Hey everyone. I guess this is a public service announcement of sorts, as well as an update on my life. This is me doing a saline push before I give myself my antibiotics. Why am I giving myself antibiotics through a PICC line? Because I got Toxic Shock Syndrome and spent the last week in hospital.
That’s right, Toxic Shock Syndrome, the thing that all your tampon packages warn you about, it actually still happens. Do me a favor and go throw out those tampon packages and buy a menstrual cup immediately, because I have news for you. Using a tampon of the right absorbency and taking it out in a timely manner WILL NOT prevent TSS. It will lessen the odds, but it WILL NOT prevent it completely. I got TSS from a brand new tampon of the right absorbency. I got sick almost immediately. Following the tampon box rules lessens your chances of getting TSS, but you can still get it anyway, which they don’t mention, which is kind of fucked up. I’ve been meaning to switch to menstrual cups for ages, and I really wish I’d gotten around to it sooner and prevented this entire ordeal.
I called an ambulance after spending two straight days vomiting. I thought I had the flu. Even the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong right away, they just knew that I was extremely ill. I spent a week in hospital with some great doctors who were able to treat me and get me well again. Did you know most doctors never see a case of TSS? It’s pretty damn rare. They were testing for a bunch of other random infections when they realized that they should check for TSS. Also even after they get the infection under control, you still have to deal with symptoms. My skin on my fingers and elsewhere is peeling, and my hair might all fall out, so I might end up shaving my head. And I get to give myself antibiotics through a PICC line every day, which is only cool because it’s purple and has a bright pink sticker on it saying when it needs to be re-dressed. The only bright side was that the hospital had a pretty impressive vegetarian food menu, for when I was able to start eating again. I’m not really up for discussing what all happened in the hospital, so just know that I was extremely ill and it was very bad and I’d prefer not to worry people with the details.
So now I’m trying to catch up on a week’s worth of coursework, finals start on Monday and I’m sitting here still feeling kind of exhausted and wishing I could justify napping when I already slept until 2pm. Toxic Shock Syndrome is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, I don’t think I need to explain how terrifying it is to have an infection trying to shut down your body. Tampons suck, y’all.
Oh, and my dad flew out to spend a few days with me, so I had someone to drive me home from the hospital and whatnot. We went to this place in North Portland where they serve you fish & chips in a Doctor Who-decorated room while you watch episodes of Doctor Who, it was pretty cool.