A continuation of Part I: Snow Misadventures: The Lost Tampon
Once again, a reminder: I am Accident Prone
And, again, a forewarning. This post really IS TMI in nature and you are easily grossed out or offended, you might not want to read this one.
It was close to 1 a.m. when we found the place he wanted to go to. My stomach was feeling kind of weird by the time we got there, so I decided to let him do this one by himself while I stayed in the car (that was still on, so I’d stay warm) and waited for him. He got his gear and disappeared into the dark and I sat there, watching YouTube, reading Facebook, reading books on my phone, playing poker, doing the shit I do to keep myself amused. An hour passed. He wasn’t back. And that little stomach twinge? That was quickly turning into a situation. I had had to pee for a while… but now it looked like a shitstorm was coming, and if he didn’t get back so that I could find a bathroom, his car was going to smell like an outhouse.
I called his phone. The cold makes his phone battery die. He didn’t answer. I dialed it again for good measure. No answer. Fuck.
I tried to honk the horn, but couldn’t find the sweet spot on the steering wheel that would make it work. Also, being a highly paranoid individual, I didn’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention, so I may not have tried all that hard.
I opened the car door, got out, and yelled for him. Like for a good five or six minutes. I didn’t walk very far because the car was running and it would be just my luck that I’d come back and it would be gone and I’d be stranded there, with my coat on, a shitstorm brewing in my pants, with my one source of heat (not to mention all of his expensive equipment) gone into the night.
No answer. No camera flash (which is how I usually find him when we’re in a crowd and we get separated). Nothing.
He had parked next to a building that had bathrooms, but at this hour I wasn’t even sure they’d open (though I could see light peeking out from underneath the men’s restroom door), and walking much further would mean that I’d be in trouble. I decided I could maybe hold it a little longer and decided to get back into the car and pray he was done out there… but then my stomach lurched and I realized that waiting was not going to be possible.
I debated on what to do, since I didn’t want to leave the car running and unattended. But I didn’t know where he was. I certainly could not walk around trying to find him. That bathroom was the only place I had that I might (MIGHT) be able to go, and if I could not go there, I’d simply have to dig a hole in the snow and hope to god that someone mistook my pile of shit for a pile of dog shit that didn’t get scooped up.
I got out of the car again and yelled for him as loudly as I could. Desperately. I looked around for the flash of a camera, a flashlight, anything. ANYTHING. I saw nothing. I looked at the bathroom door and decided to shut the car door behind me, make a run for it, and be as quick about my business as possible (if I could even get in there). Now, realize, there is almost a foot of snow on the ground and under it is ice. I’m prairie dogging it at this point and I knew that if I slipped and fell I’d experience an explosion in my pants to end all explosions. But I ran anyway. Because like it or not, it was coming.
I made it to the door (meaning I ran, praying I didn’t slip on the sheet of ice underneath the snow), and found it unlocked. Inside, I found a stall, didn’t bother to shut the door, and barely got my pants down and sat on the seat in time. And by barely, I mean that while I had, in fact, shit my pants (my underwear and first layer of leggings were coated in it), the majority of it made it into the toilet.
And once it was over, I knew I had to clean up quickly. His car was out there, running, and unattended. Like, there was no recovery time. I cleaned up as best as I could (which meant I wiped the residue off my ass, scraped the underwear and leggings clean as thoroughly as possible – which wasn’t an easy task, either), flushed and washed my hands, then went back out and hoped that I’d find the car where I’d left it.
For a second I could not see the car at all. Because, snow or no snow, it was darker outside than it had been in that bathroom. Not gonna lie. I had a minor panic attack. Because the car was our only means of transportation (and all of his gear was in it). I did not know where he was. His phone was dead. My gloves had been in that car. And all I had on me was my purse and a nearly-dead phone.
I forced myself to slow down, stop panicking, and breathe (because if push came to shove, I could always go back into the bathroom, which was heated, and call someone from there – that didn’t solve the problem that I couldn’t find him, but at least I could report the stolen vehicle). But, thankfully, once my eyes adjusted, I found it and, relieved, went back there.
But I still needed to clean up better than I had. I needed to find a way either to clean this shit off the inside of my pants or remove them. I needed to change my tampon again. In essence, I needed to ensure that I wasn’t going to sit in my own shit all night. Because, again, I’m accident prone. I’m susceptible to UTIs. Bacteria anywhere near my urethra is NOT a joke. I started calling for him again.
This time he heard me. And he came to me. And stayed close enough to the car so that I had time to go back in the bathroom and properly clean up. Having no other options but to remove my underwear, I stripped completely from the waist down in the bathroom and removed my panties from my layers of clothes so I didn’t have to spend more time than necessary sitting in a pile of my own shit. I didn’t have any spare leggings, and it was cold out there, so the ones I was wearing would have to do.
I didn’t have any backup tampons, so I had to deal with the one I had (not sanitary, especially with the string dragging in the remnants still on my leggings, but if we left soon, I thought I’d be okay). I put the three layers of pants back on, stuffed the underwear in a pocket in my purse, and washed my hands again.
We left shortly after… me with relief, him with reluctance. We ran into a patch of fog on the way out that he simply had to photograph. I begged him to let it go. I mean, I was freezing. We’d been out all night. And while I am not a complainer, that night, I’d had a little more than I could take. But he stopped anyway and got out of the car, this time leaving the window open.
So again, I sat in the car, this time panty-less, and pissed off because nothing is worse than having to worry about sitting in your own shit and contaminating your lady parts and urethra with E coli, and freezing because Ormsby had forgotten and left the window open and the heat on (but I didn’t realize the window was open… I just thought his heat wasn’t working for some reason. Granted, I didn’t tell him that I’d shit my pants. He knew I’d had an issue, but I didn’t tell him how BAD the issue was because, like the tampon thing, you’d think at 32, you’d be pretty adept at dealing with these things by now – and also, I’d already lost my dignity. Admitting to the loss of my dignity would have added insult to injury. Another forty-five minutes later, he returned to the car and finally, finally, we were on the way home.
Now, all that said, once we got home, I cleaned up and went to bed. I couldn’t share his enthusiasm for the photos this time because it’s hard to trump the trauma of a lost tampon and shitting your pants and it had been a rough thirty-six hours or so for me.
But seriously, I’ve come to the realization that I need to do SOMETHING different about period management. I hate pads. They’re like wearing diapers. Tampons can (obviously) get stuck up there too easily (and then I have to go find someone to either fish them out or tell me I’m being paranoid)… not to mention the string that perpetually hangs down that can get shat on, pissed on, soiled, pushed up into my vagina or frayed before I’m ready to use it for removal. There has to be something better.
I’ve stumbled onto something called a Diva Cup and it’s designed to collect the blood before it ever exits my vagina so that I can dump it, clean it, and reinsert it. When I first heard about these, I thought they sounded gross. But I’m starting to feel differently now (desperation and bad experiences can do that to me). And with a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Amazon, 1400 reviewers can’t be wrong.
So I’m ordering one. Because with this? There’s no string (so even if I do shit myself again (hopefully that won’t happen), the bacteria being soaked up into something that is literally a centimeter from my urethra won’t be a problem. I won’t have to worry about losing it. There’s no risk of TSS. And I’ll save money in the long run because this thing is washable and reusable.
Maybe it’ll work. Maybe it won’t. I’ll report back once I’ve given it a fair chance.
And in the meantime, I’m buying a camping toilet for those long nights when I’m stuck on a hill, in the snow, bare-assed, and worried that someone is going to steal my only means of transportation.