Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bathroom Wars

     The proverbial war of the toilet seat up or down goes on.
      Our war has some extras that add fuel to the fire. Our large house has 5 bathrooms, 3 of them downstairs where we live most of the time. The one that is part of the master bedroom suite has always more or less been mine so I would usually find the toilet seat down. My husband when he got up to go at night would usually walk to the other end of the house and use the back powder room near the laundry. I don't know why he always walked so far--maybe because he usually left that seat up and so it was ready for him. There is the guest powderroom that is right outside his bedroom door, but that one is special. It contains my Kohler :Wildflowers of the Prairie pedestal sink. Also both of us got in the habit of not flushing because we didn't want to wake the other person, but then we would forget the next day and this is not good for the porcelain toilet bowl or for the welcoming odor of the home. Finally we both agreed to flush even at the risk of waking the spouse. But this still leaves us with the "seat up or down" battle.
     As time as gone on and we have both aged, various things have happened to our bladder musculature. My husband has had prostate issues and subsequent radiation treatment that leaves him with nocturia (medical term for getting up at night to urinate too often). He may also have some urgency, I don't know. (Term that means you have to rush to urinate to avoid an accident). I have definite urgency to a significant degree and perhaps some degree of overactive bladder in addition to the sinking musculature that contributes to this. Both of these factors in the two of us sometimes necessitate us using the other's designated bathrooms. For example, I come home and have that urgency the minute I step in the door that leads me to use the back powder room near the laundry. Hence, seat stays down on husband's bathroom. My husband again avoiding the "special" guest powder room , uses the one in the master suite. Hence I find the seat up and I am having urgency. Those few seconds needed to put the seat down in the middle of the night might be all it takes to prompt an accident. Neither one of us have commented to each other about these issues because they are beneath civilized conversation in the living room or over coffee in the morning.
     What do we do? Write Ann Landers? I think she is no longer doing a column. I think her sister is, but should either of us communicate with her? See our respective doctors and medicate ourselves further than we already are medicated? I for one don't want any more medication. Wear one of the several brands of panty liners and/or with time a Depends type of product? I have already tried the former and it helps, but I doubt I could get my husband to do this. Anyway how would this help under dire circumstances? What should we do, just let it rip? Fill the product, so to speak. Seems rather uncouth, don't you think? I did do some research on the Internet on this issue. Some suggestions for toilet bowl etiquette suggested that both parties lower the seat and the lid each time. Then both parties would be equal when they approach the toilet bowl and can choose which way they want the set up. Each would be subject to the same delay -- certainly an equitable solution. There is also the question of closing that lid on germs and just the general site of the open toilet while washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Before we have company, I always go around and close all the toilet lids, so there is something in me that thinks the closed seat and lid is more esthetic.
     To add further analysis to this question access the following website. You will see an analysis on work units starting with two different schemes pertaining to the position of the toilet seat after use. Convincingly there is less work if the toilet seat is simply left in the position in which it is found. But the level of kindness to the female is at least perceived to be higher if the seat is left down even though it takes more work units to accomplish this. Access this website to see the statistical analysis: funny!  Or google toilet seat up or down etiquette and you will find this site listed.
     I guess after my husband's encounter with prostate neoplasm and mine with melanoma, the urgency and nocturia problems as medical problems go are rather diminutive. Just another sign of aging and another deficiency to deal with. Maybe some day there will be a toilet seat reader that reads an implanted chip on the butt of the urinator and automatically raises or lowers the lid. Wouldn't that be something?

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