To all men.

I think it’s time we have a little more sympathy for the ladies of this world. Actually, make that a lot more sympathy.

Look, I’m just going to say it…

I recently had to use maxi-pads for three straight weeks. Me. A man.

Get over it. It is what it is. It happened.

You see, I had a super fun invasive butt surgery (a fistulectomy if you’re super curious), and the doctor instructed me to use maxi-pads to both help care for the incision and to save my clothes from certain ruin.

Of course, prideful me whooped and hollered that I could do no such thing; I’m a man, dang it, and I will simply will the blood and drainage away with my mental grit. Ain’t no maxi-pad gonna be in these $26 fancy drawers of mine with their fancy built in front-junk-pouch. These underwear are masculine and they will stay that way.

“Man up,” he told me. “Use the pads. Nobody will know anyway.”

I gave him a death stare. I Gollum-whispered. “I’ll know, doc. I’ll know.”

He obviously was used to dealing with stubborn testosterone-driven men because my death stare didn’t even phase him. He may have even yawned.

My mom came to the hospital with me on the day of surgery.

In post-op, as I lay practically comatose, filled with the most glorious numbing drugs coursing my veins, I did something strange. My pride must also have been numbed because when my mom asked what she could get for me, I told her I needed the maxi-pads. She returned shortly after and handed me a small blue package with enough pads to get me through a few days.

It was a decent sized package. They should have lasted longer, but…

I didn’t know it was gonna be a gusher. I didn’t know the flow would be heavy and relentless. I didn’t know that I’d burn through a new pad every hour or two. And I really didn’t know that when Mommy was gone, and the pads were gone, I would be left to go maxi-pad shopping all on my own.

I’ll get to the shopping trips.

Yes. I meant to make that plural.

But first… some things us men may not have realized:

  1. Blood seeping from your “down there” is not nearly as fun as it may sound. Weird, I know.
  2. Blood seeping from your “down there” is actually extremely uncomfortable. I’m pretty sure I walked around for three weeks with a scrunched nose and a furled brow.
  3. Blood seeping from your “down there” is extremely inconvenient. Never once did I think, what good timing in my life! 
  4. A person can’t control what happens, when it happens, how heavily it happens, or when it stops. Not when their “down there” is taking on a life and personality all its own.
  5. Blood seeping from your “down there” can greatly irritate your otherwise happy (sensitive) skin. Use your imagination. I’d type out a visual, but you’d stop reading because men are utter pansies in this department.
  6. While blood is seeping from your “down there,” you don’t really have the choice of not worrying about it. Constantly. While you eat. While you dress. While you walk. While you drive. While you shower. While you sleep. While you lay there wondering if death might be a sweet alternative… It’s always on your mind.
  7. Unexpected and visual evidence of your “down there” bleeding, despite your best efforts, sometimes appears for the whole world to witness. And sometimes you aren’t the one who notices it first.
  8. Congruently, blood seeping from your “down there,” despite those same best efforts, sometimes ruins your clothes. And sometimes it ruins your favorite clothes. And this, in turn, ruins your day.
  9. You only have to learn #8 once because when you know you’re going to be bleeding from your “down there,” you learn that you just won’t get to wear some of your favorite clothes. Period. No pun intended.
  10. While you are seeping blood from your “down there,” you don’t do a lot of the things you normally like to do. Some because you can’t. Most because… well… just no. Better safe than sorry, you assure yourself.
  11. While you are seeping blood from your “down there,” the products you use to manage it cannot be flushed down the toilet and must still be somehow disposed of. This is much trickier sometimes than us men have ever realized.

Gosh. I could keep going. And why not? It only gets better…