TM-freaking-I: A new low in developing country bathroom experiences

MPSIMS. Because there are some things you just cannot talk about in real life. This is TMI, special edition, so if you don’t want to hear about menstrual blood, move along.

I use a DivaCup and I love it. But I have 1-2 days of my period that recently are really quite heavy and I’m realizing I have to have a back-up to the DivaCup on those days, like a big pad. But I don’t currently have any in the house.

I’m a lawyer looking for work right now and doing contract legal work on my own, but it’s not enough. Anyway, I had to go to the US Consulate in Tijuana on Thursday to accompany some clients to their appointment there. I had about two days’ notice of the Tijuana appointment. Tuesday I also agreed to do a rush project that was due Thursday a.m., because it will earn us money. I could swing it if I worked only on that. But right after I took the project that I found out about a half-day job interview for Wednesday that I could not reschedule, and Thursday was the consulate thing. I’d had about 4 hours’ sleep in two days, had been at the office until 4 a.m. the night before, and one thing I didn’t have time to do was buy some pads. I did have on a panty-liner though.

Anyway, when I met with the clients, we had to do some paperwork first. It had been awhile since I had gone to the bathroom to empty the rapidly-filling up DivaCup. I had driven to and crossed the border in between, etc. Suddenly I realized that I was bleeding - a lot - and I needed to go the bathroom NOW. We were about to spend the day at the Consulate. I had on a pantsuit. All I needed was a nice blood stain on the back of my pants. We had not been given entry to the Consulate yet – a somewhat lengthy endeavor that involves standing in a line and when it’s your turn having the person at the window match a paint-by-number picture of a horsey to the print-out of your appointment confirmation after you recite the state capitals with a Spanish accent and some other things. We were in the parking lot outside. Which had an outhouse. Not all parking lots have bathrooms - in fact, this is the first one I’ve seen - so I was grateful it existed at all. “Esta muy sucio,” (It’s very dirty) Mr. Client A says. No matter. Has to be done. “No hay papel,” (There’s no paper) Ms. Client B says. :eek: Not acceptable. Ms. Client C: “Tengo un pedazito de papel limpio” (I have one llittle piece of clean tissue), holding it up. Dignity: slipping away… Mr. Client A goes back to the parking lot attendant to beg him for some toilet paper. Victory: he brings back half a roll. Not the few squares I thought we might get.

I go to the bathroom, which is dirty but certainly not the worst I’ve seen. There is no light bulb, though, so to not be in total darkness I have to leave the door open. Who cares at this point. My clients can’t see me. I hav soaked that pantyliner and am starting to go through my nylons. I think it was cold that day. Hover over the seat, remove DivaCup, pour it out, and…drop DivaCup into the bowels of the toilet bowl. I’m very tired, I’ve had no food, I’m stressed about life, money, the Consulate appointment, and the project I had to rush even more than I thought I would, I’m hovering over a dirty toilet with blood on my hands…and I’ve fucking dropped the #*#@^&*(# DivaCup in the *@(#&A&^%$#@! toilet bowl. I can’t possibly go without it. I’d be bleeding all over the hallowed halls of citizenship and bureaucracy. Plus it costs like $80.00, I think. Thinking about the guy in Requiem for a Dream, I cringe and shudder and plunge my hand in, having to stick my hand way further down than seems just in order to retrieve it. Now I have to put it back inside of me…and there’s no sink in the bathroom, though there is one outside. I have to wipe it off with toilet paper and re-insert it. No choice. I set the roll on the counter, which is wet. And muddy, somehow. Now one end of the roll is dirty and damp. Meanwhile, I’ve got a big blood spot on the other end of the roll. That pretty soon I will have to hand back to my client. I do the trick where you scrape away at the blood spot so that there’s a crater in it rather than a spot. I clean myself up. I try hard not to get any drips of blood on my clothing. (When I’m bleeding like this, it seems to just be everywhere.) I use half of the roll. I leave the bathroom and thankfully water comes out of the sink outside. I wash my hands for awhile. I take a dollar out of my purse to pay for all the paper I’ve used. (Sometimes you have to pay initially and he didn’t make us pay - I feel bad because I really have used a lot.) I hand it and the roll back to my client. He takes it back to the parking attendant, who is very nice and doesn’t want to accept the dollar. The end.

All I heard was blah blah blah, you have a job.;).

As bad as your horror story was I worked with a lady who didn’t notice things had progressed beyond your situation. I was asked to walk behind her to the bathroom as a diversion.

You women have my sympathies. I can’t imagine a normal stressful day without worrying about such things.

Gee, and I thought my hand in toilet experience was bad, nothing like yours though.

I’d had a lot to drink and shortly after going to bed I needed to throw up, so I went to the toilet and emptied my guts into the bowl. I was about to flush when I noticed that one of the lenses from my glasses was no longer in the frame. With growing horror I realised it must have fallen into the bowl. I had thoughts of Train Spotting rather than *Requiem for a Dream as I plunged my arm in up to what seemed to be my armpit, and groped around through the chunks of bile softened food for my lens. I found it and cleaned it and put it back in the frame.

I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that bleeding stuff too.

Thank you for reminding me, tesseract, in glaringly explicit terms exactly why this old bird signed up for an endometrial ablation to take place later on this month. I was starting to have second thoughts, but I have had too many close calls not all that dissimilar to yours.

I’m sorry you had to go through that, though.

I actually gasped out loud in horror.

Happy to be of service, Polly Glot. Also, it has made me feel better to have shared this horrific incident with you all. Thank you.

Please please tell me that it was only water (and blood) in the toilet. I’m picturing one of those freestanding outhouse/porta-potties, in which case that is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read on this board! :eek:

This is why I cannot imagine not having backup with a DivaCup or using it anywhere where I wouldn’t have access to modern plumbing. Camping? Emerging nations with questionable plumbing? I don’t think so.

I cringed, myself. I’m pretty sure if it had been me in that situation, I’d be crying. (Not to mention cleaning the hell out of the DivaCup at the earliest opportunity.) You have my sympathies, OP.

Ack! No, it was only water and blood. And whatever else was already there…but it was a standard flushing toilet. I guess I shouldn’t have called it an outhouse – but it was wood and freestanding with no light and no sink inside. Had it been one of those other ones, I don’t think I could have put it back in.

I must congratulate you on handling a bad situation with dignity and getting away with it.

Oh, thank God. I too had visions of a portapotty arrangement, not a toilet. And I was ready to think you are NUTS. But if it was a toilet, then that’s a lot better. You still have more nerve than I do, I couldn’t have put it back in!

Perhaps you should carry an emergency pad or tampon or something for such situations in the future? Egad.

Most definitely. I recognize the OP was long, but in there I mentioned the circumstances that contributed to me not having a back-up pad. I guess my flow is also heavier since I first started using the DivaCup. I’m not sure why. For years I wore tampons and never pads so I’m sort of out of the habit of having pads around. But yeah, never again. Also, as mentioned upthread, I think that the DivaCup is just not the thing for places where the plumbing is not modern. Thanks, **Richard Pearse. **I just love the Dope because I had some place to talk about this. I haven’t even told my husband because I know he does NOT want to know about it. And I don’t blame him.

And shouldn’t’ve. I was thinking port-a-potty and was just seeing infection-city. Oh god.

I’ve been on my period at a Rennaissance Faire before - not quite a developing country, but when the only toilets available are port-a-potties and there’s absolutely no running water, and it’s over 100 degrees, it’s horrible. Just horrible. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll use my cup at Faire or not. On the one hand, it makes me feel so much cleaner than a pad, on the other hand… no running water. And the possibility of dropping that $30 piece of plastic down the hole.

Yes. I’m not even a crier, but I’m pretty sure it would have been very hard for me not to cry in that situation.

All I could think was, OH JESUS THE GERMS THE GERMS OH JESUS. Please tell me you don’t have some kind of horrible infection now. Oh God.

If you had done that in such a scenario (which is what I had originally thought by the word “outhouse”… :eek: that would officially win as the GROSSEST Story I’ve ever heard in my 25 years of living on this planet. Pure Horror.

But instead, this merely goes down to being- pretty bad, but not the worst story ever. But damn… that’s still pretty crazy.

Oops, I did miss that you had backup. Sorry. But I’m pretty paranoid about such things.