Monday, September 4, 2017

The day my father pooped my pants

Don't worry, my father has read this prior to it being published. It was so ridiculous we both knew it had to be told.

I have more things to write about our experience in Ukraine with Dad's illness (Part I, Part II, Part III) and all the things that happened (like here and here), but I need to jump ahead a bit and tell you a story of the day my Dad pooped my pants.


Yes, that is the spoiler, but I feel like you will appreciate the story regardless.

My father and his wife, Tanya, planned to come back to Canada so that Dad could get the medical attention he needs to get well.  Dad had medical approval to travel, but he and Tanya both felt they needed help to make the trip.  As we could not get visa approval for anyone in Ukraine on such short notice, so it became necessary for me to make the trip again.

I do not like travel. I don't like international travel. I do not like international travel while I am alone. I do not like international travel to countries where I do not speak the language.

Now this was the second time in two months I would be making the trip.

I will tell the full story another time, but for now I will jump ahead a bit.

I made the trip and met Dad and Tanya at the airport in Kyiv.  We put on a fresh ostomy bag for our travels and hoped it would make it all the way to Canada.  There had been some troubles with the bags in the past, but we were hopeful.

Off we went.

All went relatively smoothly.  We had to empty the bag repeatedly on the planes, but apart from that, it went well. We were almost home -- on our final leg of the trip -- and thought we were home free.

We should have known.

It all fell apart mid-air between Toronto and Regina.

First thing that tipped us off was the smell.

I don't know if you've smelled the matter of an ostomy bag. It smells remarkably like a Gremlin died inside a Tauntaun on a hot August day in Alabama.

I knew we were in trouble.

I grabbed as many supplies as I could to do the replacement in mid-air.  Usually, Dad is lying or sitting down and we have all the time in the world.  We had to make this happen in an airplane bathroom as fast as we could before all the passengers started passing out or throwing themselves from the plane.

I entered the bathroom first and sat on the toilet.  Dad entered the bathroom next and shut the door behind him. It was the only way I could work on the ostomy bag while keeping the smell slightly contained within the confines of one room.

Our suspicions were confirmed. The bag had detached along one side.

It needed to be replaced fully.

I got to work peeling the bag off and disposing of it as best I could.  As I was struggling to move around in the smallest bathroom in the world, I looked up at my father in disbelief and said the only thing that came to mind.

This isn't the mile-high club I thought I would join.

That's our family, if you can't be normal, be inappropriate.

You would think that would be all. I mean, two fairly large people trapped in an airline bathroom. That is ridiculous enough.  Right?

Nope. Not for us.

It was at this moment that a clump from the ostomy bag dropped.

I saw it in slow-motion. And still, I couldn't stop it.

It landed squarely on my pants.


I ignored it and finished applying the ostomy bag and getting Dad sorted well enough to return to his seat. I borrowed his large button up shirt (size XXXL) so I sent him away so I could clean the bathroom and myself.

I bagged and double bagged my clothes. I cleaned the bathroom and sprayed the odor eliminator liberally.  Finally, I exited the bathroom in a large blue jean cowboy shirt which I was now wearing as a dress. I grabbed a pair of pyjama short-shorts I had in my carry-on. I pretended everything was all fine.

The flight attendant took one look at me and brought me Bailey's on ice.  She patted my hand and told me I was a good daughter.

My glass was not empty the rest of the flight.

But I think we may be on a no-fly list now.


  1. As funny as this write-up was I agree with the flight attendant, you are a good daughter. Nothing about this has been easy and you have all been such troopers through it all. Much love to all of you!

    1. It has been a rough time of it for everyone. Between Tanya, Dad, and all the others involved, we all need a nap. Thank you for the love!!

  2. Kindness changes everything. Good daughter, great person, fabulous storyteller. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It was too funny not to share. It wasn't so terrible. Or, it was, but I'm so damaged I don't notice.

  3. Well, that's a flight you won't forget in a hurry. Well done, good daughter!


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