Friday, July 22, 2011

What a Fright!

I'm a little embarassed to tell this tale, but it think it could serve as a cautionary tale for others. And, really, I have no shame, so WTH.

A dear friend of mine recently introduced me to this neat iPhone app called Period Tracker. Basically it does just that. You tell it when you start & stop, what your symptoms are (if you want to add those notes), etc. You can even use the calendar to track when you are *cough* "intimate." The app will track the frequency of your periods and use that to predict your optimal fertile days as well as when your next period should start.  And it will tell you when you are late, and by how long. This seems like a good app for someone who is trying to get pregnant (or trying to not). The free version works great, although if you want charts and graphs you can upgrade.

For me, I downloaded it because I am starting to show symptoms of peri-menopause (hot flashes, night sweats) and my doctor wants me to keep track of my cycles and the symptoms I'm experiencing. On my paper calendar, I never think to do this. With technology? I'm all over it.

So, friend shows me app. I download it & immediately enter my first period. Six weeks later I remember the app and open it. It tells me I'm 12 days late. Hmm. My cycles are long, but not that long. I've been pretty regular the last couple of years at 32-33 days. So I'm maybe 8 days late.


At 17 days late, I start to wonder. I mean, really. What are the chances that I'd get pregnant immediately after I download this thing? Is it magic?

So, I dig around under the bathroom sink, where I remember seeing a single pregnancy test a while back. It's not in its box, but the expiry date is visible and good.

I pee. I get ready for the shower. I look.


And panic sets in. I'm 41 years old with an ADHD (probably) 5 year-old we can barely keep up with. I cannot be pregnant. I keep looking at that damn test. Then I conceal it in tissues and hide it at the bottom of the wastebasket.

I need some time to process this.

Please remember also, that I have not had any coffee at this point of the morning.

I spent the rest of the morning fretting and planning and thinking. Just about the time I was starting to get excited about the idea, (and about the time the caffeine kicked in) it suddenly occured to me. Not all these tests work the same way. Some of them give a plus sign, not just a second line. And I didn't have the instructions for the one I used.


I'm not pregnant. I'm just a peri-menopausal woman who skipped a period and doesn't know how to read a pregnancy test. And I shouldn't do anything requiring higher brain function prior to my second cup of coffee.

The moral is - Keep your packaging. You will forget what kind of test you bought that last time. It will not turn out well.

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