Warning: this posts contains references to bodily functions
Everyone has health issues, special medical needs or inconveniences they need to deal with when away from home. One manager I work for has insulin-dependent diabetes and has spent years in the resources sector travelling to places like Papua New Guinea and the furthest outreaches of Africa with vials of insulin and syringes in hand. I can’t fathom the difficulties he must have faced over the years taking needles into some countries.
The German man I referred to in an earlier post said early on in the flight that he had bladder problems and needed regular access to the toilets. This was the relatively short eight-hour hop to Singapore so I told him I planned to stay awake and to let me know when he needed to get up. Our deal worked well as he didn’t piss his pants and I didn’t get deep vein thrombosis.
In addition to me learning to deal with a relatively new eye problem that I don’t yet know how to control (which involves taking boxes of washes, lotions, drops and gel in my carry-on luggage as defence against the dry air), my period was due the day before leaving and hadn’t arrived on the day of departure.
What to do?
All I could think of was to install protection before leaving Melbourne and hope the time of my exploding uterus occurred during an airport stop. I don’t know what fantasyland my mind was in when I conjured that optimistic shit up because that’s not what happened.
The lady I sat next to on the flight to Frankfurt was the envy-inducing sort who reclined her seat and went straight into dreamland while I watched the only episode of Boardwalk Empire. Nature called for other reasons and I held off until I was in a state of discomfort and had to wake her. She was most gracious after my third desperate rattle of her shoulders and she let me out and went for a walk along the aisle while I went to the toilet.
Not only had nature called but mother nature had leaked through the protection just enough to warn me that I had to tidy myself up pronto. Of course, I hadn’t taken any protection with me.
Again, what to do?
When I’m tired and stressed, my mental pattern turns from relatively intelligent and thoughtful planning into scatter-brained idiocy. I returned to my seat – where my neighbour was waiting for me so she could sleep again – and I was trapped by the window without a plan about what to do next.
The answer hit me and would easily last until the next reasonable time I could wake my neighbour! I had some panty liners in my carry-on bag so I’d just place the blanket on my lap, unwrap a liner under the blanket, undo my pants, spread my legs and put it in place.
Now, try doing all that without looking like a pervert masturbating under the blankie – dare you.
Another complication arose because I couldn’t see which side of the panty liner was absorbent and which side was the sticky bit that attaches to your underwear. I got it the wrong way around and inadvertently gave myself a Brazilian wax while trying to detach the f**king thing from my labia.
By then the liner looked like a Mobius strip that afforded no protection whatsoever. I found a packet of tissues in my bag, stuffed a few down my pants and spent several hours eyeing off the sleeper of the year until she stirred enough for me to wake her again.
In the cold light of rationality, I realised I could have explained my situation as women are generally lightning-quick to assist each other in times of unexpected bloodshed, however, being locked in flying tin cans for long periods without water can bring out the rampaging stupidness in any of us.