big bathroom.
When the Goldfish decides he needs to spend a penny we process from the living room towards the bathroom. He takes the lead, pushing his walker while I follow behind. Once we reach the bathroom I have to remove the walker without making the Goldfish lose his balance. Sometimes, he doesn’t want to let go. I persuade him to hang on to the handrail beside the loo, while pushing the walker out of the way behind us. At the same time I have to remove the contraption from over the toilet so he can get up close. The only place to put it is in the shower area. This juggling is a bit awkward and timing is of the essence. If the Goldfish is in a good mood it’s do-able but if he decides he does not require the presence of his daughter while he answers a call of nature then it all becomes more problematic – and never ends well.
If all goes to plan, when he has finished, the reverse procedure is no less complicated as I have to have the walker in place for the Goldfish to grab when I’ve manoeuvred him around to face the exit.
If it’s going to be a sit-down performance then we leave the contraption in place and once I’ve removed the walker, there’s the added complication of persuading him to turn round – which necessitates a risky bit of change of hands on the rail. Once that’s been accomplished and he can lower himself onto the seat fairly easily – once I’ve pulled down his trousers and underpants – I then retreat and leave him in peace and privacy until the job is done. However, I do have to listen very carefully and have learned to interpret the various sounds from the behind the bathroom door – so I can get in there to wipe. The Goldfish is good at pulling himself upright again – those core muscles which so impressed the OT.
A major problem which sometimes happens is when he is sitting down to move his bowels and decides he needs to pee at the same time. I’d never thought about such an occurrence before and questioned the DH as to how often this occurs when he is sitting on the loo – he gave me a pained look and declined to answer. Those of a delicate nature should look away now. There’s absolutely no way the Goldfish can direct the stream of urine into the toilet bowl. Perhaps once upon a time he could but his brain can no longer process the how-to so he just goes for it.
We invested in a plastic urine bottle but timing and correct positioning is vital – and we get it wrong more often than we succeed in getting it right. Frequent changes of socks and shoes are required and mopping of the floor. Sometimes the Goldfish laughs at the disaster; sometimes he doesn’t.
Once we are all sorted, zipped up and the Goldfish has a good grip of the walker (or has decided it would be more fun to sit on the seat and be pushed back to the living room) dignity has been restored all round.
“Ready for a cup of coffee?” I ask
“Or a wee dram?”
His eyes light up. “Even nicer.”