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Bathroom Issue
Old 01-30-2020, 09:04 PM
 
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Hello,
I am in a portable and do not deem it safe, especially consulting here on PT to leave kids unattended while I use the bathroom. Especially after a parent complaint to me that I leave kids unattended and then if I leave kids in charge taking names on the board to change a behavior color, this one parent thought it was wrong. In which I agree but then again what can I do? I need to use the bathroom too.

Ever since then I've been calling someone from the office, whom I thought was my friend. Well instead of telling me to just ask admin what to do, she ratted me out that I disturb her so she can cover my class to use the restroom. Basically I got scolded today with my AP telling me I don't need to call anyone, I can just use the restroom. She said if I have a parent issue to send them to her. Well how do I use the restroom? Do I leave a kid in charge? Especially having some that can really act out? These are 7 years old whom tell on each other and some that do silly things in a split second.

Any advice on this one?

I also have student whom is full of drama and is quite defiant. I caught her today with what seemed an apple watch and when I took it from her, and placed it on my desk, it seemed to be recording me. I told the mom, whom is a teacher in the building and she told me it was just a watch and that she spoke to her this morning about it...well why didn't you take it away from her? What should I do with this parent and child? Should I have a meeting to put in a behavior plan in class? The mom has told me she knows she is defiant and dramatic...but at the same time, she feels she is bored. This lately is the excuse of some parents. Then home school your child.

Any advice on this one as well?


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Old 01-30-2020, 09:14 PM
 
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Never leave a class unattended. Either call the office for coverage, or bring the class inside while you use the restroom.
I think that's really weird an administrator advised you otherwise.
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Well...
Old 01-30-2020, 09:17 PM
 
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she specifically told me to use the restroom in my portable and it seemed like she really didn't want me to have coverage from anyone...so what shall I do?

I am starting to really dislike this profession...it seems to be getting worse every year. I can't even sleep over all these issues and more going on.

Last edited by learn; 01-30-2020 at 09:18 PM.. Reason: add more
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:22 PM
 
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Never leave your classroom unattended.

I am in Canada, maybe it is different in other countries but the message for at least the last 30 years (last time I was full time in a portable) --- never leave your class unattended.

We have had a "pee clause" for many, many years in our collective agreements. My Board was the first to negotiate the clause but I believe every CA in my province now has a similar clause. Basically, you can call the office and someone needs to cover your class. I wouldn't over use it, but I would use it if necessary.

Check your Collective Agreement. You may have a clause. If you don't, talk to your union negotiators.

There were times when the whole class went to the bathroom because Mrs. Peaches Pears was desperate. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

My friend would talk out a little scene:

Judge: Did you leave your class unattended?
Teacher: Yes
Judge: Did you know it was wrong to leave a class unattended?
Teacher: Yes
Judge: And you still left the class unattended?
Teacher: Yes
Judge: A child was injured while you knowingly left your class unattended?
Teacher: Yes

You can see this wouldn't end well for the teacher.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:22 PM
 
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You E-mail her for clarification. Chances are once she has to put the words leave the kids unattended in writing, sheíll have an actual solution for you.


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LOL that is what she...
Old 01-30-2020, 09:32 PM
 
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said in her email. Come see me when you can. It is personal and I can't put it in writing. So basically, verbally she wants me to leave them unattended and how do I cover myself with this?
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:42 PM
 
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You email her and ask her to please respond in writing. When she doesn't then I would call her every damn time I need to pee! Ridiculous!!!
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:49 PM
 
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I completely agree with seethelight. Make sure you put it in writing. Ask for clarification. I was not in a portable, but I was pregnant and had an entire morning with no breaks. Many times I walked my class down to the office and they sat there while I used the restroom. They finally arranged for an aide from another classroom to come by at 10 am everyday. Good luck to you.
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Any advice on my defiant student?
Old 01-31-2020, 02:00 AM
 
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What should I do with her and the excuses she gives her mother?

Also what is up with the word, I'm bored in class....am I suppose to entertain their kids or teach them?

At the same time, I want to leave teaching....should at this point tell my principal and assistant principal I will be looking for another job? I feel like throwing up just trying to make it to school. Every year there is a crazy parent to deal with or more.

Last edited by learn; 01-31-2020 at 02:11 AM.. Reason: add more information
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restrooms breaks
Old 01-31-2020, 03:48 AM
 
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Quote:
At the same time, I want to leave teaching....should at this point tell my principal and assistant principal I will be looking for another job? I feel like throwing up just trying to make it to school. Every year there is a crazy parent to deal with or more.
If you've been wanting to leave anyway, and can afford to, then yes, I would make this your last straw and do it.

If you need to stay, I would go to the union (or threaten to). Leaving a class unattended today is a disaster waiting to happen, and they need to send you someone to cover a restroom break for you. I'm sure there is an aide somewhere who can spare 10 minutes (even if that's a 1-on-1 who brings her young charge with her. - Walking breaks are probably in some kid's IEP anyway.)

It is very telling the the P would not answer in writing - she clearly knows she is asking you to do something wrong, and she doesn't want to be blamed if/when something happens.


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Old 01-31-2020, 06:00 AM
 
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he specifically told me to use the restroom in my portable
. You have a restroom in the portable? I imagine for kids.... I would wipe it off and use it. That has got to be quicker than leaving to go to the main building to the bathroom. Do your kids not get a recess at any time? Can't you go to the bathroom during those times?

In an email to the p, you write something along the lines of: For clarification after our meeting, I understand that if I need to use the bathroom during classrime, I am to leave a student in charge of writing names down while I leave the room to go to the main building to go to the bathroom. I am not to bother an adult to relive me. Did I understand this correctly?

I would do a behavior plan on the student if the behavior is bad enough. If you have to take things from her, have the parent pick them up the next morning- just write on the communication log that you had to confiscate a (watch). It will be available after 8am.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:41 AM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't leave my class unattended even if I could get my AP to put it in writing. I would have trouble living with it if a child got injured while I was taking a potty break. If it were me, I'd go to my union.

Honestly, though, I don't quite understand why it's such a big problem unless you're pregnant or have medical issues. Surely you have prep time and recesses. I'm 61 years old and on blood pressure medication but I can get through half a day without a potty break. Even when I had to worry about a monthly I was able to plan so that I didn't have emergencies.

If you want to leave teaching, find another job first and then tell your administration.

I would be very wary if I had a colleague who sent her child into my class with a watch that would record and then lied about it. How sure are you that it was, in fact, an apple watch? As for the child's behavior, I'd just document, document, document. Maybe use a carry sheet that Mom has to sign every night. Does this child consistently do well on assessments? If not, the "she's bored" line is absurd and is just code for "your teaching style isn't entertaining enough." Which is also absurd.
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:01 AM
 
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I would never leave a class unattended. If you have a bathroom in your portable just use it. I have learned to time my breaks at AM recess despite also having yard duty part of the time, and my lunch break. As far as afternoon goes, I just suck it up by watching my fluid consumption cause I know thereís no break between lunch and dismissal most days.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:01 AM
 
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I would not leave a class unattended. Always call and get someone to cover your class. If you regularly have a long stretch of time, then ask for someone to come in at the same time every day. If they don't like it, too bad. If anything happens while the class is unattended, you will be the one who gets in trouble.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:43 AM
 
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Like all the women in my mother's family, I have a small bladder and yet I need to drink plenty of fluids (water) to avoid cystitis which has also been an issue for me. So, yes, frequent restroom access is important to me, and no doubt to many others as well. I have been like this my entire life, most of those years never on any medication, and I've never been pregnant, either. Please don't assume that everyone can just "hold it." A half day without a bathroom break would not be feasible for me!

The biggest benefit of being semi-retired at 68 and now working part time teaching adults is I get to use the bathroom whenever I want!
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Yes, I am aware I'm the one getting in...
Old 01-31-2020, 09:44 AM
 
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trouble. However, then go ahead and fire me, I highly dislike this profession lately because of all this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We don't have a union either, so I am in God's hands and maybe hire a lawyer if need be.

I sneaked into my portable bathroom to use it while kids did a test. No one noticed.

I emailed the assistant principal and she refused to put anything in writing, she acted dumb. HOw funny is that? I don't trust her.
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Your principal
Old 01-31-2020, 09:53 AM
 
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Definitely don't trust her! Next time you need to use the restroom, take your entire class down to the office and park them there while you use that restroom. Tell your P you cannot risk your students' safety. If she wants you to do otherwise, then tell her you need that in writing. And even then, I wouldn't leave students unsupervised, but demanding a written directive from her may cause her to reconsider and provide you some coverage.

Last edited by Ruby tunes; 02-01-2020 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:28 AM
 
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I did put the disclaimer of "unless you're pregnant or have a medical issue." It appears that you have a medical issue. If learn does as well, it will make it easier for her union to do something for her. (ETA, didn't notice that she doesn't have a union. That's unfortunate.)

But I've also seen plenty of teachers bring 16 oz. cups of coffee and 32 oz. water bottles, empty them both by 10:00 a.m. and then complain about their lack of bathroom breaks. Hydration is important. I'm a vocal music teacher and I wouldn't have a healthy voice at 61 if I didn't pay attention to that. But there's such a thing as common sense, too, and having to actively plan for bathroom breaks is a fact of life for teachers. For me that means getting up early enough to drink those first 32 oz. before I leave home and remembering to use the bathroom at every break even if I don't necessarily feel the urge right then. You know - things we try to teach kids to do so they don't leave our classes every 30 minutes to use the bathroom.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:34 AM
 
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You have a bathroom right there in your portable?

I don't see any problem with you using that one.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:45 AM
 
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For the posters who responded that a teacher should be able to make it until break:

Just because you can make it, doesn't mean everyone can. Not every person's system works exactly the same. Sometimes I can make it til the end of class, sometimes I can't. Sometimes I just went, and 5 minutes later have to go pee again. Sometimes I forget to go because I didn't feel the urge to go and got busy helping a kid between classes. Then, if the Hershey Squirts suddenly hits, I need to go now!

Get it in writing, & check with your union.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:08 AM
 
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Well, when I say trouble, I'm thinking more of liability and lawsuits. If you have a bathroom in the portable, then use that in an emergency. I assume that's not your preference, but a lot less time that leaving the classroom. And definitely start looking into other jobs.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:22 AM
 
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No medical issue here, and I don't drink coffee or soda, ever. I do have a cup of very weak tea in the early afternoon after work. Not much caffeine there. I get up at 5:45 every working day, so I think that should be plenty early enough. I never drink more than 20 oz. of water in the morning, plus I go for a morning half hour walk. Fortunately, I walk very fast and was usually able to rush to the always crowded restroom during passing breaks between classes, but if there was a line, it was misery.

My point is that each body is different and we all have different needs. I wouldn't think of taking any "medication" for what simply happens to be the way my body works. Being able to use the restroom when needed should be a right, not something teachers have to beg for. I gave my students that right, BTW. They rarely ever abused it.

Sorry, but your post hit a nerve, as I have dealt with this issue all my life. I have friends my age who almost never seem to use a restroom. Lucky them, but that is NOT me. And there are others like me.

Thank you, Dutchgirl! You understand.

Last edited by Ruby tunes; 01-31-2020 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:10 PM
 
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We are not allowed to use the children's toilets under any circumstances.
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Bathroom issue
Old 01-31-2020, 12:31 PM
 
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Never leave your class unattended; itís a lawsuit waiting to happen. When I had a portable, I called the office to send someone. The adult bathroom was on the other side of the school, so I couldnít just pop in and out.

Also, do not use the childrenís bathroom. First, itís disgustingly germy and Iíve watched custodians ďcleanĒ. More importantly, it only takes one parent to go to Admin with a cockamamie story about you in the bathroom and a child either walked in or couldnít go because you were in there.

Take the whole class with you. That will attract enough attention to the legalities of your issue.
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:44 PM
 
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I would not leave my class. My neighbor teacher can sometimes stand in the doorway and monitor both classes(probably not an option in a portable). Otherwise, it becomes a class bathroom break. I have said that teaching is the only profession where you have to take 25 people with you when you need to pee.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:16 PM
 
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The reason she would not put it in writing is because she gave you extremely bad advice...advice that could make you lose not just your job but your teaching credential, if anything happened. Under NO circumstance should a teacher leave her class unattended, even if the portable has a bathroom connected. For the few minutes while you are in there, if kids are messing around and someone breaks an arm, or whatever, it is entirely on you. Parents have a right to expect that their child will be fully attended while at school. Call the office for coverage or march them all for a bathroom break, as others have said. 1000%!
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Here is the story.
Old 02-01-2020, 04:49 AM
 
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I do have a bathroom in my portable for kids. I use that one...I don't tend to travel to another even if someone watches my class.

Next, I have high blood pressure so I take a diuretic in the morning which by 10 or 11 I really need to use the bathroom. I drink water only during the day, but not excessively in the morning to avoid using it more.

My break is at in the morning for specials, noon for recess and I use it then and during lunch and I can survive until the end of the day. However, everyday without fail I need to use it between 10 or 11 am.

My principal and assistant principal said they would deal with parents if they complain, and they feel that I am in the portable with them constitute it is safe. However, they won't put this in writing. If I go against them and give them a hard time, they will make my life miserable. It's like a catch 22. However, I will pray about this because I do agree it is not safe.

NO I DON"T have a union or no one to turn to. It is a charter school. We have a lawyer but he is weaker than circus lemonade according to our principal.
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Your school
Old 02-01-2020, 08:24 AM
 
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Thank you for stating that you work at a charter school. That explains why you have no Union or job protections and why your admin is not following basic safety rules. Too often, charter schools are not held to the same work standards as traditional public schools.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:52 AM
 
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Next, I have high blood pressure so I take a diuretic in the morning which by 10 or 11 I really need to use the bathroom.
Yeah, I understand that dilemma. For me it was easier to take it with my evening meal and resign myself to getting up during the night, but that's not a reasonable solution if you're going to have trouble getting back to sleep. (And it's not an enjoyable solution if you're a tent camper!) I was relieved when my potassium levels finally dropped so low that my doctor put me on a different medication.

And yes, your school lawyer won't help you. They're there to protect the school's interests, not yours. If you don't have access to a union lawyer, you'd have to hire your own.

I'd be looking for a different job. And I would not do them the courtesy of letting them know I was ready to move on until I had the new job in hand.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:32 PM
 
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Like all the women in my mother's family, I have a small bladder and yet I need to drink plenty of fluids (water) to avoid cystitis which has also been an issue for me. So, yes, frequent restroom access is important to me, and no doubt to many others as well. I have been like this my entire life, most of those years never on any medication, and I've never been pregnant, either. Please don't assume that everyone can just "hold it." A half day without a bathroom break would not be feasible for me!
Rubytune: you need to explain this to NOT A SOUL. Everyone should know this and for someone to say you should be able to hold your bladder sort of upsets me. Small bladder, large bladder, we all know this, some have to go 2x a day and others 6x a day. Whatever!! It's no ones business and I don't know why it upsets me that you had to explain this to someone, but it does. On another note, I agree that a class should never be left alone. I hope you find a solution. Oh... When I was in 5th and 6th grade we had 12 portables that were in the schoolyard and I honestly don't remember what we did when we had to use the bathroom or the teachers for that matter.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:02 PM
 
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I feel the need to chime in and agree with those that posted not everyone's body works the same. Really, that shouldn't need to be explained to an adult. I don't have a medical issue nor have I ever been pregnant, and there is no way I could drink regularly and make it through an entire morning without having to go to the bathroom.

When I was a classroom teacher I would have a few small sips of water when I first woke up (not even 1/4 of a glass) and then a 12oz can of pop with my lunch (I found water "ran through me" even faster). I didn't drink any coffee or water throughout the school day at all. I was fortunate that my plan time happened to fall about an hour after my lunch as I always really needed to go by then. One of the only perks of switching back to sped was that I get more bathroom breaks and now can drink more normally throughout my day. I will still never be one of those people who can carry around a giant hydroflask to drink from all day- it amazes me how many teachers can do that!

One year I had a summer school job where I had to basically be with students for 5 hours in the morning. I had my few small sips when I woke up and then nothing until students left at 12:30. I would bring a water bottle and put it in the fridge to grab as soon as the students left because I would be so thirsty. Meanwhile, my best friend, who is now also a teacher, never one time used the bathroom at school when we were in HS because she thought they would be "gross." She had no problem waiting all day long until she got home. Different bodies work differently!
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:37 PM
 
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Itís not healthy to have to restrict either drinking water or using the bathroom when needed.

Bungalow teacher here. I take the whole class to the bathrooms and use the adult one (connected to kidsí ones but private) when I absolutely need to. Couple other teachers leave their class with student ďreporterĒ. I would never do that. They are the same teachers who send groups of students with parents to wander the site (like the zoo) on field trips. But I digress.

Bottom line, weíre people and we donít need to further explain. This struck a nerve with me as well.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:01 PM
 
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Well, I would take the class to the office and have the secretary watch them while you take a bathroom break. I'm betting after a few days she will figure out a way to cover your class. I would be adamant that I would not leave the class unattended. Just always remember you will be the one liable if something happens when you leave them unattended.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:07 PM
 
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People are human, sometimes they have bathroom emergencies. Even if they aren't pregnant or diagnosed with a medical issue.


I believe there are laws that employers have to allow bathroom breaks/access according to a specific time ratio. I think OSHA would be the go-to for specifics on that.

Nobody should feel shamed by this or feel they have to restrict liquids etc.

I don't go around chugging a gallon of water, but when I am thirsty I don't deny myself water.

Agree with the poster who said to walk your kids in each time, and if she says something, just state verbally, I am uncomfortable leaving the kids alone without an adult in charge as the liable adult.

I mean, what is she going to say in response? There really is no good comeback that doesn't make her look bad.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:21 PM
 
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That strikes a nerve with me as well when people (not just you...I have heard it from several others in my life) assume I SHOULD be able to just hold it.

Iíve had three kids. I donít have medical issues, but Iíve ALWAYS been this way. I can not go comfortably more than two hours and MANY times not even that long! Just canít do it. Today was a perfect example. Went to a store and immediately used the bathroom. Before leaving I felt the urge again but didnít want to return to the bathroom. Itís a 15 minute ride home. I honestly thought I wouldnít make it home. I had to go SO bad by the time I walked in the door! Why? I have no idea. Been this way my entire life. And it irks me badly for it to be assumed that we should just ďhold it.Ē
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:16 PM
 
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This is what depends silhouettes are made for. I wear two just in case I have a little accident before getting to the bathroom. I havenít hardly had many accidents but itís reassuring just in case
The only profession you have to worry about that
Iím retired now and when I sub I love rooms with bathrooms.
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