Sensationalising Diapers?

I was reading a Channel NewsAsia article earlier this month about how a nursing home in Tokyo promotes independence in their residents. This concept is good for the seniors living there as it helps them regain their dignity and mobility.

But seeing the word ‘diapers’ in the title should have prepared me for the emphasis about it in the article.

Like how the article quotes how diapers are taken off when the resident first arrives. Sounds like a kindergarten removing a kid’s diaper. I found that sentence very iffy, but maybe that’s cos I’m an ABDL.

And how ‘other’ nursing homes use laxatives to manage constipation, resulting in diarrhoea in which diapers are used to contain it. Somehow I feel that this is a general statement, too general to reflect what’s really happening. Because you don’t use diapers just to manage bowel incontinence, they are used to control day and nighttime wetting too. I feel that the ‘poop is shocking’ factor was deployed here.

But what the article definitely got right was the part where seniors find it embarrassing to wear diapers. One’s bodily functions often remind us of our humanness and when another person has to take control of it, we feel that we lose that humanness. They could have mentioned it more in detail.

I think that this nursing home is on the right path, and it is something that the Singapore government can push nursing homes here to emulate. With the first such centre opening in a few years, it is the right step in caring for our pioneer generation.

As for this article, while it did sensationalise the diaper segment, it did a pretty good job in reporting some of the struggles faced by a resident of nursing homes.

– Selv

Soldier Without Diapers

I’m currently away for my annual reservist training, in a far-flung corner of this island. The annual pilgrimage to the chicken cutlet stall… I mean army refresher training is something we have to do every year. 
So I was packing my Army duffel bag on Sunday night. The list of things to bring is big but we managed to leave out certain items. 

I was packing my bag in the living room of my living room. I’d already changed into my nighttime diaper – a Tena Slip Plus – wearing a baggy pair of pants over it. They did a decent job of covering the shape thankfully, cos my mum and grandma were nearby, watching TV. 

I felt the contrast while packing. Here I was, on one hand a grown man packing for my reservist training to defend the country and on the other, I had just put on a diaper because I wanted to poop, using the excuse that I was going to wear that diaper for the night.

Being away from home for a week means no diapers for me. While it isn’t a problem for me, it made me realize how it’s just a psychological thing. I didn’t think about diapers during my overseas CIP, and I’m pretty sure I won’t think much about it during my reservist. 

It’s only when I’m alone in my room that I get that urge, that urge to ‘get protected’, to be enclosed in my safe space. My attendance for this reservist supposedly ensures my country’s safe space. I guess this is but another sacrifice I have to make. 

– Selv

The Traffic Offence – Short Story

Happy Fourth of July to my American friends! Here’s a short story I’ve written, something different from my usual posts.


“I need to buy more diapers tomorrow,” Annette thought to herself as she entered her room. It was just past nine at night, and she had just taken her shower. Closing the door, she knelt down towards her closet, disregarding her unravelling towel and the ominous rumble in her tummy.

She rummaged through her lower drawer, to retrieve a diaper for the night. The Tena Slip Super packaging was empty. The Abena AbriForm packaging was empty too. How about the Lille SupremFits? What, it was empty too?

Annette stood up, as the realisation dawned on her that she was out of diapers. She first sat on her bed, then lay down, realising that her mistake meant no diapers for the night. She bit her lip as she thought. It had been at least five years since she last wet the be so it wasn’t an issue, but the thought of having to poop on the toilet in the morning started to gnaw at her already upset tummy. She stood up.

Quickly, she pulled on a pair of jeans and a school t-shirt, and grabbed her keys. ‘I need my diapers tonight,’ she muttered to herself as she locked her room and descended the stairs of her university hostel.

She got onto her motorcycle, a Bajaj Pulsar, and kick-started the engine. It quickly roared to life. Soon, she was speeding out of the carpark and onto the Avenue. The track adjacent was full of joggers whom Annette noticed turned to look at her, as they always did when she zoomed past. But she ignored them and started thinking about where she could get her security padding at this hour.

She wanted to get her hands on some Tena Slips, but knew that the bigger pharmacies were likely to be closed. She settled on getting some Tena Values diapers. They were plastic-backed, but at least they held a decent amount of liquid. As she tore down the streets towards her destination, she was acutely aware of the worsening cramps in her stomach.

Quickly, Annette parked her bike. She clenched her stomach, and as she took off her helmet she tried to let out some gas to relieve the pressure, which was unexpectedly loud. But there wasn’t anyone nearby. She quickly walked over to the supermarket. It was nearly closing time, but she had made it in time. She walked slowly towards the diaper section, taking small detours, well aware that the weary staff were eyeing the last customer of the day.

She quickly bent down to compare the prices. Yes, the Tena Values were still more value-for-money than Certainty Diapers and the other house-brand diapers. So she quickly picked up an M sized pack, and, with her stomach now throbbing in earnest, limped towards the cashier.

The old lady at the counter raised an eyebrow at her purchase, but said nothing. Annette felt herself freezing as she farted again, and to her horror, the sound she made was barely audible. The cashier chuckled as she handed her change to her.

“Go, quickly,” she added jokingly. But Annette was not amused.

“That are not for me, its for my grandma,” she lied flatly as she grabbed the package and turned to leave.

But she had taken no more than ten steps when she knew that she needed to go right then. So she headed towards the nearby toilets to put one on. She repeatedly thanked her lucky stars that there wasn’t anyone who was nearby to hear the loud crinkling she was making as she hurried to put on her diaper. And as she attached the last tape, she realised that she didn’t have any wet wipes with her.

She took a deep breath to calm herself down – regretting immediately as the stench of the toilet hit her – before grudgingly smoothening out her diaper and pulling on her jeans. She grabbed the plastic bag containing her purchase, and headed towards the carpark. Quickly starting her motorcycle, she willed her stomach to cooperate, put her purchase in her rear box, and sat down on her machine.

The padding helped soothe her nerves a little, so she put the bike in gear and set off. Turn left onto the main street, then she would be back in her hostel in ten minutes before she got her sweet relief. However the intensity of her impending tsunami get magnifying, so she cranked the throttle and blazed towards her hostel, doing 100 in a 60kmph zone. Just get this over with, she thought to herself.

She turned the corner, and a part of her died when she saw it. The unmistakable action of a traffic police officer gesturing her towards the pavement, meant that she was definitely a fly caught in their notoriously random sting operation. And as she stood peeing herself as the charge was read out to her, the eight demerit points and possible $120 fine didn’t bother her as much as the seismic moment she knew was going to happen in 5…4…3…2…1…

“Alright Miss, since you weren’t driving under the influence of alcohol we will let you go for now. We will send the offence notice to your registered address, and you can leave once you sign this… Miss, are you alright?”

Annette’s face went a bright shade of red as she started to grunt. Bending her knees slightly, her left hand slightly reached out behind her.  She lost attention to what was happening and focused on relieving herself, completely ignoring the police officer who was not much older than herself. Perplexed, he took a step back, surveying her unusual posture. Was she really pooping, or was she about to puke?

Noticing the awkward position she had put him in, she took the document and signed it, before turning to walk away. She waddled slightly, cringing as all the officers eyed her and her exposed jeans, her shirt doing little to shield it. Lifting her bike off its stand, she swung a leg over, before cringing as she sat down. She heard an ‘OMG’ from an officer.

As she rode off into the night, she reflected to herself that she had uncontrollably messed herself in front of a police officer. She hoped that it wouldn’t be recorded down in the offence notice that her dad was sure to open.

– Story by me

Mustafa’s Collection

There’s a saying here, that if you need it, Mustafa’s probably has it. It’s one of Singapore’s best shopping malls simply because it houses the largest variety of things, all under one roof. Phones, shoes, toys, medication, souvenirs… you name it and they will have it.

Naturally I’ve been wanting to go down to see what diaper brands they carry. But home’s in the east and school’s in the west, so I’ve been putting off this trip, until today.

I entered the main building, and started my search. They don’t have a proper directory so I had to climb the 4 stories in search of the diaper section. I eventually found it, on the third floor. It was a modest section full of baby diaper brands, and as with all other departments, the guards were posted to the section. There was just one adult diaper brand, something I’ve never heard of and it didn’t even stuck in my mind.

Undaunted, I decided to go to the extension building, as they called it. A bit more searching and lo and behold, I found the DL shopper’s eye candy. Hidden at the back of the first floor was modest selection of adult diapers. What I found remarkable was that the diapers came in all sizes and variants. There were 3 variants of Lille SupremFit, in 3 sizes. There were Certainty diapers, Tena Value Diapers, and of course, Tena Slip Plus and Super.

Alas, the only diaper missing was the very diaper I had come in search for. The M size Tena Slip Super. They had the S and L sizes, but no M! Why???

These were some promotions that are ongoing:

Tena Value: 1 for $10.10, 2 for $17.75.

Certainty: 1 for $7.15

TSS Large: 1 for $19.50

I also finally understood another popular saying – that if Mustafa was out of stock, it’s hard to get it anywhere else. Having glanced earlier at some other shops, it looks to be the case for the Tena Slip Super M size.

I settled for a Tena Slip Plus, so expect a review!

– Selv

My India Trip

For those celebrating the end of the fasting month, I wish you a fruitful Eid Mubarak!

I’ve been overseas these past few weeks, on a community involvement program.  My organisation has partnered with SCAD, an organisation which oversees several projects helping a range of people from various backgrounds. As it was my organisation’s first OCIP trip, we decided to work on a simple project with a special needs school in Cheranmahadevi, India.

Based on a prior visit by the recce team, we split our project into a few parts. The main portion was the refurbishment of the school’s relaxation corner – a room where these underprivileged kids could play games and toys. We painted the room, and filled the shelves with toys which we collected in Singapore.

Another portion of the project involved adding games catered to the needs of these kids – most of whom had learning disabilities – such as texture cubes and a race track corner. The aim here was to engage the sensory and motor skills of these kids, to complement the academic portion for which they were already in school for

Then there was an interaction session with these kids – a simple art session where we made paper-plate jellyfish and a simple origami dog. These kids don’t really get to do artwork and it was heartening to see them expressing themselves. They may have been aged from 12-20 but the 3 teens I worked with were really kids at heart. The simple joy of writing your own name on your own artwork is something that most of us take for granted, but for these kids, it made their day. I’m glad that I was able to help them achieve that.

After the CIP portion, we had a small heritage tour of the region, stopping by cities such as Tirunelveli, Madurai, Tanjore and Tiruchi. My friends fell sick one by one, but I was the last to fall sick. They had all recovered by the last city Tiruchi, so they left me in the hotel while they went shopping and watching movies. I kept running to the toilet every half an hour, inflicted with a terrible bout of stomach flu which made even the plain water I drank to come out of the back door. That was the only time during the entire trip which I (terribly) missed my Tenas.

There was one toilet-training incident which I observed, and it shook me a little. I was in a toilet cubicle and there was this conversation between father and son transpiring in the next cubicle. The dad had brought the boy to the toilet and he asked him, “do you want to poop”. He didn’t answer. “Have you already pooped”. No answer again.

SLAP. “No, I don’t know”, he replied sullenly. The dad started to take off the boy’s diaper, grumbling loudly that he didn’t know how to tell when he needed to go and how his mother was going to be furious etc. So he sees that the diaper is clean and he gets frustrated. “Why don’t you just answer me properly?” SLAP. “Do you need to go poop now?”, he asks and the boy mush have shook his head or something because the dad roars “I want you to sit on the toilet and poop now“.

As I stood up and left, the kid was sobbing and pooping. They were an urban middle class family, but what struck me was the amount of intimidation that was used in potty training. That’s their way of life there, slaps as punishment. I was slipping in and out because of my stomach flu but that incident stuck to my consciousness. The kid moved from diapers because he was scared that his dad would hit him, not because he wanted to be like his peers.

Overall I feel that this trip did open my eyes to this part of the world. It was a memorable trip, and I feel that I gained valuable skills and insights through this trip.

– Selv

L Size Diapers For An M Sized Person

So, in a scene reminiscent of an episode last year, I saw, left in the same spot as before, a pack of diapers sitting beside a dustbin. Tena Value Institution diapers. Being the cash-strapped, diaper-missing person that I am (who also needed the toilet at that moment), I put my bag down, rounded the dustbin and picked up the diapers.

It was only when I had returned to my bag did I realise that it was an OPEN bag, of size L diapers. The contents didn’t seem contaminated with dirt or dust, and I decided to bring it home with me. After all, the cleaners would have thrown it away the next morning anyway, and it’s first come-first serve.

While the packaging wasn’t dirty or anything, I did clean the outside as well as the exposed tips. 8 extra dips, yay!

But as I opened up a diaper, it was apparent how BIG the thing was. I mean, who was I kidding? It’s meant for hip size 114-147cm (45-58in) and mine is below 80cm. And no matter how high I positioned the diaper, it wasn’t giving a snug fit… until I pulled the lower tapes higher than usual. My assets had more room, and importantly, the leg gathers still snugly fit around my bottom, ensuring a tight seal against the forthcoming eruption.

But beyond the physical part, as I lay in bed that night, something about this diaper rekindled the first time I ever wore adult diapers. I was a scrawny teenaged boy, and the S sized diapers were sold in packs of 30 and were too expensive. So I bought M sized ones. And I had this feeling of oversized comfort as I put those on, a feeling I experienced again when I wore L sized diapers for the first time years later.

I’ve always been used to tight-fitting diapers because M sizes are big for me, but S sizes are too small. So on the M diapers I’ve had to bring the tapes close to each other, until recent times when the gap started to widen and the diapers fit much more snugly.

And I kind of like this loose, snug feel that the Ls provide. Plus, it’s a plastic-backed diaper so that adds to the soothing comfort. The high-riding diaper means my hips don’t feel the tightness when the diaper is full of liquid.

I guess I now understand why ABDLs like to wear oversized diapers – it’s because of this phenomenon. The fit, the snugness, the slight oversized element… It’s like a toddler wearing his diaper without worry, rather than an older child squeezing into her diaper meant for a younger kid.

I saw a six or seven year old walk out of a tuition centre in Tampines Mall and into a toilet, her hands held by her teacher. She was visibly upset. But it was what was in the teacher’s hands that caught my eye – a Drypers diaper and some wipes. The smell was also quite strong.

I really, truly pity her, because she must have been terribly teased by her classmates afterward. Tweens are particularly nasty towards those who are different. It’s not so much the accident, those are common, but rather, it’s the diaper. If only the teacher had some tact in handling the case, it would have been better for the poor kid.

– Selv

Ending My Diaper Run

It has been a glorious two months, of being able to wear diapers almost every night. But the school year is coming to an end, and to save money I’ve checked out of my school hostel. This means no more regular diaper usage for me.

That doesn’t mean no diapers at all, just that I won’t have the freedom to wear as before. I still have about 2 diapers left, but I’m going to ration them. Cos it’s not easy bringing them into the house and I’ll be working, saving up money for the coming months. (I sound like a squirrel preparing for winter).

– Selv

P.S. It seems that my previous post was my 150th! And it seems a fitting topic for the occasion 🙂

Where To Buy Diapers In Singapore

There are a few options when it comes to buying diapers. You could buy them online, or from a brick-and-mortar shop. Some people like to shop online as it offers them the privacy and a wider range of available products to choose from. However, some people choose to buy them from stores for a number of reasons.

Many people still buy incontinence products at stores because of the speed and convenience. The majority of such users are usually bedridden and/or incontinent, as such, caregivers would tend to focus on other aspects of caring for their loved ones. As such, the products available at the nearby supermarket would suffice of them.

There are several types of diapers and incontinence products. There are tape-on diapers, pull-up pants, pad-type as well as bed protectors. Many of these are available even at supermarkets but for this post I will concentrate only on tape-on diapers.

If you guys want to skip the lengthy details, you may read the last section for my views.

Supermarkets

Many of us would have noticed that supermarkets carry adult diapers. There would usually be a small section in the baby diaper section which has a small selection of adult diapers. Almost all supermarkets in Singapore carry the Tena Value brand, it is a well-known plastic-backed brand which is well regarded for its’ price as well as capacity.

Prime Supermarkets carry a modest selection of diapers. They carry the Certainty line, Dr. P (Basic) as well as Tena Value. They used to carry a few other brands but have since stopped. They don’t have house-brand diapers.

Sheng Siong Supermarkets also have a modest range. They carry Dr. P, Tena Pants, Prevail diapers, which are unique to Sheng Siong. as well as their store-brand Softess Diapers, which cost $5.80 for 10. They do not carry Tena Value, surprisingly.

Giant Supermarkets have a wider range. They carry the usual Certainty diapers, Tena Slip Super, Tena Value, Tena Pants as well as Lifree Super Absorb diapers. You can find several variants of the Dr. P line only at their Hypermarket in Tampines. They have their own house brand diapers, the Giant (Storebrand) diapers, costing $6.50 for 10, which must have an audience for them despite their quality, having been around for many years.

NTUC Fairprice takes the cake for the most types of diapers it offers. It carries Certainty, Lifree Super Absorb tape-ons and pants, Tena Pants, Tena Value as well as TWO house brand diapers. It’s ‘Budget’ line is, as the name suggests, a budget diaper which is surprisingly popular possibly due to its price of $5.75 for 10. It also has a premium line, the Fairprice Safe Control and the overnight version Extra Control. While these are more pricey than your average economy diaper, they aren’t as well regarded. Fairprice also has diaper samples on display, so customers can feel the diaper’s texture before purchasing.

Hospital and Polyclinic Pharmacies

There are several hospitals out there, but I shall mention two of these. The first would be Ng Teng Fong hospital. They carry Tena Value (Institution), Certainty, Tena Slip Super as well as Tena Slip Maxi.  The issue is with getting to this pharmacy involves going pretty far out of your way just to reach it. While it is theoretically on the same level, and connected to, the Jurong East MRT station it is a very long walk winding through two malls and three towers within Ng Teng Fong Hospital. They do not have an online site yet.

I find that the prices of the products are more or less the same. However, they carry the 28pack Tena Slip Super, being one of the 2 suppliers in Singapore. Given it is price it is very much worth paying a visit if you use the TSS regularly, however you should call to check before going as stocks are limited.

The Second hospital pharmacy worth mentioning is Changi General Hospital’s Pharmacy. This pharmacy carries the usual Tena Value (U.P.$10.40, currently $7.50), Tena Value Institution as well as Tena Slip Maxi. They also carry Molicare Mobile diapers, which are a range of pull-up style diapers. This pharmacy has an online website which provides delivery, which does not come in discreet packaging!

Most of the polyclinics in Singapore are run by the National Healthcare Group, which has its’ own website as well. It carries Tena Value ($10.90), Tena Value Institution, Certainty as well as Tena Slip Super and Maxi. While their outlets usually are missing stock, their website usually has stock. I haven’t tried their delivery service.

Specialty Stores

Now there are a number of homecare shops here and I’ll talk about 2- Rehabmart and SeniorCare Assisted Living.

Rehabmart has one of the widest range of adult diapers. They have the usual Tena Value ($9.00!), Dr P, Certainty. They also carry Lille SupremFit diapers (Blue, Grey), Tena Slip Plus and Super, Molicare Super, BW Ultra and Convifit.

There is SeniorCare Assisted Living, which carries a number of unique diapers. Besides their Certainty and Tena Pants, Tena Value (U.P. $9.90, currently $8.70!!!) and the 28pack TSS, they carry Nateen, Seni and Cleancare diapers.

Thoughts

If you have reached this far, congratulations for your skimming skills! A number of people have asked for a comparison of different sites and while this isn’t a thorough review (and shouldn’t be regarded as such), it should give you a glimpse on where to buy Adult Diapers in Singapore.

Speciality stores are a great place to get Economy and Premium diapers because they have big bargains, and bring in good brands in all sizes (S-XL). They may be slightly out of the way, but they all offer delivery options.

Pharmacies often give the illusion that prices are cheaper but this is only true if one purchases in bulk. Generally I avoid buying in pharmacies because they are often crowded and their diaper shelves are placed in very open spaces. Not forgetting that they are often out of the way. The only scenario I see if of me getting the 28pc TSS, otherwise no for me.

Then there are supermarkets. Supermarkets offer convenience and accessibility as they are everywhere. Often they have promotional pricing available so you would usually get a few dollars off if you do a little research. You are able to get budget diapers here as well. But privacy can be a nightmare, for these are usually located in malls and town centres. I usually go over to the next town to minimise the chances of that happening. Usually, convenience beats savings and I get most of my diapers from a Supermarket.

There is one last category which I didn’t mention and that is chain pharmacies. Only two carry diapers, NTUC’s Unity as well as Guardian. The former carries the exact same range as its’ Fairprice chain, plus TSS, while Guardian only carries it’s own brand of (in my opinion lousy) diapers.

So where do you get your diapers? Do let me know! I hope this post was informative and you were able to learn a thing or two.

– Selv

Hiatus Is Ending Soon

I need to apologise for not mentioning that I am on my exam break for the semester. Nevertheless, my last paper is tomorrow so I will be posting something this coming Saturday. I keep on receiving alerts that views jump at 10pm on Saturdays especially so I’ve been feeling a little guilty.

I usually take a writing hiatus for 3 weeks in the months of April and November to concentrate on my exams, but this time, I was hoping to squeeze in another post, which I didn’t. That’s why this happened 😦 .

For this Saturday, I’ll blog about my experience in buying diapers at various places and types of stores, in Singapore.

I hope you guys have had a restful Labour Day holiday yesterday!

With Regards,
– Selv

Cloth-diapers

Like many parts of the world, cloth diapers are gaining traction in Singapore too. There was a recent newspaper article which highlighted this trend.

There are two schools of thought which draw people towards cloth-diapering. The first would be the environmental degradation that disposable diapers cause. A child would use up to 5400 diapers in 3 years, which ends up in landfills or, in Singapore’s case, additional trash which needs to be incinerated. The other thought is the cost. A starter of cloth-diapers would cost about $400-$500, but disposable diapers would cost upwards of $2000 and more.

Yet, the take-up rate is slow. A parent even put her name on record that she prefers disposables, that is how mainstream disposable diaper usage is in Singapore. None of my relatives cloth-diaper their kids in the ‘modern cloth diaper’ sense, but they still do cloth diaper then with muslin cloth for the first year or so. The reasoning is that newborns go through several napkin changes a day, and their skins are delicate.

Furthermore, my grandma and aunt claim that baby poo isn’t really that bad smelling cos they don’t have the germs that adult ones have, hence its ‘easier to handle’. Plus, they use a sheet of Napkin Liner, essentially a tough tissue paper, that took most of the solid away for easy washing. This is something the article did not mention when they talked about Muslin cloth diapers.

But the rate of napkin usage has been dropping too. The advent of cloth-backed diapers, replacing plastic-backed ones in the process, ensures that skin-breathability has massively improved.

Which brings us back to why people still use disposables. The first reason is the convenience of wipe-and-throw, and the second is the perceived notion that disposable diapers will never leak. A third reason, as cited in the article, is that many daycare centres do not allow for cloth-backed diapers in their centers.

All three of these reasons have to do with the mindset of ease and convenience. “The environmentalist doesn’t have to deal with baby excretions,” my aunt declared as we debated, which kind of shut me up.

– Selv