My friend John |

My friend John

No, it isn’t John Jones or Smith, but my friend, that’s in my bathroom. Forgive me if this column isn’t genteel for some of my readers. However, let’s face it, we all use a “john.” Sometimes, there can be a problem or an event that’s amusing. This is one of those.

Back a month or so ago, I wrote about injuring my leg. To this day the doctor and I have no idea just what happened. I was going to get into bed, and as I was leaning forward, something in my left leg made a popping sound. The pain was so bad I screamed out loud. At the time my son, Doug, was still recuperating from his illness and still needed a wheelchair or a walker.

There was no way that he was going to be able to help me. I yelled, telling him to call 911. Two nice young men came in just a few minutes. One of them had to lift me from where I stood by my bed, got me onto a gurney. Then it was off the ER. Doug had to get into our RAV4 and follow the ambulance to the hospital.

In the hospital’s emergency room, they did the usual x-ray and finally put a soft brace on the injured leg and sent me home with some pain pills. It hadn’t been determined exactly what was wrong, but I could not bend my knee or walk without that brace. The ride home with Doug was fun with my lying down over the back two seats. There was no way could I sit up front.

Now imagine you being an old lady who, as all old ladies do, use the bathroom an inordinate amount of times daily. Try sitting down on the commode with a leg you can’t bend. Perhaps now you’ll understand why I wasn’t a happy camper. Bless my son, he headed to town in the car and managed to purchase one of those seats they sell for old folks like me that raise the “john” up a foot.

This made it easier to attempt to make a landing. However, that “thing” was as hard as a rock. I could have cared less, and for that week I spent with that brace that seat was a great help. And then it was time to remove the brace. I hadn’t been able to bend my knee, but I was supposed to take that brace off or have them do it back in the ER (no thank you).

After the sixth day I was ordered to do just that. Surprise, surprise, I could bend my knee and walk. Go figure. I felt some discomfort, but little pain. Now I had this big, hard high toilet seat I no longer needed. We decided instead of putting back the old seat — one of those hard plastic things — we would purchase a padded one. While we’re at it, why not get one for the other bathroom?

So we did. Not one week later, when I must have twisted around to get the paper or something, one of those flimsy plastic attachments holding the seat in place cracked and broke. It was either sit quietly or be dumped onto the floor or fall into the water. Of course Doug bought two new seats, the wrong kind. Then what happened to me earlier happened to him. Another plastic gismo broke and his seat was a mess.

We’re now in the market for two better toilet seats — the right kind, thank you — that are made in the good old USA, with connections that are metal instead of plastic. This reminds me of the little oriental woman who got stuck in the bowl when her son had left the seat up. It was on one of those TV shows that had me in hysterics. They brought her to the emergency room, seat and all.

They got her out safely and I’ll never forget how they told the hospital maintenance staff to please be nice and not laugh. It had to be difficult. Let’s face it, how do you not laugh at that situation? But they managed to get her out safely and not injured.

Her daughter yelled at her brother with the usual “Now, will you put the seat down?”

After she was safely on the gurney, she turned to the doctor and told him that she still had to go to the bathroom. The doctor is probably still laughing.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and may be reached at