The tampon debacle is over. Or, actually, it never even existed.
Last night I thought I was dying. I started to feel very sick, achy, headache — all the symptoms I didn’t want. My palms remained red. I took my temperature throughout the night and it went from 99.2 to 99.4 to 99.5. And you probably think I’m nuts for thinking that’s a fever, but my average core temp is low, like 97.3 low, so anything in the 99s is a fever for me.
I was afraid I was going to die in my sleep, or worse — that when I finally got to my appointment in the morning, the doctor was going to tell me I had TSS and there was nothing they could do. Or worse — the doctor was going to remove the tampon I was convinced was inside me, and then tell me I was fine when in reality I wasn’t fine and I would die without knowing I was dying.
But none of that happened. I slept fine, woke up, felt really really crampy, got ready and headed out.
Oh, I forgot to mention in the other three posts that using tampons felt uncomfortable. Every time I tried to use one I felt sicker, so I decided not to use any until this was all sorted out. Only I also didn’t have any pads, only panty liners for over night or super heavy flow moments. So I filled my underwear with those bitches. 5 of them. Everywhere. I wasn’t about to have one of those leakage moments with nowhere to run.
So I walked around wearing almost the equivalent to a diaper. My son even came in the bathroom with me once and was like “What’s that, Momma? Your diaper?” The second time he thought they were band-aids so I let him continue with that belief. Better for him to tell people that Momma has big band-aids in her pants than a diaper.
I brought Jack and Holden to the appointment with me because the woman on the phone had told me to “just bring” my son and that someone would probably be able to see him. When I got there, the woman at the desk told me that they only see walk-ins if it’s an emergency. I never understood why people don’t just go to the ER if they’re experiencing an emergency, but that’s unrelated. What is related is that Jack and Holden got to sit around and wait for two hours.
First I had to wait to see the paperwork person. Then I saw the paperwork person, and she signed me up for Medicaid, which is awesome because it gives me one less thing to keep putting off. Then I had to wait to see the gynecologist. Then I got called back to where all the real offices are and it was super awkward because the bathroom was directly to the right as soon as you went in the door, and the nurse asked for a urine sample and I had to explain to her that I am currently on my period so she shouldn’t be alarmed if there’s any blood in my pee. In front of all the people going in and out.
And then I had to explain why I was there and what was going on in the examination room directly to the left of the door, in front of all the people going in and out. There was actually a huge crowd of family? onlookers? some sort of people in the way, right in front of the examination room door, and the nurse walked too fast so she avoided them but I had to stop from running into them and then excuse myself 50 times before I made it through.
And then I had to answer a bunch of questions, but thankfully with the door closed, and get naked and wait for Dr. Awesome to come in.
But when Dr. Awesome came in she was not awesome. She was awkward. My internal dialogue changed her name to Dr. Awkward.
She seemed pissed. She jumped right in.
“So you think something’s stuck up there?”
Yes, yes I do. But is “up there” really the proper medical terminology?
Yes, a tampon. Don’t worry I’m not one of those stories you post on your blog about batteries and shit.
“For how long?”
“A month?! And there’s no odor?”
I mean, not that I’ve noticed. Only when I pee. But you’re free to take a whiff and tell me if you think I smell abnormal.
“If you had one in there for a month, we wouldn’t even be able to stand in this room right now. But let’s check. You’re on your period currently?”
Well I’ve read plenty of stories online to prove you wrong. But yeah, it started a few days ago. Sorry about that.
Then she made a big show about getting forceps just in case there was something “up there,” and a proper medical waste bag because —
“If we don’t bag it up immediately we won’t be able to use this room for days.”
Thanks, Dr. Awkward. That’s just what I need — for you to tell me that I could be the reason your entire operation gets shut down. Should there be bio-hazard signs up? Should we wear masks? Maybe be prepared for a nuclear attack? Will it grow limbs and somehow materialize a vaporizer and call to its home planet for backup? Fuck, woman, I’m just trying to make sure I’m not dying here.
“All set. Scoot down.”
Speaking of dying, did I show you this rash on my hands? You see that, right? It’s red. That’s an obvious sign of toxic shock.
“Okay, you’re going to feel my fingers and then some pressure.”
BUT LOOK AT THIS RASH. It’s proof enough that something is going on. Maybe you don’t even have to check at all, just bag me up and — WOAH. You could’ve warned me.
“Nope, I don’t see anything.”
Okay but when I push on it, it gets white, and that’s what the internet said would happen.
“Let me just check . . . ”
You might want to buy me dinner first, after this rash clears up HOLY CRAP.
“Nope, definitely nothing in that vagina.”
This rash, though, you see the line where it obviously stops? And sometimes it’s darker but sometimes it’s lighter . . . wait, did you just say “that vagina“?! What, is my whoo-ha the intruder now? Not my vagina, not even this vagina. Hell, you weren’t even polite enough to call her by her name, which is Shirley, by the way. After Shirley Manson. THAT vagina, sheesh. You sure know how to make a lady feel special. But seriously though, this rash . . .
And then she finally told me that the rash could be caused by pretty much anything in the whole wide world. And when I got just as worked up about my smelly pee, she went on and on about diet, which I assured her had not changed in years, but she wasn’t really listening. She also told me there was a good chance my brain was forcing my body to display all these symptoms after I read them online.
When I found the boys, Jack said “I told you so” the way Elliot does in Scrubs. And that was that.
*As a side note, what in the fuck is this?! And also, why do so many people think it’s funny to dress up as a used pad for Halloween? (I’ve found some weird shit while searching for pictures for these posts.)
This post is number four, and the last, in the tampon debacle series. Read one, two, and three to get the full effect. All four posts are part of the Confessional Series. Find out more or submit your own by visiting the Confessional page.
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Have you, or anyone you know, ever actually had your mind convince your body to get symptoms it had no reason to have? Have you ever had a hypochondriac moment like this? Your own ‘Dr. Awkward’? Let me know!