Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Days 3 & 4:

First the story. It started to rain, as it often does in Portland, so I hurriedly went outside to pick the ripe tomatoes and jalapenos before they got doused. Inside, I happily (and obliviously) chopped jalapenos to freeze, making sure to remove the seeds. With my thumb. Did you know that jalapenos, such lovely mild little peppers, are not supposed to be chopped -- much less de-seeded -- with one's bare hands? Even if you wash them. Twice.

At first, I was fine. Then the area underneath my thumbnail began to burn. Then my face, where I had touched. Then my nose, where I had adjusted my piercing shortly after washing my hands. It took two hours of baking soda, ice, witch hazel, hand sanitizer, cold water, and much more for the burn to go away enough for me to think about other things. Toward the end of those two hours I realized that there was absolutely NO way I could empty my moon cup without gloves, which hadn't been emptied nearly all day, without possibly spreading the burn to some of my most sensitive parts.

But of course, there were no gloves to be found. Fortunately my housemate Elijah, who'd been watching this jalapeno-induced freak-out from the start, piped up with a brilliant idea: put condoms on your fingers! We have a lot of condoms in our house, thanks to a previous housemate whose sister worked for a community health organization. Less fortunately, the condoms were lubricated. I ended up managing to get the moon cup out but being completely unable to re-insert it without risking spreading the burn to my vulva. I used a cloth pad for the night and returned the moon cup the next morning.

  • The first day I wore the moon cup to work, I was pretty worried about leakage. However, the only leakage I've experienced was the first few hours after switching from cloth pad to moon cup. To make me feel safer about my first moon cup workday, I was wearing a cloth pantyliner which dealt with the minor leakage. Since then I've only used the moon cup and been fine.
  • In the mornings the moon cup is occasionally uncomfortable and I think I really need to figure out a) how to sit like a regular person and not contort myself into weird positions on the bus and b) whether I ought to cut the pull-tab. Other than the bus ride to work, I have hardly noticed the cup.
  • Being used to sea sponges, I started out emptying the cup every couple of hours and being surprised to see only about a teaspoonful of blood (the moon cup can hold a full ounce). Today I emptied it when I woke up (not much) and before I went home from work (maybe a tablespoon) and will probably do it once more before bed.
  • It's really, really nice to be able to empty the cup in a public restroom. Theoretically, I could also rinse my sea sponges in a public restroom, but it's a little less private. And, as excited as I am to talk about my menstrual cycle with most people, I don't think showing strangers my menstrual blood is really the way to go.
I just realized that I have left my acorn squash in the oven for far too long. More updates tomorrow.

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