The Disabled Shower

Yesterday I wrote about my childhood battle with soft walls, and declared it over. But today it seems that’s not entirely the case.

Fat Sister took me to her gym for a swim. It’s a nice place – all on one level and fully accessible. She’d checked it out in advance and was pleased to find there was even a wheelchair-accessible shower. After we’d had our swim I went there to wash and get changed.

I’d successfully finished showering and was sitting on the fold-down shower seat when it suddenly came away from the wall and deposited me inelegantly and painfully on the floor.

Fortunately I wasn’t badly hurt, but it did give me a shock and not just for the obvious reasons. I’d been in the process of getting dressed and the jolt of the seat collapsing meant I dropped my clean, dry clothes onto the floor, which was still very wet from the shower. Fat Sister came and helped me off the floor and managed to dry my clothes with a hair dryer.

The seat had come away completely and it looked as though it’d been attached using very short screws. Once I’d recovered and was dressed we headed home, but not before complaining to the club about the dangerous, and now broken, shower seat.

This isn’t the first time I’ve come across weak or wobbly fittings. Several times in accessible loos I’ve reached for grab rails only to have them come away in my hand. It’s not good enough just to have these things – it’s essential they’re strong enough to do the job they’re supposed to do and that they’re checked regularly.

Funnily, when we’d first arrived Fat Sister noticed that it said ‘Disabled Shower’ on the door rather than ‘Accessible shower’ and remarked, ‘The shower’s not disabled.’ Little did she know it actually had a serious hidden disability.

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