Updated: Jan 20
Monday is finally over phew! This weekend, I tried to stop picking my acne, spent some time with my best friend, and found out I was on my period. Another lame sophomore weekend. Sometimes I just think about the fact that 10th grade is rolling by right before my eyes and the best moments of my adolescence and teenagehood are disappearing.
Nonetheless, during a pandemic, rain or shine, the menstrual system is alive and well. She jabs at my gut and ruins my bathroom floor mat each and every time, but has made for some pretty comical stories. Background info: I got my period in 6th grade and at first it was weird, scary, but cool and now it sucks. My periods are HEAVY and at the peek of my cycle, I’ll go through about one medium size tampon an hour.
In honor of my period this week, I present the following stories (all 3 of which occurred at my sleep away camp):
Story 1. In the summer going into 8th grade, I got my period once during camp. It was the second day. The camp requires us to take a swim test each year and I obviously wouldn’t be able to wear a pad in the pool. I grabbed my close camp friend and we ran to the bathroom to figure out how to use a tampon. She had an older sister and had been using tampons for a while so she ended up just doing it for me. I was so happy we got it to work and ran down to the pool. The whole time it was pretty uncomfortable and I asked all the girls if it was supposed to hurt. People said it really shouldn’t but that's normal. After the swim test, I ran to the bathroom to pull out the tampon and my friend had left the plastic in!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it.
Story 2. The second story takes place the following year, when I was going into 9th grade. Our bunk at camp was planning a surprise birthday celebration for one of the girls. I offered to be the ‘distraction’ so all the other girls ran to set everything up, but I stayed with the birthday girl and we went on a walk. I realized in the moment that I should probably change my tampon and we could buy some time by quickly going to the bathroom. When I finally was able to pull out my tampon, the cotton had expanded into a butterfly shape with the top section missing. I showed it to my friend and we both agreed that half of the tampon had separated from the rest of the tampon and was still lodged up somewhere in me. I was freaking out and ran across the camp at night, picking out any female counselor I could see and asking them about Toxic Shock Syndrome. I didn't know what it meant but I was scared. The birthday girl and I ran to the camp doctors building while our whole bunk was waiting across the camp to surprise her. We waited for a nurse and they called my parents at 11pm that night to notify them that I’d be receiving a vaginal exam. The exam was so uncomfortable. After taking the nurses on a tour of all the camp trash cans where I could have thrown away the used tampon, we found it and they determined that the tampon was perfectly normal and always looked like this once it expanded. So much for a quick distraction! this is what expanded tampons look like! Don’t be freaked out like me!
Story 3. Finally, that same year at camp, our whole age group went on a little overnight and it involved some kayaking. My group went second to kayak and so another group had to grab all of our water bottles, backpacks, sweatshirts that we had left on the beach. I had taken off my shorts and left my bloody pad wrapped up inside. I was praying that no one
seen the pad and the person who grabbed my stuff was a girl. I swear to g-d, a boy from the other groups walked right up to me and handed me my shorts, with the used pad perfectly visible. I wanted to DIE!!!!! It was SO embarrassing.
Like I was saying earlier, I have a heavy period and falling asleep can be extremely daunting because the flow just keeps flowing like the red sea. Aside from laying a towel down over my sheets and sleeping in old shorts I don’t care about, I’ll let you in on 2 secrets...
1. Lady Diaper
It’s true you guys, I am in fact a teenage baby and still wear a diaper. Except for the time that I had dance at school and was wearing my diaper under the leggings, I'm not ashamed in the slightest and tbh it gives me a puffy butt. Is that a good or a bad thing… I guess we’ll never know.
2. Tampons to Bed
Because of the camp scare (story 2) and learning about toxic shock syndrome, I thought that wearing a tampon to bed is a big no no. But then last year, I did it one night and it turned out to be a good experience and i’m seriously not mad about it. Is it not the best idea? Maybe. Should I be telling you all this? Probably not. But will I be sleeping with a tampon tonight? No doubt 100%.
There will always be a mess to clean up when I am on my period. From the dirty undergarments to the blood that has happened to splatter everywhere (sorry if that's TMI).
1. First off I would recommend dedicating some comfortable and easy to wash underwear as your ‘go to’ period panties. Thongs are a no go so pick a hipster and go be a queen.
2. Second, try to change your tampon in the shower or over the toilet. For heavy periods like mine, I find that’s the cleanest tactic.
3. Put all the junk (wrappers and used stuff) in these smell canceling pink mini trash bags. My mom told me I had to use these and it’s honestly a great idea.
Having meltdowns, breakdowns, anger spikes, and irritation are a part of my period weeks. My best friends know that when I’m half laughing, half crying, and fuming all at the same time, I am for sure on my period. This only really started happening recently and rarely happens but not understanding your heightened emotions is perfectly okay. The only thing I would say is at least be able to maintain the slightest bit of stability to inform whoever steps in your path that you’re not having a good day and that you are aware that your attitude or anger is a bit out of control.
Whether it’s the placebo effect or that periods actually have a correlation with wanting to eat unhealthy food, I always feel like a bit of sugar can make up for the bad moods. I’ve had a pretty good relationship with food but I will say that wanting to eat junk and giving into my cravings during my period sometimes makes me feel fat, gross, and ugly. I had the same thought 30 minutes ago. Treating yourself and enjoying the small things during a hard week (whether it be food, a mini shopping spree, or a netflix night in) is not something to be ashamed of because we're girls and we do the heavy lifting.
Happy Monday party people. This week and year will be over soon. You're doing amazing.
You got this,