Periods, Pads, Tampons Oh My

Menstruation – the process in a woman of discharging blood and other materials from the lining of the uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from puberty until menopause, except during pregnancy. ~ dictionary.com

You mean to tell me that I get to bleed once a month for the next 40 years or so? The year was 1988, the year ain’t flow made her first appearance, I was nine. Please take that in. I was still playing with My Little Ponies. I was home with my dad and my sister. I went to the bathroom to pee and when I wiped I saw blood. I had to wipe again to be sure. I just knew I was dying.

I called my mom at work and she told me to talk to my sister who nonchalantly threw me a pad. Problem was, I had no clue what was wrong with me. I had never heard of a period. I stayed in that bathroom for what seemed like hours. My mama finally came home and explained to me what had happened to me. She told me that I was a woman. How sway? Then she told me about Eve and the curse. I was pissed at Eve and cursed her curse. Eve had me messed up.

Why blood? Why not fairy dust, or something a little less messy. I can remember pads in 1988 and they were huge! I remember two major brands, Always and Kotex. They used to play these really cute commercials of teen girls buying pads. They made you want a period. It will be magical they said. You will skip around school with a smile you said. They lied!

Fourth grade end of year swimming trip to the infamous Cunningham pool, but guess who couldn’t swim? 🙋🏽‍♀️ I sat in the bleachers with a pillow top mattress in my backpack hot and mad as hell. I’m convinced it was the hottest day of the year. While all of the kids were happy and swimming, I was bleeding.

Why is there shame or embarrassment associated with periods. Tucking pads and tampons into bras. Carefully crumbling wrappers so the person in the stall next to you doesn’t hear. Gently closing the lid of the little garbage that often smells like spoiled seafood. Periods and bleeding are 100% natural.

Cramps, ha! What they don’t tell you. Cramps so bad your legs, vagina, and back hurts. Cramps that feel like vice grips are crushing your ovaries. Cramps that mimic the movement of a jackhammer inside of your abdomen. And who knows what happens when you sit for a long period of time then get up? Gush, gush, gush, now it’s down the back and up the front.

Every month I’m convinced I have a serious illness. Dizziness, fatigue, hot/cold spells, crying at the smallest thing, and my hypochondria kicks in to overdrive and I consult Dr. Google. Dr. Google will have you thinking you are on your way to the upper room! It’s said that a woman loses less than one cup of blood each period. I’m not convinced when half the time you’re passing clots the size of bing cherries, graphic I know.

Periods, some might call it a rite of passage or a welcome to womanhood. I call her Carrie. Pads or tampons, diva cup or luna pads. Your period your choice.

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