Monday, May 3

A Shocking Self Expose- like ants at a picnic

After 20 years of living in secret shame, I have decided that today is the day I am breaking the silence. What you are about to read is one of the most shockingly honest and brutal posts you will ever read from me. And researching this particular topic, there are no records anywhere. This has NEVER been the topic of even the juiciest girlie conversations. Instead, women have been living in secret shame with this ailment.

And I am determined to speak up about it.

I’m sure you are all waiting with baited breath to know what this topic is. But first, to set it up properly, I need to tell you about my dream last night. Trust me, I need to ease into this one.

Gotta work up my own courage.

I was at a picnic on a beautiful plot of land in Ireland. Matt and I were sitting on the quintessential checkerboard red and white picnic blanket, and we were eating what could only be described as a “French Feast”- wine, cheese, fruit, and proper baguettes. Like all good dreamy picnics, there was romance in the air. Until I felt the ants.

Funny thing was, the ants weren’t crawling just anywhere. Nope, there were only crawling down the crack of my rear. Not the blanket, not on the food, just marching up and down the hills of my rumpus. And in my dream, I scratched and scratched to make them go away. As the picnic there on that green Irish hill pressed on, I did my best to rid myself of the little boogers.

Finally, the alarm went off, and I woke up.


Period Fingers.

(I told you this was shocking.)

It looked as if my finger had spent the entire night participating in Fight Club- it was crusty and yucky with dried mess that does not just wash off with soap and water. No ma’am, you have to take a toothbrush to the corners of your fingernails, entirely cut away the cuticle, and then soak your finger in peroxide to remove the remains of your problem.
Period fingers are an epidemic.

And to my knowledge, I have never heard another woman discuss, address, or even ADMIT that it happens to her.

But after 20 years of waking up with it- sometimes on my left hand, sometimes on my right, never more than 2 fingers at a time- I figure this is kinda like belly button hair.

SURELY I am not the only one out there who deals with this.

In my quest to talk about all things women contend with in secret, bringing unity to women everywhere, I feel that this is a momentous day for all of us. To bring such a secret topic to the light, and face it together.

I will be the first to admit that I love a good French manicure. But when it’s time for Mother Nature, I grab the closest bottle of dark nail polish I can find knowing full well that period fingers is going to occur. I still wash and scrub my hands, but for some reason, the “product” of that time of the month seems to stain only things I don’t want it too. Like my mattress, or the one pair of white cotton unders I own that are not previously stained. (And let’s face it. Nothing will bring a period faster than a brand new pair of drawers.) And for some reason, the light pretty colors of nail polish I like seem to turn a little yellow after an episode of period fingers. Therefore, I have a hefty collection of blues, browns and garnet reds. They are worn for a week at a time.

I know, this is totally disgusting. But it is a topic that has bothered me for years. And I don’t want my daughters growing up with the same self inflicted trauma that I have dealt with. I want them to know that this is completely normal. But I can’t get ANYONE to talk about it.

So now is your opportunity. If you deal with period fingers too, let me know. I won’t be bothered if you put a comment on here under the anonymous setting. I understand. This is pretty taboo. But I think we could all stand to speak up about this. Mostly so I don’t get irritated when I have to deal with it yet again tomorrow morning.

And before some well meaning woman suggests that I wear a tampon at night, I grew up old school- you don’t wear tampons to bed if you can help it. And having known a few girls who have had TSS, I take tampon (and even Diva Cup) safety very seriously. And frankly, you should too.

So- am I the ONLY ONE?


LeeAnnStoner said...

I think this actually may be part of your sleeping disorder. You may be exhibiting the same behavior even when TOM isn't around, you just don't have evidence. Most people have temporary paralysis when they are in the REM (dream) stage of sleep. Some people have a "glitch" in their brain that doesn't shut off signals. So when they dream, they can act out things happening in their dreams. I've heard of people getting really violent sometimes and accidentally kicking or punching their bed partners. Having this "glitch" can make you feel tired when you wake up even if you've slept all night. Just my thoughts. Maybe you could google it or something.

Untypically Jia said...

Chica . . . the only response I can even think of (this early in the morning before I've had my caffeine) is . . . you've got the biggest balls of any woman I know.

Ballsy Charlie. That's your new name.

Anonymous said...

I've done that too. I get kind of itchy downt here when it's the beginning of TOM. When I'm awake, I can stop from scratching. When I'm asleep, I don't wake up enough to realize I'm doing it. Can'y say that I've ever had a problem with getting it out from under my nails. Best way to get your hands clean is to do the dishes.

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

I agree with Jia, Ballsy Charlie!!! I don't have that problem but I am sure other women do. I typically start my TOM during the day and I'm a tampons girl so once the sign of the red tide presents itself I'm plugged for the next 7-10 days. But I feel for ya girl!!!

Krissy said...

Huge balls! And I love it! I'm positive you're not the only one and I'm sure by writing this you'll help someone feel like they're not the only one!
Hats off to ya!

Shamberly Coleman said...

Ok, I'll admit it: I do know what you're talking about, though you're definitely right ~ it's not exactly every day (or any day) conversation LOL... WOW!!! But, no, you're not alone. FYI: Make a thick paste out of baking soda & warm water & scrub your hands in it for stain-free removal :o) (Don't ask LOL)

Once again, I admire your braveness!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Charlie, you crack me up! I've definitely had this happen and I've just scrubbed away the evidence. I always thought it was just me.

Sylvia said...

I tell you I thought it was going to be a story about an ant biting your behind. Your bravery is staggering, and you are right! These things shouldn't be shameful. Our bodies are as they are, and we should not be afraid of that, or worry that we are the only ones with a weird hair, itch, or well period fingers. Way to go Charlie! I bow to your clitzpah (from one of my college professors that thought it was more appropriate for women than chutzpah).

Anonymous said...

LOL!! Me too, and that baking soda trick works great.

Anonymous said...

Yep, me too. Not every time Aunt Flo comes to visit, but occasionally. I usually don't have a problem getting rid of the evidence, though. Thanks for the laughs!!!

Anonymous said...

Gloves!! Sleep in gloves, no more period fingers. Being post menopausal, I must say I don't miss Aunt Flo one bit.

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