In-Flight Bathroom Troubles
Written by Jamie-Lee Dwyer
Twitter: @JamieLeeDwyer | Instagram: @jldwyer90 | #soworthit
I found myself struggling to wet the nappy I was wearing seven hours into the 14 hour flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles.
I knew it had been a ridiculous idea to wear a nappy on the flight, but Mum had insisted. It was my first overseas flight without parents, and my parents had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into the on-board bathroom during the flight. Before I’d left a family friend had told me to try and hold on as long as I could, because otherwise I might score some nappy rash. This was all I could think about now, and it made me embarrassed to think that if I let go of my bladder I would probably end up with nappy rash at 21 years of age. I didn’t know how much longer I could go on like this though, my bladder was cramping more with every passing minute. I had refused to ration my water intake when I boarded and now I was regretting it.
A few more agonising minutes passed before I elbowed my cousin. ‘Nicky, I really need to pee, but I can’t go in the nappy.’
Nicky touched my shoulder, ‘just shut your eyes and pretend no one is here while you go, it’s not like anyone can tell what you’re doing.’
I shut my eyes and did exactly as she told me, after a while I realised it was no use. ‘I can’t Nicky, I’ll get nappy rash.’
She nodded. ‘I’ll go and get the aisle chair.’
For those of you who don’t know what an aisle chair is; it’s a really narrow wheelchair without armrests that fits down the aisle of the plane, you use it to get to your seat and to get off the plane, you can also use it on-board to use the bathroom if needed. The aisle chair makes me feel like I’m balancing precariously on a moving seat and someone else is in charge of deciding where I am going, there is no way for you to self-propel yourself.
Nicky undoes her seatbelt and climbs over me as she is in the middle seat. I’m lucky she’s not a big girl and she can do it fairly easily. I watch her walk down the aisle towards a flight attendant with a friendly smile on her face.
A moment later she returns triumphantly with the flight attendant pushing the aisle chair behind her. She grins at me wickedly. ‘Let’s do this, Jamie.’
I love her fearlessness. I know this is going to be extremely awkward for us both, but the fact that she’s there willing to help me through it without complaint makes me feel like I can do this. I grin back at her, ‘okay.’
Getting onto the aisle chair from my seat proves to be less difficult than I thought. I undo my seatbelt and slide onto the aisle chair with Nicky guiding me under the arms. Once the flight attendant has put my feet on the footplates Nicky pushes me down the aisle and we both try to ignore the overly curious stares from everyone on-board.
We end up waiting outside one of the on-board bathrooms for a few minutes before it’s free, the flight attendant told us we should wait for this one to become vacant because it’s their biggest on-board bathroom. It turns out to be tiny in size though, barely enough room for two people let alone an aisle chair.
I leave the aisle chair outside and stand up with my cousins help. After a couple of steps I’m inside the tiny bathroom and can hold onto one railing against the wall. Nicky enters behind me and locks the bathroom door. She helps me onto the toilet and faces the wall while I conduct my business. When it’s over I hang onto the walls and with her help make my way over to the tap to wash my hands.
I can hear Nicky manoeuvring around me as I finish washing my hands. ‘I’m just going to use the toilet for a second, Jamie.’ The next thing I feel is her foot on my bum, holding me against the far wall. ‘Just stay right there.’
I start laughing at the whole awkward situation and so does she. I mean it’s not like I can go anywhere with her foot pinning me to the wall.
When we finally emerge from the bathroom giggling we receive some stern looks from other passengers waiting for the bathroom, I don’t know what they thought we were doing in there but I doubt they could’ve imagined the reality.
Be sure to check out Jamie-Lee's column - Through My Eyes - at https://friedreichsataxianews.com/category/through-my-eyes-a-column-by-jamie-lee-dwyer/