Stress is a funny thing. Half the time I have no idea how stressed I actually am because I try not to pay attention to such minor details. I lecture my clients about it all the time but when it comes to myself, um...let's just say I suck at taking my own brilliant advice.
I have a lot of things going on and work is something I've learned that cycles from slow and quiet to Crisis Town. It only really takes one client in crisis to turn things on their head because I am the kind of person who can't do things half-assed. I make myself available to the client and their family as much as possible, I will even leave the comfy confines of my office and attend school meetings to determine what accommodations need to be put into place so the kid has a fair shot at graduating before they're thirty. I recently went to a doctor's appointment with a client to ensure the doctor really had the full story and took things as seriously as I needed her to.
So these things, they may seem small, but in my profession they fly in the face of traditional psychotherapy. Nonetheless, I do them because they are important and my bottom line is that I give good service and nobody is going to fall through the cracks. Not on my watch.
However, there is a cost to me for this level of care. It takes a lot of time and energy and I still have a full case load to take care of so my brain is often working on several projects at once. You would think I'd be used to this by now. Alas, that is not the case. I still let stress get to me and it can absolutely cause me to forget things and make mistakes. Inevitably, that ends up with me being upset or frustrated.
Or, in this case, kind of embarrassed but mostly amused. This story is about to get real folks and if you don't handle blunt talk of lady business items I strongly suggest you get the hell out of here for the next paragraph or so.
You have been warned.
In the midst of clients being in crisis (crisis meaning: suicidal, self-harming, or using) I found myself blessed with a visit from the Uterus Fairy. No big deal, I'm 34-years old. Nothing about this is new to me. I've had my period since I was 12. Let's be real, it's not rocket science.
Yet...With my brain full of To Do lists and phone calls and treatment planning, crisis management and client support...things can fall through the cracks. Personal things like returning calls to friends and putting the clothes in the dryer within 24 hours of washing them. And when Mother Nature throws her hat in the ring, a lot can happen. Sometimes...we can forget things or get confused about if I did or did not do something. Or, in this case, if I did or did not remove something.
Yes folks. Tampon Gate 2012 just got real.
Credit Image: Amy McTigue via FlickrAt some point over the weekend I was frantically trying to get out the door and running late and Shamus kept trying to chew my underwear while I was atop the throne attending to lady issues and...something got lost in the shuffle. I could have sworn I put one in there. I am a fan of full and tidy protection during that special time of the month. Constant vigilance! (Yes - a Harry Potter reference. Don't judge me.)
So when I went to remove said tampon, there was nothing there. I proceeded to give myself as thorough an examination as humanly possible which, frankly, was not a picnic. I've had the Nuva Ring before, I know how about spelunking a la vajayjay.
Naturally, I assumed I was going to develop Toxic Shock Syndrome and die an embarrassing and painful death. I gave it some time. I thought gravity would kick in. I jumped a lot and did several series of squats and stretches but to no avail. I took a yoga class. Nothing. After a couple of days I couldn't take it anymore. I sucked it up and called my doctor even though I don't currently have health insurance. I was able to get an appointment quickly and this morning headed out bright and early to hop into the old stirrups.
I don't know what's worse really, the embarrassment of having to explain my predicament or subjecting myself to the speculum. It's a tough call. The doctor was awesome though and insisted these things happen all the time. I find that hard to believe but I'm choosing to run with it because being the only idiot who's found herself in that situation is far too mortifying.
In what can only be called Erin's Law, as it turns out, there was nothing there.
The doctor and I had a good laugh about that one.
She had an even better laugh as I forgot my jacket in the exam room and had to go back and get it.
"Never trust my memory!" I sang out as she giggled. I'm glad I could give her a smile. I'm sure looking at lady bits all day must get a little boring after a while. It's not like they do tricks or anything.
And just in case you're wondering what it cost me, an uninsured regular person going to a large, busy medical office I have to say, I will never leave my doctor's office. They are awesome.
Breakdown: Cost of Tampons: $9.99
Cost of Tampon check at gynecologist: $66.40
Knowing I won't be on the news for dying of Toxic Shock Syndrome: Priceless.
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