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Well that escalated quickly…

So the past few days have gone WILD! My post about using disabled/accessible toilets when you have a hidden disability went viral and I can’t believe it, but So Bad Ass has had over 1.3 million views!!!

On Tuesday evening, I wrote the post, an open letter to people who judge others using public loos. It was about human courtesy, kindness and not judging a book by it’s cover. By the time I went to bed, it had a couple thousand views and I was over the moon! When I woke in the morning, the post was at 20,000+ and I was gob smacked.

By the end of the day, it was 100,000, and the next two days were hundreds of thousands each!!!

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Today my little website has hit well over a million hits.

1,000,000 +

WTAF?! I feel like I’m dreaming!! I have had thousands of messages, emails and comments. An unending stream of tweets and Facebook shares and media attention from newspapers and websites around the world!

I write this blog for one reason. To make a difference to the lives of others and so to know I am reaching a huge worldwide audience is just heart thuddingly wonderful. I am so humbled to be able to helping so many people. I’m excited and over the bloody moon that this is happening!

sam cleasby blogger

This website is my baby. 18 months ago I started writing to document my journey with IBD but it quickly became more than that. It became a way to let others know they weren’t alone, to inspire and support people with ulcerative colitis, Crohns, people with Ostomies and Jpouches.

As I wrote more about self esteem, body image and confidence as well as parenting, my audience grew to people without IBD and I realised I had an opportunity to share an ethos of being So Bad Ass.

I LOVE my blog, it means everything to me. Knowing that I make a difference and help people gives me purpose, drive and a deep happiness.

To see my baby blossoming into something that is being seen by millions is scary, overwhelming but makes me so proud.

The past 18 months have been the toughest of my whole life. But to know that something good has come of this means everything.

Thank you all

Be kind yo…

✌️& ❤️

Sam x

To the woman who tutted at me using the disabled toilets…

Dear lady who loudly tutted at me using the disabled loos,

I know you saw me running in, with my able bodied legs and all. You saw me opening the door with my two working arms. You saw me without a wheelchair. Without any visible sign of disability.

You tutted loudly as I rattled the handle with my hands that work perfectly and my able voice call to my kids that I’d be out in just a minute.

My lack of wheelchair may have suggested to you that I was some lazy cow who didn’t care. Some inconsiderate bitch who was using something I wasn’t entitled too. (I actually carry a card to explain that I’m entitled to and have a disability key if you’d have cared to ask). You may have seen my face blushing as I caught your eye and assumed I was showing guilt at blagging the disabled loos.

The fact is that I have no bowel. I have a pouch formed from my small intestine which can’t handle volume and so I have to go to the toilet and poo several times a day. My lack of large intestine means that my stool is totally liquid as I have no means of absorbing the fluids in food and so its really hard to hold it when I need to go.

I sometimes have accidents which means a large toilet that has a sink right by me means I can clean myself up when things go awry.

I hate having to use the disabled loos as I have to deal with people like you staring, nudging, tutting. And whenever I can, I use the ladies toilets. Just so you know, disabled loos usually smell bad and don’t seem to be cleaned as often or as well as the ladies and so I wouldn’t choose this option unless totally necessary.

Whilst I’m at it, I’d like to address the cleaner in the supermarket ladies toilets I used this week. As I ran in, knees together, bursting through the door and running to the cubicle, I’m sorry that the noise of my (lack of) bowels made you burst out laughing.

I can actually take the sniggering as since I had a pouch made from my small intestine because my disease ridden colon was removed during surgery, the noise I make when I defecate is hilariously loud. Seriously, I get it. It’s comedic in it’s volume.

But before you ran outside the loos and called to your friend “OH MY GOD! You should hear the noise in there!!! I wouldn’t go in if I was you!!!!” Perhaps you could have noted my daughter who was waiting outside with our trolley because her mum had had to leave her stranded to run to the toilet. Perhaps you could have stopped and heard me sobbing with pain because the acid in my stools has no way to be neutralised because I don’t have a large intestine and so opening my bowels actually burns my skin.

Perhaps you both could have shown a little empathy, a little compassion, a little understanding.

Poo is funny. Disability is confusing.

I get that.

But humanity and care for fellow human beings is a choice.

To everyone else reading this, the next time you see someone who doesn’t “look disabled” using a toilet.

Or someone bursting through and crashing into the toilets noisily.

Take a moment. Remember that not all people who have the right to use disabled toilets are in a wheelchair. Some of us have a jpouch, a lot of us have an Ostomy bag that needs emptying and changing with the use of space, a sink and a bin. And even more of us just don’t want to shit our pants in public.

Think about the nearly 300,000 people in this country who have inflammatory bowel disease (not to mention the huge number of people with IBS!!!) who need to use the toilet urgently, noisily, smellily…

It’s an embarrassing enough thing to deal with before having to see disapproving looks or hear your laughs and jeering remarks.

Be kind yo…

Peace out

Sam xxxxx

Radar Key – disabled toilets

The National Key Scheme (NKS) offers disabled people independent access to locked public toilets around the country. Disability Rights UK believes that everyone who experiences ill-health, injury or disability should have the same freedom and independence as other citizens. An important part of that freedom is having the confidence to go out, knowing that public toilets will be available, accessible and will meet your needs.

You can also purchase the 2013 edition of the National Key Scheme (NKS) Guide which includes the location of the 9,000 NKS toilets fitted with the NKS lock.  This guide is the only one of it’s kind and really does open doors to independent living. As well as an app.

This information comes from NKS and you can purchase your own key for over 9000 disabled loos around the UK from them for just £4.00.  This can be a life saver if you suffer from Ulcerative Colitis or Crohns during a flare up or if you have a stoma, it enables you to have access to a toilet to empty your bag and have a sink or basin in the cubicle to be able to clean yourself.

disabled toilet key

Having to live with IBD or with a stoma can be difficult, if there is something that makes your life just a little bit easier, surely it’s worth it.  I haven’t had a key in the last ten years as I think I felt I wasn’t ‘disabled enough’ – I felt like perhaps Id be taking something away from others who needed it more.  Silly, I know.

Now I have the stoma and ileostomy I think Im going to get myself one of these.  Id rather have the key and not need it than need it and not have it!
For more information go and take a look at the Radar site.

Love Sam x