A little story behind the
I carry my Diva with me everywhere because 1) I like to have it, just in case and 2) I like to show it off. This was particularly helpful when I was admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was in the psychiatric ward and knowing that is an important component of the story.
When I was admitted, I went through my personal belongings with a nurse. You're not allowed to really have anything with you, but knowing my period was only days away, I asked the nurse if I could keep my Diva with me in my room. She asked me what it was and I told her it was a menstrual product. She wrote "Diva" on the paperwork and didn't ask anymore questions about it.
The next day, my great aunt, who is 75, and her daughter (in her early 40's) came to visit me. They asked if I wanted any special toiletries since the hospital only provides the basics. I asked for conditioner and lotion, my second cousin asked if I needed any "female products." I laughed almost immediately as I *never* think about tampons or pads anymore. I explained that I had my cup with me and I would be fine. My great aunt's face lit up and she exclaimed, "You use a menstrual cup? They still make them?" Turns out that my aunt had a few friends in nursing school waaaay back in the day that used menstrual cups! She thought they had gone off the market years ago. She then went on to say that they were probably one of the best inventions for women and that it was absolutely wonderful that so many women were getting back into cuppin' it! My second cousin looked at both of us as if we were nuts...she had never heard of them. After a lengthy discussion about them, she looked at me and said, "Wow. I need one. Now." Needless to say, one of the first things I did upon being released was hand her over the instructions that came with my Diva. I think I may have converted her...
Unfortunately, the nursing staff confiscated my Diva after my family left. The nurse on duty approached me and said in a calm yet curious voice, "Melayne...we found something in your drawer...we don't know what it is but it is in a little bag and it's apparently known as Diva." I burst out into laughter. "It's for my period!" ::cue blushing from the male nurse standing right next to me:: The two nurses who had performed my room check gave me a puzzled look. I started to explain what it was, I took it out of the bag and showed them how it worked...right there at the nurse's station (the male nurse was visibly red in the face...it's just a period, sheesh!). No sense in being embarrassed about it. After the little education session, they asked for more information, so I wrote down a few websites for them to check out. They let me keep my Diva but I had to hand over its bag (no string/cords allowed).
In a place where there is little privacy, roommates, and room checks, it was so nice to pop in my Diva and not have to worry about my period. No asking the nurses for a tampon every few hours or worrying about leaking on the few clothes I had with me. No announcing to the world that I was menstruating. I didn't have to occupy myself with worry over my period...after all, I had a lot more important things on my mind.
I was amazed that two women in the medical field had never seen, let alone heard of, menstrual cups. I was even more amazed that my great aunt was quite familiar with them and knew women who used the original cups! Has anyone ever seen one of the originals? I've seen a few pictures, but was wondering if anyone has seen them up close? I'm a historian by nature and I think an exhibit on the history of menstrual cups is quite fitting...maybe I should contact the Smithsonian? ;)
Apologies for the two posts in one day!