Disabled People Can Work in the Sh*ttiest Situations

A photo of a toilet paper dispenser with toilet paper coming out of it. On the toilet paper it says "shit happens."

Content note: this blog post contains profanity.

I shit my pants this morning getting out of bed. Literally, I felt it just ready to rip as I swung my legs over the edge of my wooden bed. My chin went on my armrest when I pushed myself to sit up. One huff and then I knew it was a matter of seconds before catastrophe would strike.

Had I called for help? Yes. Texted someone? While still lying in bed. Even messaged my brother. You’d think in a house of a handful of people, I wouldn’t be praying for ten extra minutes so that I could transfer onto my wheelchair and get to the toilet seat a few feet away.


There I sat, heart racing, letting the warmth and heaviness fill in through my behind into my large cotton underwear. And so it begins…

“What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?”

I have a very important call meeting in an hour and I’m shitting my pants right now. My mom’s gonna kill me, I think. Then, I search for a cup, a napkin, a box. Anything. Then I spot it, inside a packaging box is that brown crunchy, heavy duty stuff just inches away. I pull it out, get my pillowcase ready, and slide it all under myself.

By now there is no holding back the poop that is leaking at the sides of my underwear seam. I’d only shitted my pants once in my life (when I couldn’t get off the bus and REALLY had to go). But today, my physical strength and its speed was just not fast or strong enough to get me up and wheel over to the bathroom. It’s no joke, muscular dystrophy is taking its toll on me. Especially when I’m on my period.

But nonetheless, I sit in my own poop over some packaging paper, on my wheelchair cushion. The smile on my face lasts when I make it to the toilet seat and transfer, feeling accomplished nothing got dirty.

Except my ass. Like when a baby poops and you wonder how it got it up there and down there, and in here and in there. I mean, it’s everywhere: on my legs, on the toilet seat, on my underwear, on my hands, on my private parts. And that very important phone meeting.

Forty minutes away. Yes, it takes me that long in the bathroom. And some, especially on a messy day.

There’s no way I’ll make it. I’m covered in shit. Head to toe, practically.

Honestly, a whole roll of toilet paper wouldn’t do me justice. So I’m panicking again, and even though I get pretty clean after reaching a small washcloth to wash it all off, there’s no time to finish the job. So butt naked, I rip a clean part of the packaging paper, place it on my wheelchair, transfer from the toilet seat and answer my buzzing phone back in my bedroom.

“Good morning, how are you?” I ask.

“Great, how are you?”

“I’m good, thank you, let’s get started.”

Time management is a skill I sharpen through strategic thinking and resourceful measures on a daily basis. Most people, as I’ve gone to know in life, seem to lack the art of high stress management and freak out over the smallest thing. Like gum in the hair or coffee on a blouse. Easy fix, honestly. Or at least in my opinion. And so many times, even my friends, they just want to give up, because they just “can’t do it.”

By nature, and as someone with a disability, I do not have the ability to give up. I go into high gear of making something work when everything seems impossible.

Because every day is impossible for me. Like yesterday, I was hanging half way out of my wheelchair, head almost touching the ground and gravity not letting me move a muscle. Somehow a half an hour later, I made it to work on time.


“Honey?” my mom calls.


“How did poop get on the bathtub? Was it one of the cats?”

Rooted in Rights exists to amplify the perspectives of the disability community. Blog posts and storyteller videos that we publish and content we re-share on social media do not necessarily reflect the opinions or values of Rooted in Rights nor indicate an endorsement of a program or service by Rooted in Rights. We respect and aim to reflect the diversity of opinions and experiences of the disability community. Rooted in Rights seeks to highlight discussions, not direct them. Learn more about Rooted In Rights

Click here to pitch a blog post to Rooted in Rights.