In the past 19 months, I have made many sacrifices for my parents, and I have dealt with situations that I never could have imagined. My parents are in their 80’s and live in another state. My father has dementia. My mother has various physical ailments and takes major pain medication.
Recently, I believe I went above and beyond what should be expected of a daughter. I peed my pants – on purpose.
This particular sacrifice began when we realized that Mom’s inability to control her functions was increasing. It became clear (at least to my sister and me) that Mom needed to start wearing disposable underpants. Mom refused. She said her disposable underpants stuck out and showed under her slacks. My sister said that she couldn’t tell Mom had them on. Dilemma – Mom needs to wear disposable underpants, but she won’t wear them.
Whenever I am faced with a dilemma, I try to analyze all aspects of the situation and come up with a viable solution. Analyzing the situation many times involves research.
Time to research disposable underpants.
First, I researched disposable underpants online. I found the brand that Mom had and went to the store with brand and measurement information. Mom had Tena brand, size S/M. My sister had bought them at Walmart. The Walmart in my town doesn’t carry that brand. Sigh. . . So I bought Assurance disposable underpants. They had the same measurements and looked much like the picture of the Tena underpants on the internet.
Then, in order to research further, I wore the disposable underpants. They fit fine under my jeans and slacks. I wore them one day and one night. By the next morning, they had stretched out and wouldn’t stay in place.
More research on the internet. I looked at many different brands and sizes. I realized that the underpants marked S/M measured all the way from 25” to 45” so they can fit more people. Except that they don’t fit small people. Now, I’m not trying to say that I’m small. But I am only 5’ tall, and Mom is much shorter than me. And she is tiny. So if they stretched out too much on me, they would be even worse on Mom.
After many hours of research online and at stores in my town, I found that most of the brands sold on the internet are sized differently from the brands in the stores. And many of the brands sold on the internet are not sold in stores. I even investigated pull-ups for children and youth. I finally found small disposable diapers for women at Walgreens – Certainty – Walgreens brand. They are marked XS, but they had the same measurements as underpants on the internet marked S.
I wore these underpants instead of regular underpants for three days and two nights. They fit much better than the others. They fit lower at the top, so they should not bunch at Mom’s stomach. They appeared to be thinner than the others, but part of that was because they fit better.
Then, the final test. It wouldn’t matter if they fit if they didn’t do the job. I had to do it!
I put on my pajama pants over the disposable underpants and some old slippers on my feet. If the underpants didn’t do the job, then there would be a mess. I proceeded to do normal things around the house until my bladder informed me that it was full. I then waited a little bit longer until my bladder was screaming at me. I wanted to be sure whether the disposable underpants would really work.
I then went into the bathroom and stood. And stood. . .
By this time, my bladder was doing somersaults and jumping up and down. But it would not release. I happened to see myself in the mirror. Oh, the absurdity! Here was an adult woman standing in her bathroom and trying to pee in her pants – on purpose. I started to laugh. What else could I do?
That did it! And the floods came.
I am happy to report that my “scientific” research was successful – at least for me. Even though the Certainty disposable underpants are thin, they held a great deal of liquid. The pajama pants were dry, the slippers were dry, the floor was dry, the sides tore away just like they were supposed to, and I could finally put on my regular underpants.
You know. . . I may wear disposable underpants the next time I have to take a long car trip.