Tuesday, September 20, 2016

popular menstrual products: ranked.

i have been bleeding since april. HOW AM I EVEN STILL ALIVE. i don't ovulate normally and my periods have always been fairly irregular, so when she showed up at my door with a couple of suitcases instead of her typical weekend bag i didn't think too much of it. she'd paid me extensive visits before. "staying awhile?" i asked as she painfully dragged her heavy samsonite luggage over my endometrium. she kicked my left ovary in response, grunting as she shrugged out of her dark red coat. 

i went to LA in may and saw jon hamm eating toast on the sidewalk on my period. i got married on a lovely afternoon in the middle of june in a black dress, because i had my period. i packed my entire apartment and moved with my period, i fought that snake who lunged at me from under the garbage can on my period, I AM WRITING THIS BLOG RIGHT NOW ON MY FUCKING PERIOD.

i looked up my symptoms on the internet and decided that i definitely had endometrial cancer, and i made an appointment to have my gp do a pap smear before i left chicago and had to take my chances with a michigan farm veterinarian slash ladyparts doctor who would schedule my hysterectomy between a bovine c-section and an afternoon tractor pull. the pap came back normal and she suggested i get a bladder and transvaginal ultrasound, which consisted of a pleasant young woman making awkward small talk in a darkened room while sawing in and out of my uterus with what felt like a smooth, slim baseball bat. the verdict? basically normal. but the storm raged on, so i went to see a specialist. she took a bunch of biopsies that came back as an unspecified terminal illness that is in no way a result of improper care of this rotting meat carcass LOL JK THE BIOPSIES WERE NORMAL, TOO. wtf, uterus!?

the thing about never wanting to have a baby is that when my period was weird i was just like "meh" and didn't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. i could have unprotected sex with dudes and never have to worry about fighting over the exorbitant cost of infant yoga class or the appropriate age at which the child was allowed to cook his own breakfast because mommy was "sleeping." (duh the answer is three, maybe two and a half if he was gifted.) 

i tried to get spayed before i left my old job but jim was adamant that my employee benefits didn't cover routine human health maintenance, so after i moved i found a doctor here with a brightly-lit office in a hospital and sterilized medical equipment. i had 1 a urine test whose official results were: VODKA, MOSTLY; 2 a vaginal culture, which didn't feel like much and was pretty useless but i got good pain meds afterward so fine; 3 yet another pelvic exam which consisted of much rearranging of my internal organs by a small gloved hand inserted deep inside my birth canal; and 4 yesterday, another incredibly thorough transvaginal ultrasound! and the bleeding continues. i'm currently doing a chemical d&c, which is exactly as horrifying as it sounds.

the diva cup $39.99, for one. listen dude, i have a subscription to bust. i own a lot of faded grey t-shirts with trees on them; a drawer full of threadbare cardigans that i bought new that intentionally look old and smell like the essential oils i insist upon moisturizing with; and a tiny collection of random, pointless vinyl records by twee singer-songwriter dudes like hayden: THE DIVA CUP WORKS WITH MY AESTHETIC, OKAY. mavis uses one and probably fertilizes the lawn with its contents every night while howling at the moon, so during the first couple weeks of my torrential internal downpour i thought, "yo, why not me?" HERE'S WHY NOT: after struggling for seven real minutes to make sure it was safely in, i spent the next hour and a half baby-stepping through my errands gripped with fear that it was going to shake loose and embarrass me in the middle of the goddamned grocery store. when i finally got home to check on it it was lodged sort of sideways and leaking into the backup pad i was smart enough to know i'd need. i'm using mine as a shot glass now.

seventh generation free and clear maxi pads with purefit flexible protection, $5.01 for 24. i'm trying to fit in here, i really am. i rinse all of the chemicals out of my diet coke cans before putting them in the recycling bin with the empty containers of chia seeds, i walk around smelling like an ox because everyone here makes their own food grade deodorant that smells like medicine and doesn't actually work, and the other night i tiptoed past the snakes and shit in the yard out to the garden behind our actual house and yanked some actual basil out of the actual dirt and used it in a homemade sauce that i was too exhausted to even eat after all that tromping around and digging. so i got some whole foods pads mostly to convince the woman at the checkout that i care about the planet despite not having brought a reusable cloth bag, and i learned the hard way that you should never give a shit about the environment if later that day you're going to be a passenger in a car with a beige interior.

always maxi overnight pads with 10 hour leakguard protection without wings, $5.47 for 28. ten hours is a long time, man. and i know that to be an accurate judge i should've tried to ride out a full season of house of cards with only a half-inch thick strip of weaponized cotton balls or whatever scientific shit they stuff these pads with between me and the couch, but that's gross. also i could practically wring one out after an hour, which is why my doctor wrote me an rx for ferralet and recommended i kill a cow on the way home from the ER and eat it raw because i was so anemic. come to think of it i might actually be dying.

poise ultimate absorbency overnight pads with odor neutralizer, $18.99 for 45. have you ever gone to costco and bought the, like, 700 pack of toilet paper? like, the biggest, unwieldiest package they sell? the size you have to use carabiners to tie to the roof of your car!? THAT IS WHAT THESE PADS ARE LIKE. the package is so large you have to bear hug it up to the register at the pharmacy. as if this nightmare life isn't terrible enough, you have to both deal with incontinence and have no discretion about it!? they make those cute little black boxes of tiny tampons for bitches with adorable menstrual cycles, but no such luck when blood is literally raining from your vagina. i'm the asshole that had to get a cart in the kind of store where people glare at you for having a cart because i needed to buy more than this one thing. i didn't even have a place to put them, i was up half the night googling "small space storage solutions" trying to figure out where to put my wee wee pads other than putting a lamp and all the books i'm pretending to read on it and tossing out my nightstand. i don't want to make you throw up (yes i do), so i'ma just say that these really are just meant for you to tinkle a little bit on. NOT GIVE BIRTH.

bounty duratowel cloth-like paper towels, $12.49 for 8 and a single calvin klein hand towel that i got at marshalls a few years ago, surprisingly cheap because the stitching is all messed up. prostrate atop a crimson tide and having left a damp circle of rust on every absorbent surface between chicago and detroit over the past few months, i found myself alone in the house with no car and not a single sanitary napkin. not even the emergency ones i stuffed in my backpack after i was sure the radiologist had dislodged my fallopian tube with her ultrasound probe. i first grabbed approximately 42 sheets of bounty, the quicker picker-upper, but because i didn't want to walk the store with my ass looking like a crime scene i decided to donate one of the hand towels that i've never used because i don't ever invite anyone over and folded it in the crotch of my underpants, then i used the paper towels to pad both the front and the rear in case there was any leakage from that garbage towel. i put on my sunglasses and bravely walked in that walgreens with my head held high, my sumo-sized midsection crunching and rustling with every step. it worked like a charm! i stood in the pantiliner aisle inconspicuously dabbing at my backside (on camera, in full view of all of the mirrors) and my hand came away clean every time! unfortunately, i've lived in a "we could just dry that out and use it again" house too long, and i would feel incredibly guilty wasting this much paper on something as small as my dignity. so i bought as many of the always as they had in stock and dragged them home in a wagon, stopping every few minutes to stuff some leaves down the back of my pants so i wouldn't ruin my shirt.

the bleeding has let up, thanks to some new drugs. plus i've stopped eating sugar and carbohydrates in an effort to fix my hormones, and you know what? i feel like i would rather just be dead! anyway, i can still have one ounce of steak a week. and dogs have finally stopped following me around the park when i go outside to "exercise."