So much for being diaper-free

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Back in 2001, when my youngest daughter toilet-trained herself at 18 months of age, I thought we'd be a household free of diapers for decades to come. Sure, there'd be (and has been) the occasional night of babysitting, but we figured we wouldn't be buying any more diapers until any grandchildren came along.

Well, maybe not so much. (Some text below might be Too Much Information, just to warn you.) It's been well over a year since I started wearing small protective pads to avoid accidents, especially at night, but a couple of very close calls last week have demanded that, at night, I wear a full set of Depend adult diapers. Yes, the same kind Betty White keeps making jokes about, and that prompted the hilarious "Oops! I Crapped My Pants!" faux-ads on Saturday Night Live a few years ago—no, the video won't play outside the U.S.

They're essentially the same as the diapers my kids used to wear a decade ago, merely a lot bigger, and without the cutesy girl patterns and prints. The manufacturer, Kimberly-Clark, also makes Huggies, which is only sensible. But man, they're expensive! Once I sort out the proper size, we'll probably purchase them at Costco, where they work out to about a buck apiece.

I thought that if I ever needed Depends, then admitting it would be humiliating for me. But after almost five years of cancer treatment, including radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, vomiting, blood, bodily fluids of many others sorts, and an ileostomy, it's just "meh." My wife Air and I were in the car last week, and I simply said to her, "I need to buy some Depends." She went and picked up a package for me soon after.

Our friends Jen, Neil, and their new baby Isaac dropped by yesterday for a nice long visit. Holding a sleeping newborn remains a great way to bring down my stress levels. Anyway, when we arranged the visit, my first thought was, "Hey, now we'll have two guys in the house with diapers."

It's not really funny, but it was true.

6 Comments

I noticed that there were not the usual list of comments on this post that usually follow your updates. So, let me get the ball rolling. This totally sucks; no denying that. But, good for you and Air for just doing what you needed to do. No one said it would be pretty. And, I mean, thats why Depends are made and sold. You're not the only one needing them. This is just another tool at your disposal which will help keep your life moving. If they weren't available, it would be much worse. If you are worried about losing some of your dignity, then just erase that thought from your mind right now! You're handling this whole situation in such an amazing way, inspiring all of your readers, some, like me, who are total strangers. You'll never lack dignity. Hang in there Derek. Derek 1, Depends 0.

I completely agree with Charlotte, and should tell you that I "depends" on your straightforward truth about living with (and dying with) cancer. I am a few years behind you - but see our journeys playing out a similar way. Thanks for being a pathfinder.

Not to worry! When you're on the same side as Betty White on something, your dignity always remains intact.

Somewhere I read Leonard Cohen quoting Irving Layton, who said something like "It's not dying I'm afraid of; it's the preliminaries."

I wonder what the deal with that is...? I tried to show some friends in Budapest a couple years ago the SNL video of the Greek Restaurant (you know, "No Coke, Pepsi!" but it wouldn't play... so the joke they didn't understand anyways was completely lost...

Gawd. Sucky! Thanks for sharing the truth of it.

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