Bloody Mary: a very graphic story

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Spring 2020 I was visited by Bloody Mary – aka the ‘bleeds-under-an-hour-through-a-SUPER-plus-tampon-WOMAN’.

Just so you know, Bloody Mary is not your average type of super hero; she has very peculiar super powers.

Bloody Mary the SUPERtamponWOMAN - menstruation illustration - menopause art by Marieke Nijhof for Proud Mary overgangster

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And whether I wanted to or not, Bloody Mary transferred her bizarre superpowers onto me. Until her visit I was blessed with a regular and modest period with little or no PMS, but now, I literally ‘peed’ blood; no tampon or pad could absorb the continuous floods of blood that kept streaming from my body.

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And everywhere I sat I left my permanent marks.

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Suddenly I was able to fly into toilet faster than you could say “Pardon, my period!”, and ‘disappear’ in there for hours.

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Sometimes I bled my brains out, several times a day, and still managed to stand up.

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And, all of this I could do this for days on end.

Over ~ and over ~ and over again!

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So, I adopted, Bloody Mary’s motto:

Normal is for sissies!

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Because of my superhuman menstrual bleeding, I suddenly suspected that other minor abilities (like spontaneous peeing and crying – sometimes simultaneously-, breathing ‘fire’, hearing a a soft hissing sound throughout the entire day and being able to withstand all sexual temptation!) and some physical changes (dry eyes, tongue and vagina, insects living under the skin of my lower legs, growing dry sore skin under my feet and finally larger – yet painful!- breasts) could maybe also be ascribed to my new super hero status. And I wondered why these powers were given to me now. I suspected that maybe Bloody Mary’s visit had to do with me being menopausal. But I was only forty-two. Was that even possible?

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When I checked this with my GP she dismissed the idea resolutely because I was too young; according to her Bloody Mary only visited women of fifty and older, and their special power was heating up their body temperature faster than a child with fever. ‘Did I have that power?’ … The answer was ‘no’. So, she concluded, these other ‘changes’ I perceived were probably in my head, or caused by stress or fatigue, which pretty much boiled down to the same conclusion…

Somehow I felt that my GP and I were not seeing eye to eye about this Bloody Mary business.

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‘Lucky’ for me my heavy bleeding continued. One morning it was so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. I called my GP who suddenly became very alarmed. She now admitted that, maybe yes, I was in menopause, but she didn’t want to rule out the possibility that I had fibroids (‘vleesbomen’ in Dutch, which literally translates to ‘meat trees’). She told me I needed an ultrasound to rule those out.

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The ultrasound was clear and the hospital Obgyn recommended hormone pills to stop the bleeding. My GP informed me of this on Friday just before five and urged me to go to the pharmacy to get them; I had to act fast or I would bleed out. She assured me these drugs would be save for me referring to a stroke I had had ten years ago. This baffled me; ten years ago I was told to stop taking the contraceptive pill because the hormones could cause a new stroke. I’m terrible at making decisions under pressure, I needed time to think this through, but there wasn’t any. I knew the pharmacy would close at five. So, I dragged myself there and bought the pills while crying at the register. I shared my concerns with the pharmacist who was clearly upset by my behaviour.

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That night I decided to take the pills.

I did not suffer another stroke, but lo’ and behold, the hormones made my breast grow again (one even started lactating) and I could feel my body retain all fluids inside. Within hours I had transformed into a human tampon…with breasts.

O, and the bleeding stopped for ten days after which I had a normal period.

Bloody Mary was finally gone.

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