Don’t Look Down

Anne-Marie Keppel
7 min readMar 4, 2022

An Inquiry About Examining Our Bloody Underpants — One Year Later

The pandemic of 2020 opened a new level of cynicism and division. I’m not going to explain to you where and why and how you’ll have to do that backwork yourself. I’m jumping off at the accusation that was used as ammunition against those who were trying to do research on the virus, on their menstrual cycles and on the vaccine as best they could on their own for a great many reasons and getting completely torn apart because of it. One question, while examining the atrocities of ignoring women’s reports of altered menstrual flow, is: why is “doctor google” getting slammed when there are not enough doctors available for consulting?

Let’s take a look at why someone might consult Dr Google during the pandemic (but this was happening before the pandemic as well):

· There are approximately one million doctors in the US and 300 million people. There were not and are not enough doctors to have “one on one” conversations with.

· The doctors that were available could not obtain information fast enough to give their patients answers. We all were in the dark.

· The studies and information coming out was changing all of the time so there is no way a doctor could continually give current information and see patients — both would be a more than full time job.

· 28 million people in the United States do not have health insurance and therefore cannot actually consult a doctor.

· The news and information that was coming out was completely contradictory at times.

· Algorithms only show you what you want to see and know and not necessarily what is most helpful, current or “true.” Best to do some searches on your own.

Or, maybe when you’re bleeding through your IUD after getting a vaccine or you’ve been done with menopause for years and yet bleed after getting your vaccine but the vaccine is so new that you need to consult someone other than your doctor — because they aren’t calling you back…

I could keep going, but this should give you a good start at why people began “consulting Dr Google.” For the same reasons one might consult a YouTube video to rewire their house an individual might choose to find out information on what’s going on with the electrical system in their own body; it’s free, it’s fast, and if you consult enough opposing opinions (do a really thorough search and study job) it’s extremely helpful and perhaps even (insert gasp) reliable. Is it dangerous because you might burn your house down or try a yoga move that will throw out your back and make your sciatic nerve worse? Yep! But people have been doing stupid things themselves and/or prescribed by their doctors since forever. Now we can just do it much faster. (Doctors once prescribed mercury as a quick and safe remedy for nearly everything!)

In a quick Google search when I type in “Covid” there are more than five billion results that pop up in .88 seconds. Five Billion. Now, it would take some time so sort through that, but knowing how to do a good google search which children are taught in school can lead you in the direction that you wish to go. Yes, like it or not, medical advice and research will continue to flood the internet and your children are learning how to use it. They will type in, “What does herpes look like?” They will seek out advice on their menstrual cycle, wet dreams, birth control, headaches, anxiety, suicide. They will discover good advice and bad. Why do they do this? The adults are busy, not paying attention, not approachable, they don’t want to get in trouble, they are embarrassed, they want to know if anyone else has these problems… the list goes on. Adults do these searches for the same reasons — in addition, they may feel like their doctor may not take their symptoms seriously even if they could take the hours off from work.

In the spring of 2021 when several of my friends reported irregular menstrual cycles, break through bleeding from their IUDs, non-stop bleeding after their Covid vaccines I did some research on the studies that were done on women’s menstrual cycles in reference to the vaccines. Turns out — there were none.

And yet, when women were reporting around the world — some very scared — that they were bleeding after their vaccines they were shamed, shunning, minimized and blocked on social media. They were told that they are only noticing this because other women are talking about it. Women ganged up on women, men ganged up on women. But, women didn’t stop talking — they started their own forums and research outside of platforms that silenced them. The CDC finally caught on and decided they should probably speak up and said, “there is no data” in a way that was so dismissive news stations and newspaper articles were using headlines like, “No Data Linking Covid Vaccines to Menstrual Changes US Experts Say” Instead of saying something along the lines of “Women’s Menstrual Cycles Not Studied in Covid-19 Vaccine.” The difference there is subtle, but I bet you’re smart enough to catch on. So now, nearly a year later and the stories are coming out such as this very important article in Vox— and there will be more. This has just begun.

And so, why is asking questions so dangerous these days? Why is reporting on what is happening to your body a threat? Why were women silenced when they were voicing their concerns about their body and what they were seeing in their underwear? Because we always have been. We’ve always been told to not be so hysterical. We’ve always been told not to look into our underpants and describe what we see. Don’t look down.

You see, because I was one of the only brave ones that spoke up on social media (and got slammed by some) I was one of the people that many women confided in. I was in several forums, one with 75,000 women who were reporting strange happenings with their menstrual cycle. And, guess what no one was talking about as they were divulging personal information about their cycle? They were not talking about the “bullshit” of wearing masks. They were not talking about whether they vote red or blue. They were not even talking about whether or not to get the vaccine! They were scared. They were voicing their fears. And they were SHUT DOWN. Why iwas it automatically assumed that everyone reporting on their changed cycle was “anti-vax” or “republican.” Why couldn’t people simply read the statements, ask questions? We have defaulted to a society of RIGHT and WRONG. But in instances where there is NO DATA why were these voices automatically not just wrong but a sincere threat? Why did people not ask, does the virus do the same thing? Let’s look at the effect of menstruating from both the Covid vaccine and obtaining the virus naturally. Are there any similarities?

Why has it become socially responsible to only ask questions within a box? Here’s another dangerous question: How many nation-wide campaigns did you see to boost your immune system during the pandemic? Any? Why do you think that was?

Here’s just one of my very personal stories for those of you who have decided that this blog post is irresponsible and reckless. (I beg you to call me hysterical.) One of my first vaccines ever left me grey, limp and unresponsive. My swelling brain had me screaming bloody murder until I passed out from pain and my parents had to rush me to the doctor. It was a miracle that I survived — if I had been left over night like that (my parents assuming I was sleeping quietly) I would have died. As it turned out, I was most fortunate and was one out of 10,000 cases like mine that did not leave me severely brain damaged though I do have other issues likely caused by the vaccine. For this reason I have always delayed, spaced out and given half does of vaccines to my children and for myself. I am not “anti-vax” which is another commonly tossed around term for one who is vaccine inquisitive. I ask questions. I feel safe when I am able to ask questions. I feel threatened when I am silenced. How about you?

Note: I tried to find a really BLOODY picture on the internet of someone’s monthly cycle. The results were so pathetic I couldn’t believe it. There are several images of a pad with a red feather placed on it to indicate menstruation. There are lots of pictures of women clutching their abdomen in agony. I do not need to tell you ladies about the monthly blood show that is possible — you’ve seen it! So, why is it so discrete as if it only happens to specific women once in awhile? I’m all about this. Free bleeding. Yes. Stop the stigma. Stop the period shaming. Let women gather, talk and bleed.

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Anne-Marie Keppel

Author, life-long meditator, intentional healer, weaver of joyful living & mama of three