Toxic shock syndrome occurred after a student left a tampon in for nine days, leaving her unable to walk for long distances. She was lucky to escape with her life.
According to The Independent, student Emily Pankhurst contracted toxic shock syndrome after she left her tampon inside of her for much too long. She initially thought she was getting tired and worn out due to stress from exams in school, but soon the 20-year-old woman began to realize that something else was wrong.
The toxic shock syndrome began to make her feel weak and faint. Eventually, she began to slur her words and her skin even had a mottled look to it. The toxic shock syndrome was kicking in, and Pankhurst still didn’t realize she had left her tampon in.
Pankhurst said that at the end of her last period, she had forgotten to remove the tampon and put another one in. The forgetfulness was likely due to stress, she says. The reason she remembered the tampon was still there was because her mother suggested she feel around to see if something was in there when she began to bleed a lot.
She had gone to the doctor, but the doctor didn’t find anything wrong with her, Pankhurst says.
When she returned home, she felt terrible from the toxic shock syndrome.
“I was feeling really ill by that stage. I was hot and dizzy and felt really strange…I was bleeding more and my mum suggested I feel about and see if there was anything there.”
When Pankhurst took her mother’s advice to see if there was an obstruction in her body, she found the tampon, according to Buzzfeed.
“When I finally realised the tampon was in me and I pulled it out it was pure black. It was obviously coated in bacteria. I wouldn’t have known what it was apart from the string. It was horrible,” admitted Pankhurst.
Toxic shock syndrome can lead to death if not treated immediately. The syndrome can also lead to amputations and other complications.
Pankhurst was in the intensive care unit at Maidstone Hospital for days. She was treated for sepsis and blood poisoning as a result of the toxic shock syndrome, which had started from the tampon Pankhurst forgot to remove.
The young student came forward with her story about toxic shock syndrome because she wants other women her age to know about the syndrome. She feels that too many women do not know how serious toxic shock syndrome can be, or what the syndrome is really like. The dangers of using tampons is something Pankhurst wants women to be aware of so they can make an informed choice before using them.
The woman says it was her mother who kept her from succumbing to the effects of toxic shock syndrome. Even with a bloated stomach and such an ill feeling, the young woman says she was compelled to ignore the symptoms to believe she would be okay. She blamed stress and other reasons for her illness, but she would not have thought it was toxic shock syndrome which was destroying her body.
“It is so important to keep an eye on your health, especially during stressful life experiences…I hope my story can help others like myself to take care of your health and not take your life for granted because you never know what might be around the corner,” the third-year criminology student said.
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