What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
Last year, I was mortified when I read about Danielle Parr, the Saginaw, Texas-based blogger who almost unwittingly inserted a moldy tampon. Never once thought in a million years I’d have a similar story to share.
I made the mistake of booking a pampering day at a thermal (natural hot spring water) spa on the 17th, otherwise known as the date that is typically the first day of my monthly cycle. Since I couldn't cancel, I decided to make the most of my scheduling mishap and went ahead and trekked two hours from Central London down to Bath, where I spent the entire day clad in a retro-inspired Norma Kamali one-piece and a plush robe, stopped up with a super plus absorbency poon plug (that I dutifully changed every other hour like clockwork -- I don’t deal well with overflow mistakes).
Anyway, as I opened up tampon #4, I couldn’t believe what I saw:
Granted, it might not look that bad at first glance, but if you’ve been using tampons for 15+ years, you’d instantly know something about this is dead damn wrong.
Because, duh, tampons are supposed to be white, not streaked with an icky taupe-color strip. Also, it reeked -- the smell was akin to a dusty cardboard sandwich. (Don’t ask.)
Lucky for me, I was prepared (as I now travel with no less than 20 emergency tampons as you all know). I promptly pulled out another one that was good to go and got on with it.
But as the evening progressed, I started to get a bit paranoid about it all. I’ve been using that brand of tampons for years. YEARS. What if I wasn’t the kind of girl that obsessively inspects everything that I insert and consume? Or, what if I were using a brand that didn’t present itself in a transparent applicator? If it weren’t for my eagle eyes and bloodhound nose, I might have overlooked the mold altogether!
And what if I’d been drunk and gone ahead and inserted it? What would have happened to my vajayjay? Would I have brought a raging incurable yeast infection upon myself?
I’m this close to breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.
I’m just glad that I’m fully aware that that this is more common than one might think; moving forward (for the next 20-odd something years until I’m blessed with menopause), I’ll be damn sure to look before I plug up my leak.
And sniff! I’ll huff each and every one of my tampons, too. Mold has a distinct, stuffy smell that you can’t possibly miss. FYI: If it has a funky, pungent scent, I’ll toss that bitch with the quickness -- and you should, too. (Unless you want to snap a picture and sue. Should I? You know, for stress-related anxiety. I mean, I couldn't really even relax during my underwater massage!)
Oh, and COME ON DOWN, DivaCup-pers and MoonCup-pers. I know y’all are itching to start singing their praises!
Catch the kid over on Twitter: @IndiaJewelJax.