Blog Project

SHARE YOUR STORY –  We are looking for women just like you who have stopped using traditional tampons and started relying on healthier alternatives. Allow the power of your story to inspire others to consider making a similar shift.

Submission Guidelines – Creativity is welcome!  Submit your story in the body of an e-mail or as MS Word document (1000 words or less) along with your photo and (optional) a brief bio to Suzan, You ARE Loved’s Director of Connectivity (suzan @ without any spaces).  Accepted content will be published on the blog portion of our website.

Recently Published – Check out some of our most recent guest blog posts:
Lina  /  Jenn  / Tara /  Danielle  / Annelis  / Laurel  / Christine  / Sabrina

About You ARE Loved – We are a nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness about tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and providing factual information about menstruation.  The ARE is a reminder of Amy Rae Elifritz who lost her life (read Amy’s story and her mother’s powerful post “Project Shocking“).  Learn more about TSS via our informational brochure and the accounts of many women who have suffered.

Posting on Your Blog – If you post your story on your own blog and mention You ARE Loved, please let us know.  We would like to share the link with others.  Check out our links page for a continually growing list of resources.

More Information? – Please contact us.

Download the YAL button for your site!


  1. Caitlin Hill says:

    I got TSS when I was 17 and a senior in high school. It was a Monday and I was in school and in my last class of the day when I started getting the symptoms. I started getting cold and then started freezing really bad. I was inside and wearing a carhart jacket and it wasn’t helping. I just figured that I was getting the flu like I had gotten before. The whole rest of the class period I just kept my head down and arms folded trying my best to stay warm. When I got up out of my chair after the bell had rang I started getting this really dizzy feeling that I’ve never had before. It got to the point that I was actually walking really slow and holding on to the walls and railings because I was scared I was going to pass out. I even had a class mate offer to walk me to meet my mom. When I finally got to where my mom picked me up at I just kind of kneeled down on the ground and leaned up against a tree. Afterwards when my mom had picked me up and I told her about how I was feeling we got home and within seconds of walking in the front door I threw up at least 3 times. I walked in my room and lied down and my mom took my tempature and it was above what it should normally be. I went to sleep and slept for a few hours and when I woke up I was feeling a bit better. I was hungry so I fixed a sandwich. Well needless to say within 5 minutes after eating, I puked up everything. I hadn’t really had that happen before when I had the flu the first time so I wasn’t sure if it was normal or not. That night I had trouble sleeping. It was like I couldn’t get comfortable. I finally went and slept on are living room couch and was able to fall asleep. The next day was much worse. Every time I stood up I would get this feeling that I was going to fall over so I would quickly sit back down. I really wanted to take a bath so I basically ran to the bathroom and sat in the floor real quick so the feeling would go away. As I was getting undressed, I took off my underwear, and this may sound really nasty but, I smelt this really horrible smell. It was worse than period drainage should smell. What didn’t occur to me was that the reason I’m feeling like this and the smell might have to do with the fact that I was on my period. I just kind of ignored it cause I though it still might have something to do with the flu. Now might I throw in there that before I got sick I had only read about TSS one time and that was before I started using tampons, so I had no idea of the symptoms and never thought that I would actually get it either. That night was horrible. I couldn’t keep any kind of liquid down, not even when I took sips. I was constantly throwing in back up, even water. I hadn’t eaten since I had thrown up the night before, I couldn’t barley stand without feeling dizzy and about to pass out and that night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned and couldn’t get comfortable no matter where I slept or how I slept. It was miserable. The next day my mom got me up and made and apt to take me to the Dr. I took a bath and washed my hair and I kid you not I crawled out of the bath tub because the dizziness had gotten worse. My mom ended up having to fix my hair for me and while she was doing the I apparently passed out and thank you to the lord above for her being right there because if she hadn’t of been I would of cracked my head on the bathroom counter. When we finally got to the doctor’s office, my mom had to help me in. When the nurse finally came to get me she was helping my walk as well. I was in the doctor’s office for no more than 10 minutes when the nurse told my mom that I should be taken to the ER. So off we went. And might I throw in that when you feel that crappy, being run around everywhere really sucks. So we finally go to the ER and the nurses got me all hooked up, it took them quite a few times because my veins were so thin they couldn’t even get and iv through it, they hooked me up to fluids and did all there reports (I wish I could say what all they asked me but I honestly don’t remember.) I was in the ER for about 4 hours. The DR at the first hospital wasn’t quite sure of what I had and I can remember why but they couldn’t treat me as a patient so they sent to another hospital. When we got to this other hospital they put me in a room and I had about 6 or 7 doctors and nurses come in. Some of them were student doctors I do remember that. My main DR was asking me questions about how I was feeling and what had been happening. And then he raised up my shirt and revealed the rash that was all over my stomach. It wasn’t there that morning so I was quite surprised by it. He instantly diagnosed me with TSS. I had no clue what that was at the time. They nicely explained to me and my mom a little bit about it and what they were going to do. They wheeled me off to the ICU and got me hooked up to IV fluids, a blood pressure machine (that thing went off like every 30 minutes and would scare the crap outta me) and some other things that I can’t quite remember. For about an hour or so I was getting nothing but shots through my ivs and getting my vitals (I’m guessing that’s what they call it) checked. I was honestly so tired that I became quite annoyed because I wasn’t able to sleep and I know they were just doing their job. For about a 3 I was in the ICU. I wasn’t able to get up and I wasn’t able to eat certain foods. Which was really hard. All I was able to eat was hospital food and to this day I still can’t stand the smell. On my second day in the ICU my DR came in and was talking to me a little about what was going on. He told me that when I came in that I was extremely sick. They weren’t sure if I was going to make it. He told me that when I had come in my heart, liver, and kidney were failing. And that I was lucky to have gotten here when I did because they were able to get me the things I needed to save me basically. He told me that if I had waited any longer that I probably wouldn’t have made it. He talked to me more about what they were going to do and they had to flush out my system so they gave me this stuff through my IV (sorry I can’t remember what they called it) and it made me pee just about every 5 minutes, which is awful especially when you can’t get up to pee. Day 3 in the ICU and I was finally able to walk. I about fell my first time walking since I had been in the hospital. I honestly didn’t think it was going to be that hard much less hurt my muscles like it did. My legs felt like Jell-O. That afternoon, they moved me into and regular room. My DR told me that I need to walk around and get my leg strength back. My mom made me walk up and down the hallway at least every few hours. It was not easy as I thought it was going to be but it got a lot better. That Sunday I was able to finally go home. I cannot tell you how excited I was. When I was finally able to sit down at a computer I looked up TSS. I kid you not I almost starter crying. I had no idea the stuff that I went through or that it was even that life threating. I’m truly blessed to say that God was watching over me especially being as close to death as I was. I value my life so much more now. I don’t use tampons and I trying to help my friends out as much as possible when it comes to using them. TSS is something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy and it’s definitely something that young girls shouldn’t have to go through. But it is and all you can do is spread that word and hope that girls now the symptoms and now how to prevent it. It’s serious and it should be taken a lot more seriously that some people take it.

  2. Caitlin Hill says:


  3. I have never had Toxic Shock Syndrome, but I used to be SO afraid of it that I wouldn’t use tampons! If I was on my period, and everybody else was going swimming, I would avoid it whenever I could, because I was too afraid of TSS! I’m still a little bit wary of it, but I do use tampons now when I’m on my period (even when I’m not going swimming, I only use pads at night).

    What influenced me to change from pads to tampons? Well, one time, at my yearly check up, I talked with the nurse practitioner about my concern about tampons and TSS (my doctor is a man, so I see one of the nurse practitioners at my doctor’s office for my regular physicals). She told me that tampons are very safe, TSS is very rare (which I already knew), and that the risk of getting it was very low.

    I’d definitely say that I’m glad I made the switch from pads to tampons, because I absolutely COULD NOT STAND the gross feeling of a bloody pad!

    • Hi Leanne,
      Thanks for writing! I’m so glad you’ve had a positive tampon experience. I hope you continue to do so. Be sure to look over the signs and symptoms of TSS. You just never know when a friend might develop symptoms and not realize what’s happening.
      Thanks, too, for sharing that you use pads at night. That’s oh, so wise!
      Warm regards,

      • I also take other suggested precautions such as changing your tampons every 4-5 hours, only using the size I really need, and only using tampons when I’m on my period. I have also heard that organic tampons are less likely to cause TSS than conventional tampons (Tampax, Playtex), so I’m thinking of trying them.

  4. Melissa says:

    I just wanted to thank you for all of the stories and information on your site. My 12 year old daughter was hospitalized with TSS on April 22, 2014. She had stared feeling ill the 19th, while I was prepping to host Easter dinner. She spent all of Easter on the couch, with all of our family assuming it was the flu. Monday the 21st she started to develop a rash on top of the high fever and sore throat, and I knew something was wrong. I took her to the nearest ER, though I had been warned it was awful. They immediately focused on her sore throat only, after 3 hours waiting for a “quick” strep culture they discharged her with a “viral sore throat”. At her discharge she had a 103 temp and a 140 pulse rate, they also couldn’t read her blood pressure, which they attributed to her skinny arms. I was shocked. Their instructions stated to call the doctor if the fever lasted three more days. That night she was miserable, and the next morning the rash was covering her entire body. Her tongue was also completely white. I decided to make the hour trip to a hospital that employed people with working brains. Within 30 minutes she was admitted to the ICU. Her urine was almost black from kidney failure and her liver functions showed it was failing as well (all that would have been caught Much earlier with routine tests the day before). Now here we are, a month since her discharge. She hasn’t regained all her strength yet and is still on home instruction from school. Her feet are still peeling in huge chunks and her hair is falling out…but she is alive, and we are both so greatful for that. I am so proud of how strong she has been, down to reading these posts and saying, ” well, maybe I’ll grow back an even better hair color and be the envy of my friends”. Haha. She is my hero. Its hard to believe this all started with a tampon, something neither she, or I, will ever use again after this.
    Thank you again for creating a place where we can find comfort that she is not alone is all this, and that she will be OK!!