Mum left seriously ill after a tiny piece of tampon gave her toxic shock syndrome
Tampons are one of those things that we think of as harmless. But for Amanda Stanley, they nearly killed her, and now she had vowed never to use one again after she narrowly escaped death through toxic shock syndrome because of one. Her ordeal began one night when she realised that her blood flow during her period was far heavier than normal, and also that she was exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
But then one day she pulled out from within herself a piece of bloodied cotton gauze, which had become detached from the rest of the tampon and lodged inside her. This, in turn, had induced toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal illness, and Amanda was rushed to hospital. Doctors discovered that she had a high temperature of 40 C (104 F), and fighting a strep A infection. She was lucky, and doctors prescribed antibiotics, which stopped the spread of the infection. However, to this day she is still paranoid about tampons.
Commenting on her horrendous ordeal, she stated: "I went to the bathroom, where I looked at the toilet paper in my hand and realised there was something there. I sort of lifted it out, stretched it and realised it was a bit of gauze. I examined it and I realised it was a bit of a tampon. I went back to my bed, looked at a clean tampon in my purse and realised it was the lining that holds the cotton together. It must have broken off and got stuck. I had no idea how long it had been there."
"I was fine the day before and had spent the day out and about with my two kids, but when I woke up that Friday, I had to call their dad, and ask him to come and pick them up, because I knew I was too ill to look after them. I also called my obstetrician/gynaecologist and explained that something was wrong and I needed to come in, booking an appointment for 3pm that afternoon. For the rest of the day, I was huddled up on the couch, covered in layers and wrapped in a blanket, as I felt so cold."
She added: "I knew about toxic shock, because I had read the symptoms on the box, but it was one of those things where I thought it would never happen to me. I always remove my tampons on time and I’m really hygienic with them. Now I know it can happen to anyone. I never thought about the possibility of a tiny bit of tampon still being there. I had two gynaecological examinations and no one noticed it, because it was so small. Now I want other people to know about the symptoms, because the sooner you get treatment, the better. I’ll never use tampons again, though – I don’t feel they’re worth the risk."
I guess it just goes to show that you can never be too careful. If you're worried about any irregularities with your period or suspect that you might have contracted something similar, then please don't hesitate to consult a doctor.