Ask any woman and they'll tell you that having your period can be excruciatingly painful. Since we can't escape the wrath of Mother Nature until we hit menopause, women will have to deal with it for a substantial amount of time during the course of their lives.
While they're a necessary purchase, users must be aware of the dangers of leaving them in too long, which could lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
TSS is a potentially fatal condition which occurs when bacteria leaks into your bloodstream and releases harmful toxins.
While this condition is considered rare, a mother-of-two from North Shore, Massachusetts is sharing her story on how the TSS nearly killed her.
For about a week, Amanda Stanley, 37, had been using tampons while on her period, when she woke up one morning and realized something was amiss.
"I went to the bathroom, where I looked at the toilet paper in my hand and realized there was something there," Stanley said according to the Daily Mirror. "I sort of lifted it out, stretched it and realized it was a bit of gauze. I realized it was a bit of a tampon."
"I went back to my bed, looked at a clean tampon in my purse and realized it was the lining that holds the cotton together," she continued. "It must have broken off and got stuck. I had no idea how long it had been there."
Stanley began to feel flu-like symptoms and decided to go to the clinic after experiencing immeasurable pain.
"I was fine the day before and had spent the day out and about with my two kids, but when I woke up that Friday, I had to call their dad, and ask him to come and pick them up, because I knew I was too ill to look after them." Stanley explained.
"I also called my obstetrician/gynecologist and explained that something was wrong and I needed to come in, booking an appointment for 3 pm that afternoon," she added. "For the rest of the day, I was huddled up on the couch, covered in layers and wrapped in a blanket, as I felt so cold."
When Stanley arrived to her appointment, medical staff did blood work after discovering she had a temperature of 104 F.
"That's when I started to get scared," she shared. "I had never heard of an adult having a temperature that high. I was pretty sure something was seriously wrong and started thinking about my kids and what they would do if anything happened to me."
Doctors decided to rush Stanley to the emergency department at Beverly Hospital, Massachusetts, and while they initially thought she was suffering from Lyme disease, but blood tests showed she had a strep A infection.
"They were worried about what it was and if there was potential for an outbreak," Stanley said, adding that the staff asked her if she was a drug user.
"I was pleased that they knew what the bacteria was, but we still didn't know how it had ended up in my blood stream," she continued.
Eventually, doctors found pieces of tampon remains inside of her, and Stanley was diagnosed with TSS. She was later told by her doctors that if she arrived 24 hours later, her condition could have proven to be fatal.
"I feel really lucky. I was lucky that I got to hospital in time, as my doctor told me that if I'd got there 12 hours later, I would have been in intensive care and if I'd waited 24 hours, I could have died."
"I was really lucky that I spotted the piece of tampon, too, as it meant I could be properly diagnosed and treated quickly."
Luckily, Stanley is on the mend and wants to bring awareness to the symptoms of TSS, which include a high fever, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and a rash that resembles a sunburn.
"I knew about toxic shock, because I had read the symptoms on the box, but it was one of those things where I thought it would never happen to me. I always remove my tampons on time and I'm really hygienic with them," Stanley explained.
"Now I know it can happen to anyone. I never thought about the possibility of a tiny bit of tampon still being there. I had two gynecological examinations and no one noticed it, because it was so small," she said.
"Now I want other people to know about the symptoms, because the sooner you get treatment, the better. I'll never use tampons again, though "“ I don't feel they're worth the risk," she concluded.
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[H/T: Daily Mirror]