Real Talk: When you've gotta go and how urinals can help
Urination shapes my life more than most parts of my disability--it impacts what I do, where I go and what I put into my body. Peeing is a very high-stakes situation, with pretty dire consequences if you mess up. Many bars, restaurants and coffee shops do not have accessible toilets, and public toilets can be disgusting or an unreliable alternative. Adding urinary urgency on to this from my disability makes peeing a complicated problem that tries to ambush frequently..
My first line of defense is planning. Through a lot of ( . . . difficult) trial and error, I have found that usually as long as I stop drinking anything an hour and a half before I leave a location with an accessible bathroom, I will not have to pee while on the road. A quick note here- this means hydrating especially well on other times. A friend who paraglides once told me that because paragliders need to be up in the air for hours, they are faced with this problem too, and are known to eat salty foods before flights, believing that salt somehow reduces your need to pee temporarily.
If this doesn’t work, I carry a small urinal with me and use it in a secluded space. I am lucky enough to be able to use a male urinal, which will not be an option for most. Then I pour out the pee (usually in a field or gutter), usually right around where I stop. I have had one too many experiences with an unreliable lid. The next time I am able to use a restroom I wash it out.. It is not pretty but it gets the job done.
At my house I have found that these smaller male urinals can be messy or difficult to seal. I have a friend who swears by peeing into emptied applesauce jars and screwing the lid back on after use, but since I lacked the ingenuity (and honestly I am not that confident in my dexterity) I have looked elsewhere.
After using several products I have settled on ONEDONE Men's Potty Portable Pee Bottle. It has a large capacity, a lid to seal in odor, and is easy to use/position. Of course, it is still important (nay, essential if you live with other people who do not like the smell of urine) to empty and clean it regularly.
Product mentioned in this blog:
Men's Potty Portable Pee Bottle by ONEDONE - Available at Amazon