Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Roadside Rest Stop In Kansas [I think!] Photo By Husband
It seems I cannot escape the porta-pot escapades, or porta-potty (which seems to be the preferred word). I previously mentioned a vicarious outer space lift-off when a Civil War cannon fired, while I was perched upon a porta-pot seat.

Porta-pots were not a factor in my mind when we commenced our anticipated Moroccan Reunion Tour in Rapid City, SD. For various reasons we chose a route through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska to South Dakota using I-35, US 81 and I-90.
Somewhere along the long stretches of corn and grain fields of US 81, I needed to eliminate my early morning decaffeinated coffee comsumed in OK City, and additional cups along the way. The LDS phone number on the units is Ardmore OK which is near the Kansas state line.

As we pulled in, we noticed the rest area regular restrooms were cordoned off and only a line of porta-pots available. It was mid-morning; there were a cars and 18-wheeler trucks already using the facilities. We parked  in front of unit #527 [far right].

Porta-pots are not handicap accessible; nor was our parking spot, but I was desperate. My husband (H) would not remember fondly, if I messed up his truck. A man and his truck are sacred and should not be desecrated.

My bionic knees and certain medicines make me less than steady walking, balance or gait. We bought a rollator for touring, but did not anticipate needing it earlier.

First, I had to get over the curb by using front end of truck and side-stepping up to the sidewalk level. As I walked toward #527, Husband lit up a cigarette and walk a short distance away so smoke would not bother me.

I opened #527's door, only to be confronted with a higher than expected step-up from ground level. Please note the units also have a small space between ground and unit. The door had no inside grab bar, so I held on to the sides of door opening and began to lift myself inside, only to catch the toe of one shoe under the unit's front edge above the ground.

I fell on my butt on #527's floor with one leg wedged against the left side wall and the other leg somehow stretched and tucked outside under the door. I am fairly sure the truckers were getting a show to tell when they reach the next truck stop.

H came over to try to help me untangle myself. People who have knee prostheses usually have to get themselves in a position for help. I managed to nearly get in this position where I could raise myself by holding onto the porta-pot seat (ugh!!!), using one leg to raise myself, while resting on the other knee. But prosthetic knees are painful when kneeling on hard surfaces.

While my exceedingly wide butt stuck out the door of #527, H went to his truck for a neck pillow for my knee. Thankfully, it was not packed, as I used it for back comfort.

When he returned, I put the pillow under one knee, and, with some difficulty got myself erect, shut the door and finished my mission.  [At home I use a WalMart foam garden kneeling pad and a heavy oak chair butted against a wall, if I fall.]

Needless to say, I carefully exited #527 and quickly returned to the pickup. I didn't want to add to the truckers' comedy.

I had bruises across my butt and lower part of one leg. The leg bruise has not completely faded, and I may have it examined to be sure I do not have a blood clot;  it is in the danger area of blot clots due to poor circulation.

Inside the truck I grabbed my Germ-X from my purse to wipe my hands and exposed skin. When we stopped for the night in York, NE, I cleansed any and everything I suspected exposure to the hell hole of germs. When I got home I cleansed the neck pillow. I cannot imagine the germs associated with porta-pots.

If you have knee prostheses, but sure to ask your orthopedic physician or physical therapist what to do, if you fall. I have used this method several times, and been able to get myself up, with little or no assistancefrom another person. Even  a very sturdy folding chair with someone holding it will work. We carry one in each vehicle. There was no way to use it in this situation, but the method still worked. Remember some knee pads, too. The garden pads are great and economical.

After this disconcerting event, I wondered what else was in store for us, as we had not even arrived at the Moroccan Reunion headquarters in Rapid City, SD!


flowerweaver said...

Oh no! What an awful position to be in at such a gross location! I'm sorry you had to go through such an ordeal and am glad everything turned out OK. Hope the reunion was fun!

Arkansas Patti said...

Thank goodness H is not the camera enthusiast you are. He could have blackmailed you forever.
That sounded very painful, frustrating and embarassing.
Thank goodness for retrospect when things lose their edge and become funny.

rosaria said...

Oh my! We assume there are handicapped restrooms everywhere, and Porta-potty should know how to build adaptations. It must have been painful and disconsolate.

Nezzy said...

Oh bless your heart!!! Yep, ya can bet those CB's were busy on the sight at the Porta' potties. How embarrassin' for ya.

Love it that you tell it with such a fine attitude of humor.

God bless ya and have an incredible day sweetie!!! :o)

Lorna said...

I knew from the comment you left me that this would be a painful post, but I didn't realize the extent of your difficulty. Thank God we people of the 40s were granted a big shot of dignity....

Anonymous said...

I am sure glad you were not injured more than you were. Glad to that your hubby was there to assist you in getting up. I cannot believe that row of porta-pots. I hope all of the bruises have gone away. Hugs

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

OH my gosh. I am so sorry this happened to you. It had to have hurt you plus it did not help with you thinking about those darn truckers getting a good laugh at your expense.
Girlfriend can I relate to those types of moments.
At least now you can laugh about it. I could just picture you after getting back into the truck wiping everything possible down with germ x.