If I read about a rare disease or illness, I become instantly sure I have it. Ingrown armpit hair syndrome? Have it. Whiffy lady parts disease? Have it. Bizarre form of stress-induced amnesia? Wait, what were we talking about again?
See? I TOTALLY HAVE IT!
So when I read about the “lost tampon” phenomenon, I immediately knew there was a fossilized floater hiding out in my hoo-ha. I could feel it just waiting to strike me down with toxic shock syndrome, or attract a gang of crazed sharks to my house. Never mind the fact that I live thousands of miles from the ocean—IT COULD HAPPEN!
I took to The Google and tried to assess whether I had any of the warning signs of a Ghost Tampon:
- Vaginal discharge? Other than poor bladder control, nope.
- Foul odor? Other than my breath, nope.
- Abdominal discomfort? Other than muffin top overflow, nope.
- Uncomfortable sex? Other than the daylight hours, nope.
Not to be deterred by my lack of symptoms, I called my gynecologist anyway.
“Let me ask you a question, Ms. Rossow,” she inquired over the phone. “If you don’t have any indications of a lost tampon, why exactly do you think you might have one?”
“Because I read about it on the Internet! Duh.” I was a bit irritated at her lack of alarm. She clearly hadn’t seen the image search results for “lost tampon.” I, however, had been to the dark side. I had looked into the face of hoo-ha horrors. Well, not exactly the face.
The more you know, people. The more you know.
Twenty-four hours later, I was doing the gyno scoochy-scooch of shame down the examining table. You know the gyno scoochy-scooch of shame, right? “I’m going to need you to go ahead and scooch down for me. A little more. A little more. A little—WHOA! Back it up.”
While I was scooching, my gynecologist reassured me that a “lost tampon” scare was no big deal at all–that it was actually a very common worry. After all, we lead busy lives. We can’t be expected to remember everything, can we?
If only there were a Molly Manners chapter on how to behave while our feet are in the stirrups. Are we supposed to just stare quietly at the poster of the kitten on the ceiling? “Hang in there, baby!” Or maybe we should try and follow the gynecologist’s play-by-play: “I’m just going to insert a Mack Truck now.” What is the appropriate response to this? Silence? Affirmations? Screaming? Certainly not moaning—I do know that much. Should we make a game of it? Red Rover, Red Rover, send Ghost Tampon over!
After the exam, my gynecologist assured me that there was no floater to be found, but I remained skeptical. I had birthed four huge babies in five long years. My vagina had been like a clown car—who knew what had been left behind? A small village of people could be living in there! Instead of Whoville, it would be Hoo-haville. There would be a mayor and she would give tours to visiting gynos: “On our right, you will see the scar tissue left behind after the Battle of the Babies. To the south, you will notice the Episiotomy Memorial.”
I hesitate to question someone with an M.D., but she’d gotten in and out of there a little too quickly for my taste. There was a lot of ground to cover. Maybe she should look again? Get back in there, give a holla and listen for the echo? Really take a good look around? I’m sure the mayor would have arranged for a tour of the tampon graveyard.
But nope. Nothing.
Luckily, there had been a lot of literature in the waiting room. Now that the fossilized tampon scare of 2015 was over, we could finally talk about my rare third breast disease.
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(Pssst. We have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to lady bits. Of course we do.)