I'm Lost Without My Period App

I downloaded the app under the guise that it would inform me about the workings of my body and I'd know even more about myself. Instead, I'm even more disconnected.
Publish date:
October 30, 2012
healthy, apps, periods, menstruation

The other day my phone stopped holding charge and I thought the world was going to fall apart into several million pieces right below my feet.

Before I get too far into my anguish and despair over having a dead phone, let me at least say that I use my phone 85% for work, and a significant chunk of that 85% involves moderating comments from parents about parenting and, holy shit, guys: it gets intense sometimes. So not having a working phone for a few hours on a busy comments day? That's brutal.

I eventually had to hard reset my phone, which meant all of my apps and customizations would be removed. This was fine with me, because I went through a bit of an app-downloading spree recently and ended up with a few I didn't love, but also kept forgetting to delete. Whatever, I'm lazy.

I spent the next 30 minutes or so getting all my shit back together: Wordpress, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. I re-collected the preschools apps my 3-year-old likes to play, took a photo to get my background all pretty again, and was happy. Everything appeared to be in working order.

The next day I noticed that my face was breaking out, but I didn't think too much of it. Then I started talking obsessively about making cupcakes, but figured I just needed a sugar fix.

Yesterday I felt a little achy, so I picked up my phone to check the app I always use (aptly named Period Tracker, FYI) and then I realized -- the app wasn't there anymore. In my app-replacing fervor, it had somehow slipped my mind. Then I had an even harsher realization. Without this app, I seriously had no clue when my period was going to start.

Back in the day, like way way back in the day when my period started for the first time, I took up the habit of circling the beginning and end dates of my period and drawing a line to connect the two. Before I gave birth to my son, my period was startlingly regular: It happened every 28 days, usually around 9 am. I still felt the need to track this on physical calendars. I got my first Smartphone before my period came back postpartum, but I didn't start using an app until months later.

Once I did start using it, I was hooked. Sometimes my cycle would be super short, like 25 days, and then it'd turn around and go back to 28 or 29 the next month, so the app was kind of like a game. Each month I'd wonder if my period was actually going to start when my phone predicted it would, or if my body would throw the phone off its game yet again. As reliant as I was on the app to tell me what to expect from my own body, it never occurred to me that one day the app might just not be there.

This all sounds ridiculous right now, as I sit in my bed typing while another episode of “Modern Family” is paused and chocolate cupcakes are baking in the oven –- who is so reliant on her phone that she can't even tell you when her period is going to start without it? Apparently this girl.

I downloaded the app under the guise that it would inform me about the workings of my body and I'd know even more about myself, which to a degree is true. For example, the app tells me when I'm likely ovulating, and I've noticed physical symptoms of ovulation that I had, pre-app, written off as random pangs or mood swings.

But as interesting as that tidbit of information is, I'm more than a little appalled that I've become so disconnected from the inner works of my body that when my period finally did arrive yesterday, I was as flabbergasted as a 12-year-old girl dealing with her first period in Science class.

After all this, I'll probably keep the app on my phone –- it is handy, even though the estrangement I'm experiencing from myself is freaking me out a little bit. When I brought the app deletion up to a friend yesterday she gasped in horror and told me she'd be lost without her app, so it had me wondering: Do you guys use apps for intimate issues (periods, fertility, etc)?