I was treated to a wonderful opportunity lately when a close family member required repeated hospitalization over a span of two months – I was the designated caregiver.
Throughout those hospital stays, often of two weeks at a time, I was able to observe multiple women as they cruised through their menstrual cycles. Those observed varied in age, socioeconomically, race, education, occupation….
Doctors, nurses, techs, family members and friends of patients – all exhibited indicators of where they were in their cycle – and if they cycled.
PMS. Fatigue. Irritability. Frustration. Tears. Talkative. Anger. Impatience. Hyperactive. Forgetfulness. Confusion. Desire to be close. Need to be alone. Quiet. Loud. Aggressive. In pain. In the bathroom. Wearing black. Wearing white. Craving chocolate and carbs. Pigging out on pizza. Sags and bags and dark circles under the eyes. Happy. Gregarious. Helpful. On task. Cold. Chilled. Sweating. Stomach upset. Pimples. Headache. Stomachache. Bloated. Sexy (or saw themselves as such). Invisible (or wished to be). Outgoing. Secure. Insecure. Inward focused. Outward facing. Open. Definitely closed. Period proud. And, period disgusted.
Pads and tampons (often doubled up). Scented product as well as plain. Thongs. Granny panties. Undershorts. Compression shorts. Period panties.
But, no cups – at least not among any of the nurses or doctors I encountered and engaged in conversations, period wise.
No cups. Most were not aware there was such a thing as a menstrual cup and had no clue as to how one would work. Or, if it would work for them.
One pregnant doctor was overheard commenting to a nurse that she much preferred being pregnant to having her “monthlies.”
Menstrual aromas were everywhere – and, you should know…scented pads/tampons and liberal use of feminine hygiene spray shout “Hey, I’m on my period! And, I have something to hide!”
Women do it – cycle that is. If we don’t – we did at some point. And, those who haven’t yet, will.
So, what’s with all the hush hush about menstruation and our natural cycles? It’s a part of who we are any given day of the month. Let’s embrace those changes we encounter when we cycle and stop fighting them.
Embrace menstruation – in yourself and in others.
Let’s relax, period wise, and let it flow.