Under fire for controversial comments on ISIS, Marie Harf was once exposed to a toxic tampon. Seriously.
She recently said that “we cannot kill our way out of this war” but earlier she said that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Hmmm…
Here’s an article from February 1, 1998 entitled, “Toxic Shock Syndrome: Not Forgotten, And Not Gone Either” by Sherry Beck Paprocki.
From the way she runs on the basketball court, 16-year-old Marie Harf does not look like a teenager who was gravely ill last spring. Overcome with fever and nausea, she had to leave her high school prom in May. She was rushed to the hospital the next day while a life-threatening illness quietly spread through her young body.
Emergency room doctors at Riverside Methodist Hospital were puzzled. Marie’s symptoms were like the flu: fever, dizziness, sore throat, headache and a rash. They tested her for meningitis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. All were negative.
Then Marie suggested they consider toxic shock syndrome. Tests proved her right. The popular, outgoing teen had diagnosed herself with a disease that had captured the nation’s attention the year before she was born.
Toxic shock burst into the headlines in the early 1980s, killing 86 women in five years. Just as suddenly, the epidemic stopped and the subject disappeared from newspapers. But controversy continues over what causes the disease and what to do about it, and major tampon manufacturers continue to defend themselves in court. And as Marie Harf shows, the condition remains a threat to women.
Marie, a junior, is a cheerleader for her high school’s football team each fall and is striving for a basketball scholarship at Penn State in 1999. But last spring her athletic career was in question while she lay in a hospital bed, helpless, as her body tried to fight off the poison.
Her blood pressure dropped. Her kidneys stopped working. Her spleen and liver enlarged. Her heart and lungs were stressed. All were typical symptoms of toxic shock. Physicians started her medication, but the toxins continued to spread.
Those days were a blur for Marie, though she was conscious throughout the ordeal. “I worried about whether I was ever going to see tomorrow,” she says.
Her parents were overcome with grief. But 24 hours later, Marie’s condition finally stabilized. The next day, Marie went into an intensive care step-down unit, to be greeted with flowers, cards and plenty of friends who stopped in to visit.
It was months before she regained her energy and the pounds lost from her illness. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” she says.
. . .
These days Marie Harf tries to educate her friends about the illness. She is especially bothered when she sees tampon advertisements on television promoting overnight use of the product. She says she was always very careful when using tampons. Never longer than a few hours at a time. Never overnight.
“It is to some extent embarrassing,” says Marie. “I never did anything wrong and I got sick.”
During the last couple of congressional sessions, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation for further tampon testing, but she has been able to get nothing passed. At issue currently are two concerns: that some tampons still contain viscose rayon and that tampons contain dioxin. The Environmental Protection Agency labels dioxin a “probable cancer-causing agent.”
. . .
Meanwhile, Marie Harf and other women feel the lingering threat of toxic shock syndrome. Marie is at a greater risk now, since she’s already suffered the disease once. Toxic-shock victims are advised to avoid tampons the rest of their lives and to avoid barrier methods of birth control, such as using the diaphragm. These requirements, says Marie, will affect her entire life.