Getting your period is the worst, any girl can tell you that. Even if you don’t have to deal with crippling cramps, there’s the possibility of leaking, the PMS, the hormone-related acne, and the irregular cycles. It’s also expensive, and some women can’t afford feminine products. This last issue is a problem that many school nurses are very familiar with.
They see girls very often who have this problem and do their very best to help them. One nurse (Reddit user medicalprofessional1) recently posted about this experience and her school’s situation. She wrote, “I’m a school nurse in a state that doesn’t provide feminine hygiene products to its students. Every day I have girls come in needing products…”
She added, “It’s true that some are just unprepared but SO many of them have told me they feel guilty asking their parents for $5 for tampons. We have programs for free lunch and we even have a program where we send home food for the weekend. But nothing to supply these girls with tampons.”
The nurse explains that she asked the girl what she used at home, to which the girl replied that she uses toilet paper. The nurse goes on to say, “I use my own money to buy these girls pads and tampons. Every school nurse I know does. So when you’re sending school supplies, drop off a box of tampons and pads and see one grateful nurse!!”
She shared the conversation that she had with the girl on Reddit:
Her- “Hey, um, that time of the month again. Do you have anything?”
Me- “I do, but I’m almost out. You forgot again?”
Her- “No, but I don’t have any at home.”
Me- “Ok. But you really need to get some. If you’ll bring me $5 I’ll pick them up for you.”
The nurse adds that she knows the student pretty well now. She is aware that she lives with her dad and has a difficult relationship with him.
The conversation continues:
Her- “My dad used quarters to pay for gas this morning. I’m not asking him for $5.”
Me- “Ok sweetheart. I’ll get you a couple boxes for home. But what do you usually do at home when you start your period?”
Her- “I use toilet paper.”
She concludes by saying “These girls aren’t too embarrassed or lazy or forgetful. They’re poor and they can’t help it. The majority of them can’t afford it. Out of 400 menstruating girls maybe 20 have a hard time getting access to pads or tampons. That’s still 20 too many. A huge thank you to everyone who goes out and donates!!!”