I’ve just done something really difficult. It wasn’t learning a complicated text, performing in front of thousands or completing a cryptic crossword. And it wasn’t something that I feel proud of.
I pissed myself.
Or to be precise I deliberately urinated in my pull-up pad, and I’ve found this is actually much harder than I’d thought.
We’re in Berlin to perform ‘Not I’ and we’re staying in a hotel booked for us by the venue. Our ‘accessible’ room has a less-than-ideal set-up – in other words it’s not very accessible at all.
The accessible toilet and shower aren’t actually in my room but in a separate space across the hall. To get there you have to go through a public corridor and a very heavy door, and I can’t manage this on my own. Every time I need to go to the toilet I have to press the buzzer and get my support worker Aidan to help me.
Helping me is obviously his job, but despite emptying my bladder with a catheter before I settle down to sleep I still wake up a lot to use the toilet – five times last night.
It’s only 2:00am and he’s already got up to help me three times. When I woke a few minutes ago needing to go again, my heart sank. I really didn’t want to disturb him again, so I decided to wee into my pad instead.
I wet my pad a bit on most days but this is always by accident. I had no idea that choosing to wee into one would be so hard, but after a few minutes I felt the pad get heavier and my bladder feel lighter. I took it off and changed into a clean one and got back into bed.
Almost immediately afterwards I heard a gentle knock on the door and heard Aidan’s voice calling to check I was ok. He’d woken up with a strange feeling that I needed him. This really surprised me and isn’t easy to explain but he must be more tuned in to my requirements than either of us realised.
I confessed straightaway to having wee’d in my pad, and we agreed that if I ever needed to go again I’d call for him, regardless of the time or how recently I’d last been.
It’s hard to describe the stress and pressure of needing to wee so often, and how hard it can feel to deliberately wake someone despite the fact that that’s exactly what they’re there for and what I know they’d want me to do.
I feel silly for deciding not to ask for help – it’s exactly the opposite of what I’d tell anyone else to do. I also know how lucky I am to have the support I do, so not using it is totally daft.
The venue weren’t able to sort out a different hotel for us but they’re working on getting me a commode, so hopefully from tomorrow the set-up will be slightly better.
On the plus side this whole incident has revealed that Aidan’s telepathic.