How to Handle your First Period in a Wheelchair: Part 1

I think every woman can agree that first periods can be frightening. Even if we know why it’s happening, it’s still an important experience. Suddenly, our bodies are changing. To wear pads or tampons? What if I bleed through my pants? Why is my body doing this? Where is my MOM?

However my experience was a lot different. I literally bled all over my wheelchair.  TMI, I know… but whatever. It’s just us ladies on here. TMI is good for the soul, right? I was terrified and felt useless. I quickly shuffled into my bathroom to clean myself up while my mother helped clean up my chair. It was an experience that I still haven’t forgotten despite it being almost 10 years ago.

What really sticks in my memory is me trying to get my pad on. It took nearly 20 minutes of wiggling back and forth. It was terribly uncomfortable. I was so frustrated and overwhelmed that I wanted to scream. There weren’t any manuals for me. My grade school had a video for us to watch on periods. It went through how to change your pad and your tampon. Except, I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t walk. The video completely forget about us gals who can’t walk or stand up.

Because I didn’t have any guidance, I was left to muttering bad words under my breathe that would get me grounded if my mom heard and wiggling back and forth with desperation on my toilet seat. I was 14 at the time. Nothing in that moment could ever sway me from the belief that womanhood SUCKED.

Did anyone else have a similar experience? I am going to get into technical tips and express how I handle mine but I wanted to bring to light how difficult these things are for us. Imagine trying to change your tampon while using forearm crutches. Or needing to change your pad in public but the handicapped bathroom is inaccessible.

I’ve been there. Quite literally. 😉

I know what it’s like. This is why I am creating a “5 Part” story to share tips, give instructions, and share feedback on how to handle it. Even if this is not your first period ever or the first period in your chair, these tips will help. I promise! Now onto hearing about your first periods as disabled women!

How did you handle them?

PS. I am so thankful for being the first “author” to be published on this site!

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