Last night was the third night in a row that I failed to sleep properly. (I know, isn’t this already shaping up to be a fascinating blog post? Keep reading, it gets even more interesting!) Two nights ago there was a super dramatic heat wave (3 days in a row over 80 degrees in Seattle) and I was TOO HOT TO SLEEP, and the night before that it could’ve possibly been that I wasn’t sleeping because SOMEONE WAS SNORING. Last night it was because I was (heads up! time to stop reading if you are pathetically squeamish, have never been around a menstruating woman, or would rather read a nice blog post about baking or the Olympics.) BLEEDING. That’s right, bleeding. I am in the middle of an epic menstrual period. You know, menstruation, that thing that half of the world’s population does at one time or another in their life span…
Even though I work in a primary care clinic with a FABULOUS doctor who has helped me through this and other traumatic periods in various ways (how many woman are lucky enough to say that they can whisper to their male co-worker without shame or trepidation that they need to go change their pants in the middle of the work day?), I have never met a gynecologist who has offered me any substantial help with this issue. It seems that whenever something unusual happens with my flow, the solution is to suggest that I would be a good candidate for a costly “procedure” such as a hysterectomy. Surgery and or removing body parts is a last resort for me, thank you very much. I do not relish the thought of a robot chopping up my uterus and dragging it out through my vagina. Yes, that IS what they do now. “Really…”, the gynecologist said, “…it’s no big deal these days…” That’s what she said to me. To which I responded, “Oh, so you had it done?”, to which she sheepishly confessed as she handed me the name of a surgeon, “Well, no I haven’t, but that’s what I hear.” Mmmmm hmmm.
I would like to be able to tell you that as a result of this god-awful downpour of blood from my uterus, I feel more womanly, or that I am honored by mother nature’s bounty, or that it’s my “moon-time” and I’m going to a quiet tent, or a spa, or lodge where ladies go to lounge around during this special time. But in reality, I need to go to work and perform other functions of daily life, such as staying dressed in clothing that is not covered with blood.
Dealing with that much blood vacating one’s own body does NOT feel natural, and is not enjoyable in the least for me, especially since those mother$!?%* at Johnson and Johnson decided to pull the only tampon from their product line worth a damn, the OB ULTRA, for those of us women with a hearty flow. Now, these tampons have become collector’s items! I kid you not. Look it up on E-bay. You can buy them for as much as $80 a box!
This might sound overly dramatic, but the inability to purchase these tampons has been a rather huge inconvenience in my life and I MOURN the loss of them (but not enough to buy them on e-Bay). I even joined an “I want my OB Ultras” support group on Facebook where we mourn and rage together. Rumor has it they are coming back, but I haven’t seen them on the shelves yet. I hope that the (undoubtedly) male executive who made that fateful and insensitive decision to pull the Ultra, is forced to go out in the middle of the night on a regular basis to hunt for a suitable menstrual product for his wife, AND to change their sheets when he gets home. Karma’s a bitch and so is a woman without the right tampon.