periods


This afternoon before I went to my pulmonary function test, I had a notification pop-up on Facebook saying that Tom Steele had responded to the Metro story about the screenshot. I was a little alarmed, but not completely surprised. That seemed to be his style: to pop back into my notifications weeks after we interacted. So I responded, because I’m me and I couldn’t stand that he was still spewing crap about what happened. Then I went to my appointment. When I came back, I saw a notification that the story had appeared on George Takei’s Facebook page,  which made me feel a little less creeped out by Tom. (There’s a first time for everything.) Since I noticed that the article that was linked didn’t mention the Metro story, I backtracked to the Huffington Post Australia story, which did. Like before, I feel a little guilty that Tom is getting flack, but glad that the issue itself is being talked about. I do worry that he’s going to attempt to try to defame me like he had when the first rush of people started sending him a few tweets. (I’m pretty sure that if we stacked up how many tweets & notifications he’s gotten on the issue, he’s gotten significantly fewer than I have.) Of course, I did have polls, so that caused a few notifications. Anyway, I doubt this has truly up-ended his life, or he would just ignore it. Whatever. Speaking of the polls…. #period #periods #livetweetyourperiod #feminism #reprohealth (please RT) During your period do/did you typically go through: — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 By popular demand: “Weapon of choice” when you’re on your #period? — Janet Morris (@janersm) December 1, 2016 Have you ever had to take birth control for your #period? — Janet Morris (@janersm) December 1, 2016 Have you ever had or considered having surgery because of issues related to your #period? — Janet Morris (@janersm) December 1, 2016 Obviously none of the polls are scientific, but it’s pretty obvious that most people who menstruate use more than 11 pads in a cycle. Since more than 11 pads/tampons got 86% of the vote, I feel a bit less freakish than I did when I didn’t think I’d get more than 20 votes in the poll,1  wrote about my wonky periods, and when I first responded to his Medium post. I mean, I know that my period is super-bad, but I wasn’t totally sure how it compared to normal. While you’re here, please consider donating pads and tampons to A Woman’s Worth Inc.’s Prison Project, which sends feminine hygiene products to inmates. Also, please take some time to research the issue of people not having adequate access to these products while in jail or prison, or when they are impoverished and/or homeless. This is a major problem in the United States, and I’ve noticed, from some of the responses, that it’s also a bit of a problem in other countries. That’s something that we as a society need to work on. Got 17,338. ↩

Out of Nowhere, Oh My.


I write a lot, not as much on here as I used to, but I still write a lot. For better or worse, most of the writing tends to be on Twitter, though sometimes it is on Medium or Tumblr. Occasionally, there’s a Facebook post thrown in there. Can you digress in a first paragraph? So Twitter is a major platform for me to express myself. Sometimes I make pithy polls. Typically, the polls get between 2 and 20 votes. Lately, they’ve gotten a few more. When I responded to a person claiming that the Hamilton cast’s rebuke of Mike Pence was a vicious attack, the popularity of my pithy poll was easily attributed to Elon James retweeting it: Which is more vicious:@Sanrenkay @elonjames @maggieNYT — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 19, 2016 Last night, I stumbled across this response on Medium by Tom Steele to a post on New York prisoners being allowed (on average) 11 pads or tampons per month for use during their periods: One has t0 wonder if there is more to this story. 2.8 pads per woman per week, if I read that correctly, is 11 per month which seems like a lot. Some women would be expected to need less and it is hard to imagine many women needing more than that. I fully support providing the basic hygiene products required, like food, clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels, tampons, etc… I responded with an explanation of why 11 is an unfathomable number of pads. I followed that up with a screenshot and a pithy poll. Raise your hand if you have ever needed more than 11 pads or tampons for a period. pic.twitter.com/fA38Oeq222 — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 #period #periods #livetweetyourperiod #feminism #reprohealth (please RT) During your period do/did you typically go through: — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 I thought the maximum number of votes would be about 20. As of this moment, there are 8,937 votes in that poll. My mentions have been filled with stories by people who have (or have had) periods of all sorts, whether they’re long, short, or regular in length; heavy, light, or medium in flow; or occur regularly or irregularly. I’ve learned about supportive friends, clueless relatives, and how many people are frustrated by how little they’ve been taught or that they know about their own bodies. I understand all of that because I’ve experienced some of it, and because I’ve seen others go through similar struggles. I’ve gone through moments where I was excited because so many people were sharing their stories1 to moments where I just wanted to throw my iPod at the wall because so many people were sharing their stories. I wanted them to feel free to share them. I love the joking. But I’m confused about how to deal with all of it. When people ask questions, I want to be able to answer them. When they say something funny, I want to be able to laugh with them. When I empathize with something they’ve been through, I want to express it. I’m worried that I’m being rude if I don’t respond. I’m also worried that all I will ever be talking about again is periods. I know it’s only been like 24 hours, and that this will die down. But this experience is just a bit mind-blowing. I worry that Mr. Steele, as annoying as I find him, will be harassed. I worry that there might be other repercussions, and I feel guilty about that. It’s a little weird when I wanted a boycott over his reaction to emotional abuse and bullying, but I don’t want him to have any personal suffering over this stuff.2 He seems like he would be the kind of guy who would laugh this sort of thing off, and maybe he will. Or maybe he’ll learn a little from it. I can hope that’s what will happen, but I will always worry about the possible negatives because that’s what I do. I worry that maybe his Christmas vacation will be spent trying to ruin my Christmas dullness. As I typed that paragraph, 34 notifications piled up on Twitter.3 This is new. This is different. This is weird. This is life with social media…and I really need to learn to stop doing my pithy polls. When Mara Wilson shared it, I fangirled out. Gayle Forman commenting about it made me fangirl a bit, too. I think I have all of her books. ↩What I truly want from both is for him to learn the facts and not promote ignorance. ↩Oy with the poodles already. ↩

Accidentally Popular




Last Monday, I moved my appointments with the hematologist up. The lab tests were done on Tuesday afternoon. My actual visit with the hematologist is tomorrow. Well, I assume it’s with him. It could be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. I’m actually worried now that I’m not really anemic. Sure, my skin is looking a bit more gray than it usually does, I’ve been covered up under a blanket on 80°F+ days, I crave protein like a person on a planet made of lettuce, and I get winded by just picking up a book,1 but I could just be crazy. I mean, we all know that I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. What if I’m just going further down the rabbit hole that is my brain? That could be all it is. But I know that this freaking out feeling that I have right now is the same sort of thing I always go through when I’m actually sick. I know that I have a tendency to worry about things that aren’t worth worrying about, but I’m also pretty damn certain that my anemia is something that is worth worrying about. And if I’m not in an anemic state, then I need to figure out why I’ve felt so shitty for so long. So if I’m not anemic,2 I need to know that. But I know that it is pretty unlikely that I’m not anemic right now. According to labs, my serum iron has headed downward at a steady rate. That rate was meant to hit the anemic stage in December, but I had two periods over the past several months that lasted at least 2 weeks and were extremely heavy. That would have sped it up slightly. Medically, the diagnosis is in the bag. Maybe I’m just worried that it’ll be low and I’ll have to get an infusion and those scare the shit out of me. Ugh. I try not to freak out like this, but I’m like sitting here shivering3 trying to convince myself that I’m either not nuts or totally nuts when it comes to this very issue. Sometimes I hate my brain and my body. It feels like they team up to make me miserable. And in the past 32 years, they have gotten quite good at accomplishing their goal. Photo credit: euthman via VisualHunt / CC BY No, really. ↩And I probably am. ↩It’s 76°F outside right now. ↩

What If I’m Just Nuts