Monthly Archives: August 2011

MENSTRUALITY!!

Menstrual soup, anyone?

Maid from Hell cooked soup for family using tea-bag filled with monthly discharge
         STOMPer Ynez shares her horrible experience with this Indonesian maid that apparently collected her menstrual blood in a tea-bag and used it to cook soup for the family.
The STOMPer recounted:

“I want to warn the public that this maid is very dangerous.

“She collected her menstrual blood on facial cotton pads and secretly put them into a disposable tea bag to cook soup for our family! 

“We cannot let this evil person do this type of black magic to anyone anymore.

“So please pass her picture around. She is from West Java, Bogor.

“Of all the 5 pictures I have posted, the ones taken indoors are all taken at my grandma’s place when she was ‘alone’ at home with my grandma.

“Could she had taken the pictures herself?

“I have also started a Facebook group about employers who have had domestic maids who did nasty and evil deeds to them, to warn the public and also to let the public know that the maids are not always the victims.

“Many a time, the employers are also abused!

“If you have stories of dangerous maids, please share with all by posting here.”

These are some comments on the Facebook group regarding this incident:

“She is so…Yucks…

“OMG…The maid is so evil…

“You may want to search for groups in Indonesia and paste the same info there.”

In a separate case, a maid was recently charged for mischief. The 23-year-old Indonesian mixed her urine with the drinking water of her employer and her family.

 

 

(Original post here.)

Thunderstorm/Tornado Warning for Ontario – August 24, 2011

RED ALERTS
August 24, 2011 9:53 PM
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO HAS ISSUED A “RED ALERT”

DUE TO A TORNADO WARNING IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO

Emergency Situation: Environment Canada has issued a Tornado Warning in an area described as:
  • RODNEY – SHEDDEN – WESTERN ELGIN COUNTY – ST. THOMAS – AYLMER – EASTERN ELGIN COUNTY – CITY OF HAMILTON – BURLINGTON – OAKVILLE – HALTON HILLS – MILTON – MISSISSAUGA – BRAMPTON
  • WOODSTOCK – TILLSONBURG – OXFORD COUNTYBRANTFORD – COUNTY OF BRANT
  • SARNIA – PETROLIA – WESTERN LAMBTON COUNTY
  • MOUNT FOREST – ARTHUR – NORTHERN WELLINGTON COUNTY – HANOVER – DUNDALK – SOUTHERN GREY COUNTY
  • STRATHROY- KOMOKA WESTERN MIDDLESEX COUNTY  LONDON – PARKHILL – EASTERN MIDDLESEX COUNTY
  • LISTOWEL – MILVERTON – NORTHERN PERTH COUNTY.
  • WATFORD – PINERY PARK – EASTERN LAMBTON COUNTY WINGHAM – BLYTH – NORTHERN HURON COUNTY SAUGEEN SHORES – KINCARDINE – SOUTHERN BRUCE COUNTY
Recommended Actions: Emergency Management Ontario recommends that persons in the area described above IMMEDIATELY shelter. Everyone in this area should immediately move indoors, and away from doors and windows, preferably into a basement area if that is possible. Do not pick up family members from schools, daycares and institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. Plans are in place to protect them. People currently outside this area are advised not to enter this area until further notice. If it is safe to do so, pets and livestock should be removed quickly from outside.
Do not call 911 for information about this emergency.

Information is quoted from: http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/home.html

Swimming/Water Activities on Your Period

Menstruating and swimming tends to be one of those inquisitive topics that I get from some of my male readers. I suppose given that many men are oblivious to the differences of a “pad” and a “tampon” – it would not be a surprize to have them ponder how exactly does a woman on her period, swim (or maybe I should say, swim without menstruating everywhere)? Indeed, when it comes to a girl’s period and swimming, almost one exclusive thing comes to mind – a tampon. Nevertheless, there are other options and maybe this will give both boys and girls, a different way to look at water-activities during a period.

I think it goes without saying, that using a pad while fully submersed underwater isn’t going to be a very reliable form of protection. That’s not to say it will be “useless” – but it won’t work the way it was intended to work. Because a pad is like a sponge, it will absorb any liquid, including the water – whether it be in a pool or open-waters. If you’re planning to have your lower-body fully submerged in water at any time during your water activities, I would highly suggest an internal form of protection, such as a menstrual sponge, cup or tampon.

Now of course, if your water activities do not involve lower-body submersion, it’s quite possible to use a pad for your menstrual protection needs. For those who wear a swimsuit, you can optionally wear underwear or an underwear-like article underneath your suit (i.e underneath your bikini bottoms or swim-shorts) to secure your pad onto and of course, you’d want to choose a colour which wouldn’t show through your outer-material. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but some might consider it a bit of fashion faux pas. Because a swimsuit tends to be a closer fit to the body, you may want to use thin pads to avoid any bulging unless that is not a concern for you. Depending on how revealing your crotch-area is on your particular swimsuit, it may also be good to avoid winged pads. My own personal thought before talking to a few of my friends is that when I think of  “beach” and “period” – it automatically makes me assume a tampon is involved. However, in places like Japan or even most Asian territories – because tampons aren’t the ‘common’ method of menstrual protection – many girls learn to make do with pads and modifying their water activities. It is quite common for a girl to wear a pad under a swimsuit and just make sure she wades thigh-deep into water at most, to prevent the pad from properly absorbing her menstrual flow rather than water. The more common alternative then, would just be to skip the swimsuit, stay in some shorts and wear your pads as per normal.

I know there’s a lot of talk about whether your period “stops” or not in the water. While I understand the concept of water pressure in play here, your period does not stop in the water and just to make my point firmer, your period (a biological function) doesn’t “cease” just because you are in water. Do you stop feeling the need to go pee or poop on a full bladder when you’re in the water? No – so neither does your period. Some people who think their period stops might either have a light enough period where the blood might not necessarily show or that there’s enough water/polluted colour not to notice (such as in open-waters). A girl with a heavy-flow and not using proper protection will likely not last long in a swimming pool before someone begins to notice. Mind you, you could always “free bleed” in open-waters and people may not notice, but it really has to do with your own conscience and whether you feel it’s hygienically correct for your menstrual flow to be floating around in water that everyone else is enjoying themselves in. If you’re in your own pool, then hell, do whatever you feel like. I should make mention that conventional pad materials aren’t very friendly with drainage systems, so using a pad in the water and allowing it to “fall apart” might cause issues in common pool drain/water systems.

I know that when it comes to swimming (full-body submersion) that it really is a pain-point for girls who don’t use internal protection. One of my girls was an avid swimmer and was pursuing her lifeguard certificate. However, in her mid-teenage years, she reached menarche and at the time she didn’t use tampons, she gave up much of her training and potential career/certification due to her period being an impediment in her being able to attend courses and required training. Pads are still a very large part of Asia and Asian culture, so it’s not unusual for an Asian girl to decline water activities when she’s on her period or will only do some knee-deep wading and water-splashing. Even if they don’t want to use tampons (fully in their rights), I give them extra kudos for being a good sport and still attending beach/water-related outings. Many girls have also found interesting way of using pads and actually submerging their lower body in the water, so you can always try. However, there are always potentially embarrassing consequences when your pad gives out and everything that was “locked” comes leaking out or when your pad fully soaks up water instead of your flow and your period & clots just leave a trail on the water surface.

On an anecdotal note, I have swam with a friend who’s period started unexpectedly while she was racing me and I can verify the whole concept of whether the water pressure is enough to keep the flow in the vagina – it doesn’t. Your period was meant to be expelled from the vagina and while underwater, gravity still exists. I know it can be quite hard for a girl who really wants to attend submersion water activities and having her period, this is just one of those instances where I have to say, “suck it up buttercup” because there’s not many options when it comes to dealing with an active flow while under water without some kind of surgical assistance or internal menstrual protection. Anyone who’s read this blog for a while will know I’m not a big fan of tampons, but sure enough, tampons were invented for a reason and one of them, being a great form of menstrual protection for water-sports! If you’re lucky enough to own your own pool facilities, I suppose you could freely bleed in it – although I’m not sure if it’d be that easy to be swimming with others with that happening.

So to shorten the entire post down, how to deal with swimming and your period?

  • Use an internal form of protection (tampons, sea sponges, cups, etc.)
  • Don’t swim
  • Swim without protection (not recommend for public areas)

In closing, I’d like to add that swimming is a great activity to carry out while on your period if you can do it. Exercise is essential to maintaining good health, but also has great effects on alleviating period-related pains such as cramps or discomfort. If you’re not under so much pain that you’re ready to keel over, then some moderate exercise during your period will get your mind away from the pain, help you get your body in shape and not coop yourself up in the house!

A real man?

A real man

LOL, some random image I found here. Clickity-click.

Rarity: Women Who Love Their Period?

Having spoken to many women before, I have to admit that it is a rarity to hear them say that they actually enjoy having their period. Certainly, women do have their fair share of inconveniences and pains, so I’m not surprized that some, if any, would be excited over their monthly visitor. There are of course those very lucky women who have little discomfort or inconvenience when they get their periods. For instance, one of my god-sis is quite fortunate to be one of them, with a very light menstrual flow and a short period, usually only 2-3 days per cycle. Her pad and tampon consumption is very low and her period has never once debilitated her enough from carrying on her normal lifestyle. There is beauty in menstruation, because not only does it signify the beauty of the female body maturing, but also giving ladies the responsibility of taking care of your personal hygiene by bringing the proper amount of product(s) with you! Maybe that’s why, women are much better at taking care of their bodies (and even in general) than men are capable of 😛

There are however, women who I spoken to who suffer from PCOS, period-related anemia and even sometimes just bad cramps/heavy flow that it severely disrupts their lifestyle, preventing them from attending class, going to work or even something as simple as going out for a walk. One experience I had personally was that one of my ex’s had such a bad period that she didn’t even want to go to the mall with me, in fears that she would need to change her feminine hygiene product urgently that she didn’t even want to endure the car ride or the possibility of not being close enough to a washroom and prevent a leak. Just like anything in life, there will always be women on either ends of extremes. I’m glad my bebe has a fairly normal menstrual experience, although it’s a bit longer than I would usually expect, as usually her cycle is into the 40-ish day ranges.

To put it into words, women have just learned to cope with their periods, but not necessarily embrace it. I cannot say I even know half of the feeling of what women go through during their periods and nor am I a psychologist, so I cannot say how easy/hard it would be to truly ‘love’ ones period. As a period-lover, I also can’t imagine not loving periods, despite the pains involved, so I may not be the person who can accurate describe how to help others change their mentality towards their own (or other females) period. Suffice to say, with women commonly in the workforce, many of them are forced to cope with their period at work, even if they may be highly affected by discomfort, pain or hygienic inconveniences. I wish from the bottom of my heart that every woman can have a pleasant and comfortable period, but unfortunately that dream for me is unlikely to come true. I know girls who have passed out from the pain of their period or have to use both an overnight pad and ultra tampon just to avoid leakage.

A few of my girls do enjoy their period, but not so much the menstruating factor, but more of the fact it gives them an opportunity to test new products, including ones which I suggest or recommend. I’ve had a few female readers send me complimenting emails on how they look forward to their period because they have been inspired to try new products every period as a result of reading my blog. One of my regular reader also tells me she looks forward to her period every month as she enjoys trying a variety of pads and tampons. Both of us amusingly, stock up excessively on the number of products, haha. We both wish there was a way to quickly go through all the products, that way, we can move on and try something new!

This blog exists not only to encourage men to learn and embrace menstruation, but also in hopes that the ladies will enjoy having their period and see it as an opportunity each time it comes along. I understand it’s hard for those who suffer from menstruation or menstrual-related disorders to view their period in the same way, but we can only make the best of each period! I know I’ve accomplished quite a bit with this blog and continue to hope I can touch the lives of my readers, because I’ve receive much positive feedback on how the blog has allowed them to view menstruation from a whole other angle. Persuasion is indeed a hard thing, particularly because it’s hard for me to put myself in place of a female who has experienced what periods feel like, including the “negativity” that surrounds periods. I had a lengthy discussion with a friend the other day about her period and it was tough for me to try to convince her that her period is a great part of her life. Unfortunately she suffers from some pretty wacky stuff with her period, so it’s hard for me to persuade her to enjoy her period in any way. On the bright side, I’ve got her to try a new product that she never tried before, so I’m trying to open up the doors for her to feel more comfortable with her period and get something positive out of it.

Do you or do you know women in your life who enjoy their period or perhaps even learned to love it?

Bubzbeauty – T.O.M (Time of Month) Girl Talk Video

When I saw this video posted up by Bubzbeauty on my Facebook, I almost fell off my chair. Never did I think that such a public and world-wide figure would ever post something like this: a topic of much taboo and ‘shame’ – particularly in Asian culture. The most I could do was write a heartfelt comment on the Youtube video about how great it is to see someone who, under the eyes of so many, would “dare” speak about periods and menstruation so openly. I’ve always loved Bubbi because of how genuine she is, but seeing something like this makes me feel that she’s a hero to many, including myself!

Just sharing what I found on Facebook…

Menstrual blood art

Yes, this drum was painted with my Moon Blood.
Our moon blood is sacred substance. It starts as life-giving tissue that lines up our wombs monthly, in preparation for new life. If no life is conceived, the lining is shed as our menstrual flow. The tissue that would have nourished new life now flows from within us. We can choose to trash or honor it.For many years I have been collecting my moon blood by soaking menstrual cloth pads in water, and feeding my plants with this rich, nourishing soup. The house plants were ecstatic! They shot up as if fed by magic (which they were!) and looked happier than ever before (not to mention the environment, that is given a break each time a woman chooses to stop using disposable menstrual products). Recently, I have discovered the Moon Cup: a little goblet made of latex-free rubber. It is inserted like a diaphragm, and collects our Moon Flow at source.

I was led to a new level of connection with my blood.
Pouring the deep crimson liquid from the moon cup into a bowl allowed me to see my blood for the first time in its raw form. I have collected 4 days worth of flow into the bowl (no, it doesn’t smell. The odor you may be familiar with comes from the interaction between your blood and the chemicals used in commercial “feminine hygiene” products.) Later that night I took my Moon Blood bowl and my drum, and went to sit by the fire place.

The long gaze into the flames moved me to an altered state, and I dipped my hands into the bowl. With no fixed idea in my mind, I let my fingers chase each other in the rich broth, lifting them occasionally to see red ruby droplets fall back into the bowl. I was fascinated. My hands felt like fish gliding in smooth waters, and my eyes feasted on the beauty and depth of the burgundy blood. After a while I was ready to touch my hands to the drum.

I reached one hand and let it play on the drum’s surface. My other hand immediately wanted to follow. I watched as they chased each other in spiraling rounds, creating vortexes and whirlpools, letting them smear and allow fresh ones to emerge. I was in kindergarten once again. The pure joy of playing with color overcame me, and for a while I had no attachment to an end result.

Then a pattern started to emerge. The spiral that sprang from the center felt like “the one.” My left hand made a print below it. I liked the idea of it being an impression of my heart-hand, and proceeded to leave a left-hand imprint in each of the four directions. I stood up to look at it and my mind shifted to “art critic” mode. It took a minute to switch off, and to realize I was actually sorry to be done, since this meant the fun was over… Well, at least until my next cycle.

I washed my hands and saw the blood interact with water. It thinned, turned pink, and disappeared down the drain. I was sad to let it go, and wondered what else could I create when my Moon Flow returns. The possibilities, of course, are endless…

Is this art? My Moon Time drum is sacred to me. It is not displayed as art, for it is meant to be used ceremonially. The power that emanates from it feels like it needs a container, and I keep the drum covered when it is not in use. I have since painted with my Moon Blood on paper and recycled it. That month I wanted to keep the experience of painting as the only essence, and let go of the end product.

I hope you are inspired to try… Yes, years of societal taboos may spring to mind, disguised as resistance, aversion, or judgments. Listen to them. Then inquire within: whose voices are talking to you? Can you find your authentic voice among all others? If not, where is it? Relax into a comfortable position, dive deep into your wellspring, and let your deepest guidance speak. That is the most worthy voice…

Posted by DeAnna L’am at 2/24/2008
(View the original post here.)

Periods, Short Airplane Trips & Long-Haul Flights

Being the thrilled blog owner of MiM, I get the joy of receiving many quote-on-quote, “embarrassing” emails from readers and contributors alike with their own experiences of menstruation, particularly events which often trigger question marks. One of the ‘events’ that have been brought up on several occasions involved girls who have questioned me about how they should deal with their periods when flying. Now I have to say, it’s a great honour for me to receive questions from females, because it shows that I am at least, a trusted source of information regardless of my gender and “lack of realistic experience of menstruation”. I’ve flown a lot throughout my life, both short-haul and long-haul trips and you can’t imagine how many times I have thought about the pains of how menstruating women have to deal with the extra “responsibility” of dealing with their periods while on a flight – passengers and flight-crew included. I’m sure a few of the period-loving guys who read my site would smile at the thought of a cute menstruating flight-attendant!

Menstruation, being on up in the air or on the ground should be handled in pretty much the same way. After all, there hasn’t been a commercial aircraft I’ve been that didn’t have bathroom facilities, therefore, you one can change their feminine hygiene product within a private space. Planes, while with much credit to those who clean them, are often filthy with germs so you should take even MORE care when it comes to personal hygiene, i.e. washing your hands thoroughly before touching sensitive areas of your body or handling any feminine hygiene products. To avoid a bathroom faux pas, ensure that as your enter the facility that you lock the door behind you. Most aircraft toilets are equipped to be quite obvious when the door is unlocked/locked, because when it’s locked properly, it is displayed on the sliding switch and the lights will be brighter than usual. Granted I will admit that unless you are in Business or First Class, your bathrooms are quite cramped, but it is more than sufficient space for most people to maneuver and change supplies. There is usually enough space for even someone to put one foot up on the toilet, spread, to insert a tampon , cup or sponge for those who prefer this position. Like any public facility, please do take extra care to dispose used products properly (in the bins, don’t flush) and clean up after yourself. While I personally won’t faint or puke at the sight of menstrual fluid or a half-open, hanging-from-the-bin pad – I’m not sure there are that many people who would appreciate such a sight.

I would say it’s always prudent to keep some feminine hygiene supplies in a carry-on throughout your flight, whether you think you will be getting your period or not (well, unless you’ve gone through menopause I guess), because shit happens right? If you know you are due for your period (or even started), then obviously the decision should come even easier. When planning for the number of supplies to keep handy, think about the time you will be on the flight and figure out the number of them you will go through in that period of time – try to account for your heaviest flow. Do remember that depending on the number of passengers and the frequency that they use the bathroom, it may not always be available to you on-demand. Don’t wait until one of those last-minute-about-to-leak times before deciding to change up. Also, expect that lineups at the bathrooms usually occur when: the plane has just stabilized and the seat-belt light goes off, before/after meals and right before landings. Working around those times will usually help you get into the facility quicker. If your period has already started, try going to the bathroom and changing before boarding. You can also do so before lift-off, but it’s usually frowned upon to clog up the aisles as people are coming aboard. If you “expect your period any time” you can also likewise put on a pantiliner or smaller pad ahead of time (or a reusable product of your choice). Remember that tampons should not be used prior to menstruation, despite the convenience and comfort.

Every woman’s body is different, so while I will say that for most women, their menstrual activities aren’t affected, there are also some women who experience heavier-than-usual flows when flying. However, some of these cases don’t necessarily have to do with “the period itself”  – but that stress and anxiety may also cause changes in flow amounts. First time flyers, especially when it coincides with menstruating days can make the thought of flying stressful. Let loose, because stressing over the crimson tide will only make the matter worse! After all, think about female astronauts being in space, void of gravity and even they menstruate properly, so that should bring relief as to how much effect flying above the clouds will have on menstruation. Alternatively, there are pills that can delay or eliminate menstrual bleeding for the month, but in my opinion, it’s not the greatest choice because I really dislike messing with the body like that. If you’re the type that have heavy flow and really don’t want to deal with having to change and such, you can always use adult diapers (or if you’re the small girl, just baby diapers) that will probably absorb your entire trip worth of flow, if that’s something you’re comfortable with doing. Look on the bright side, you can even relieve yourself of urine and feces without getting up. I’m not sure how safe it is from a smell-standpoint though.

Now, fear not for the women who prefer not to carry any supplies with them or got surprized by their periods! Most plane bathrooms will usually have a stock of sanitary napkins in one of the bins or containers (See picture). Unless you’re one of those unlucky ones who get into a lavatory where some ladies needing the same products beat you to it, they are usually readily available. Suffice to say, the choice of products usually aren’t the greatest (only seen one airline that offered tampons as well) brands or sizes, but they will have to suffice until you get your hands on some better stuff yourself. However, now that I say that, I fly with Cathay Pacific a lot and I find that their choices of pads are quite exceptional, in fact, my most recent long-haul trip they had Kotex Whites (Hong Kong brand name) offered in the sanitary bin. As much as I was tempted to take one as a souvenir, I did also respect the fact that there might be a lady who needed this much more than I did, so I let it be. Worse-case scenario is that if they aren’t available, then you can always page a flight-attendant who can assist you with stocking it up. As much as a commotion that may make, it’s a better alternative than leaking at your seat and having to SIT in it for hours to come. You could always make the lovely toilet-paper pad to hold you up as well and inform a flight-attendant discretely and return to the washroom later to change into a proper product.

For those who are super-super cautious of leakage chances, you can wear disposable underwear (yes, they really do have them) or Lunapanties (I love them, despite not owning a pair, lol – It’s a great concept) to curb the fear. Just like ANY time on your period, being on a plane should be no different and making your period as comfortable as it can be! Heck, why not even consider Lunapanties with their inserts as a complete replacement for your period-traveling needs?! For the guys, if you really see a woman who seems to be in desperate need to get ahead of the line, do show a bit of sympathy by letting her take care of her business. Now of course, if you REALLY have to go, then take care of yourself as well first but try to speed it up a bit! I’m not sure if I’m just extra lucky, but there hasn’t been a flight I’ve been on where I had to stand in line for an extremely long time and there were probably at most, 3 people ahead of me. If you’re flying short-haul distance or flights that have stops, you can always disembark the plane (if permitted) to freshen up, including a more spacious area for you to change your products (or even buy some if you prefer certain brands/types).

Now we come down to the girls who are self-conscious about changing their products, especially disposable ones in the plane bathrooms. First of all, if you’ve never been on a plane, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot of “background noise” and even more-so when you’re inside the bathroom. Bathrooms are usually located at the front, mid-sections and end, where it is usually noisier due to engines, turbines and other mechanical things (I’m not a plane engineer, lol). Also, in each of these washroom sections, you can expect there to be the galley, therefore providing more “cover noise.” Rest assured, the likelihood of someone standing directly outside of the bathroom won’t hear your pad or tampon wrapper noise because there’s so many other distracting noises around them. For the extra shy, you can even flush the toilet and for your information, most toilet flushes on the plane are super noisy, enough to mask out a murder scream. Although the doors on the bathrooms are usually not thick, but I’m sure they have some kind of noise-proof material built within them, so the privacy  you’d get in a plane bathroom may even be better than the stalls in a mall.

Just like how many girls take their bags to the washroom, period or not, you can always do the same when you’re on a plane – people don’t think much of it. Being on a plane doesn’t mean you have to act differently or treat your period as if it has suddenly become a monster. Your period should be handled in a similar fashion – with the goals of being comfortable, protected and hygienic! You should also not take risks that you might normally do, such as waiting last minute to change (due to lineups) and that your repercussions of leaking on a plane might be more devastating than when you’re on land. I have read about women who have been so stressed out about flying that they have super heavy flows, so I would really recommend having some of the heaviest absorbency pads/tampons handy, even if you normally have lighter flows. If you’re the parent, guardian or even a younger female yourself who has not reached menarche or who has not achieved a regular menstrual cycle, then being prepared will give you that extra peace of mind, for yourself or on behalf of another female party. Checking frequently is also an option if you’re already on your period and really want to keep an eye on your flow. With so many people on the plane, most people don’t even look up to see if it’s the same person going to the bathroom all the time. With most large aircrafts, there are usually an assortment of 3-4 bathrooms per section (different classes), so if you vary between them, other passengers will be none-the-wiser.

If you’re flying for the first time, all I have to say is that you’re much safer in the air, than on the road. Also, flying is a wonderful experience, that not everyone gets to feel for themselves. Consider yourself lucky, enjoy your flight and better yet, enjoy your trip. Just as I always say, love your period, even if it comes on  your vacation because you can make the best of it!

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