May Monthly Friend: Emily

Name: Emily Marie Ahtúnan
Age: 39
Hometown: East Coast – Mid Atlantic States
Current location: New England: Vermont
Occupation: I have an eclectic occupational history: from research assistant, writer, audio/visual assistant, student, social worker, behavioral consultant, disabled individual, photographer. I have a certain disdain for the question of “What do you do?” as it’s one of the first things we tend to ask any new acquaintance. My disdain arises from the cultural sense that we define ourselves by what it is we “do,” rather than who it is we are, at any given moment. When I meet someone, I want to know who they are, what makes them passionate, on fire … what brings that glimmer into their eyes when they speak of themselves and their lives. If you want to know who I am; you won’t find the answer in my occupation. Let’s have tea together and talk.

Interests: Nature, Photography, Birding, Writing, Art, Compassion, Green Living, Local eating, Cooking, Nurturing myself, others and our connection with the Natural World.
Dreams: To live more rurally again, in a small log cabin with my companion feline, completely surrounded by nature. Travel and, to always dream. To eventually make a living from my photography, art and writing.

How long have you used reusable menstrual products?:
Approximately 1 year.
Reason for making the switch to reusables: The main reason, initially, was an attempt to ease the discomfort (raging/debilitating pain is more like it) prior to and during my cycle. A GYN suspected that I had endometriosis and wanted to begin a pharmaceutical regiment that would put me into medical menopause. I wasn’t about to take that leap, so I began in earnest to investigate other options, which led me to resuables: GladRags and the DivaCup to be exact. Making that switch proved to be a huge success in more ways than one! Now, it’s health along with the environmental reasons to use GladRags and the Diva Cup. It’s also much easier on my budget too. Since making the switch, I can’t think of a reason not to; making the switch to reusables also provided me an opportunity to become more in touch with my cycle and my body. I’m much more at ease with myself, my cycle and talking more openly about it. Bonus, bonus, bonus – I dream that every woman will make the switch to reusables and find the joy (yes, joy) in using them.

Funny anecdotes, deep thoughts, or anything else you’d like to share: I have been going through some issues with my PAP smears, and happen to have a knitted uterus which I brought to a GYN appointment a year or so back. GYN bonus points: she also has a knitted uterus. Ladies, that may be a prerequisite question when looking for a GYN. I love my GYN! I had my knitted uterus in my backpack for the appointment, brought it home and put it on the kitchen table. The cat jumped on the kitchen table and grabbed my uterus in her mouth and ran off with it. Noticing she was running away with my uterus; I said “Come back here with my uterus!” If any of my neighbor’s heard me, well … how often have you shouted “Come back here with my uterus,” to your feline or to anyone – out loud? I only wish that I had my camera in hand as she trotted off …