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Swan Lake Surfboard

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Category: Impact on Quality of Life and Teen Symptoms.

I could spend this time telling you about how my endometriosis has affected my life… the good, bad and the ugly stories, but instead I’m choosing to tell you about an embarrassing period moment. Let’s face it, we’ve all had these moments and I hope sharing mine with you will bring a smile to your dial. 🙂

Ever since I was very little, I danced. I loved it so much that I took tap, ballet, American jazz, modern ballet… if it involved moving to music, I was into it. I loved every opportunity to dance even on-stage performances.

I was 12 years old on the day of my embarrassing moment. It was an exciting day as I was going to have my first stage performance on pointe ballet (special shoes which allow you to dance on your toes). The costumes were absolutely beautiful. We were doing a piece from Swan Lake and we had those costumes with tutus that stick straight out and bob up and down when you move. We were also going to wear bright WHITE tights… I think you can see where I might be heading.

The day before my performance I had some abdominal cramping but nothing too unusual. I didn’t notice the light spotting until an hour before I had to leave home for my performance. I told my mum what I’d found and she reassured me, saying that it was completely normal and gave me a thick pad to use (the massive old-fashioned type).

I headed off to my performance and didn’t really think twice until I got backstage and needed to change into my beautiful swan lake costume. In that moment I realised that I had a problem. I needed the pad but wasn’t allowed to wear undies underneath my tights as they would show up under the stage lights. I quickly made the decision to just stick the massive surfboard size pad into my tights.

While in costume and waiting in the stage wings, I felt a little bit of ‘pad shifting’ but didn’t think twice about what just happened. I walked onto stage, the curtains opened, lights turned on, the music started, and I danced. The music absorbed me and not until I got off stage, did I notice that my massive pad had surfed it’s way down to my knee!

I was horrified as if the lights could pick up a small underwear line… surely it highlighted the pad floating down my thigh. The good news was that none of my family sitting in the audience mentioned anything to me… and I wasn’t about to ask for confirmation!

Thirty years later I can honestly say that this moment had to be one of my top 5 embarrassing period moments, but I guess we all have moments like these.

Embarrassing period stories are so normal but painful periods aren’t. Share your stories and talk with someone you trust. If your period stops you from doing stuff, you may be the 1 in 10 or 200 million globally who has endometriosis. You shouldn’t have to put up with the pain alone.

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Strength through support - mā te tautoko, ka whai kaha, ka ora

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