Thursday, January 5, 2012


Ok, yes - this is yet another post about my medical issues so if you're a guy (brother) and don't want to hear about it stop reading now.

I've been on Depo Provera for the last 10 years.  That's a hormone-based birth control shot that is injected once every 3 months.  The only side-effects of Depo that I was informed of when I first started getting it were that it would mean no monthly cycles and could cause weight gain.  Little did I know at that time, Depo is pure progesterone, which is a hormone naturally produced by the body but Depo increases that hormone's levels in the body which, with prolonged use, can lead to other side-effects such as moodiness, trouble sleeping, night sweats, hot flashes, hair loss or thinning, hair growth in other places where women don't want hair like the face, etc.  Basically, increasing progesterone for a long period of time can make the body think it's going through menopause.  Hum, interesting!

So early last year when I talked to my OB-GYN about all of my odd symptoms and she announced that I was menopausal - it could have just been the Depo.  July of last year the OB changed at my local Planned Parenthood and the new one said "Well you've been on depo for 10 years.  You're probably not really menopausal, you're just too high in progesterone and too low in estrogen."  So she put me on an estrogen supplement and said "Most women LOSE weight on estrogen."

YAY right?  Except that we all know July of last year is about the time that I started to have a really hard time losing weight.  I started craving food constantly and, most of the time, not even knowing what I was craving so I would stand in front of the fridge or pantry for several minutes at a time staring blankly.

In November I mentioned this to, yet another new OB at the PP and she said "Well yeah estrogen can do that.  Just like pregnant women who crave strange foods and eat a lot.  Estrogen can make your body think you're pregnant and, therefore, you feel the need to gain weight to support the fetus."  Can we please get some cohesion here people?!

So the Newest OB suggested that instead of another Depo shot this month, I should get an IUD which lasts for 12 years and has zero hormones of any kind.  Last night was the big night.  No depo, no progesterone, no estrogen.  Back to having monthly's and, hopefully, feeling more like myself again.  I'm not sure if being off hormones of all kinds will effect my ability to lose weight or make me less likely to be a peeping-tom in the pantry but I'm hoping.

However ... THEY NEVER MENTIONED THAT IT WAS GOING TO FEEL LIKE HAVING A FREAKIN' ROOT CANAL IN PLACES THAT I CAN'T MENTION HERE!  Holy crap on toast Tinkerbell!!!!  They told me to take 800 mg of Ibuprofin when I made the appointment and I said "So this is gonna hurt huh?" and the reply was "You'll have some moderate cramping for a few days afterward."  Well that's fine - thinks I - I can handle moderate cramping.  MODERATE MY ASS!

First of all, I've never had kids.  So the location where they put this IUD is something I didn't even know I could feel until the doc said "You're going to feel a slight pinch" and the next thing I knew I was clinging to the ceiling by fingers and toenails like a cat at a coyote convention!  Then she says "Ok that was the instrument going in, are you going to be able to handle that again while I put the device in?"  I'm sorry ... effing what?!  We're not done?!  Can you like ... give me some chloroform or just hit me on the head with a clip board or something to knock me out please?!  And THEN the doc says "Well yeah you've never had kids so that's why it hurts so much".  Oh ... ok THANKS FOR THE INFO YOU SADISTIC SPAWN OF SATAN!

And then ... get this.  They get done and say "Ok just have a seat out in the waiting room and we'll call you when we're ready for you to pay the bill".  YOU WANT ME TO SIT DOWN?!  ARE YOU INSANE?!  The pain was so bad that it actually made me throw up, twice.  They left me sitting in the waiting room for another 20 minutes just waiting to pay the bill so I could go home.

Now here is the shocking part!  800 mg of Ibuprofin is about as helpful as a one legged man in a three legged race.  And once you take that 800 you can't take more for another 6 hours which, for me, would have been midnight and I had NO intention of staying awake long enough to wait for that.  BUT some of you may remember my old friend for muscle cramps and charlie horses - tonic water with quinine.  No shit - it worked.  First I tried a heating pad, it did nothing.  Next I tried a hot bath - no good.  I tried laying on my back, stomach, side, with a pillow under my knees, and even with my legs hanging off the edge of the bed.  Nope nope nope.  Two mouth fulls of tonic and I was asleep in less than 20 minutes.  Now I did wake up about 15 times in the middle of the night to go potty and I had to take some midol and more tonic this morning.

I planned on hiking in Red Rock or kayaking or both this weekend but they told me last night that these cramps can continue for up-to a week because my body is trying to fight the IUD which it considers a foreign object.  Oh nice.  Lovely.

We'll see what happens.  Right now I'm thinking I'd rather have another wisdom tooth pulled without anesthetic than go through another IUD insertion.  That's just not right.  To all of the mothers in the world - I salute you.  I knew childbirth was painful but if a little 1/2 gram spring loaded copper thing-a-ma-jig going in hurts that bad, I don't even want to know what it feels like to have a 10 lb baby coming out.  Good heavens!


  1. I have heard about an IUD being especially painful if you haven't carried a baby. For me, I have had two kids and getting MIRENA was the best. thing. ever. I have a very light TOM about once every 3-4 months and then no symptoms, especialy no weight gain. However, there is another blogger Prior Fat Girl, that had an IUD and had all sorts of problems, including weight gain. Maybe you should go check her out if you have any issues as to her experience with it.

  2. Oh you poor thing! That just sucks that it hurts so much. :( Thanks for letting me know I never want one of those. LOL If we do anything it will be me getting fixed if we ever have another kiddo. I hope that your feeling better sooner rather than later.

  3. Hang in there! My sister in law just had her fourth baby, a tubal ligation, and an ablasion. The ablasion was a outpatient procedure that somehow went awry and she ended up being rushed back in for an emergency "correction" The ablasion was supposed to result in her bleeding for a bit, but the end result of course was to "close the deal" on any future pregnanies and ban "Aunt Flo" from visiting her permanently. She had the procedure on December 6. She is STILL bleeding and she STILL experiences frequent cramping. They've told her this is normal. Glad to know that there is more than one GYN procedure I will be skipping out on.

  4. Liz: I went with ParaGard. Aside from how long they last I am not sure what the differences are between it and Mirena but I know that there was a big long list of "You can't get an IUD if..." and the majority of them said (ParaGard only) next to them. For example, if you're allergic to copper Mirena is ok but ParaGard is not and other stuff like that. So I guess PG is a higher risk than Mirena but I am soooooo hoping for those light and infrequent TOMs! I've been TOM free for almost 10 years and the one thing that made me hesitate about the IUD was knowing he's going to be coming back.

    Swan: I told Snackers that in 12 years when this thing has to come out it's gonna be HIS turn to take responsibility for our family planning and that will mean a VAS clip because this whole putting the entire burden on my shoulders thing just BLOWS! lol

    Christie: OMH that sucks for your sis-in-law! I'm not familiar with tubal ligations and ablasions but what I really WANTED more than IUD was a full hystorectamy but they STILL won't do one on me because I have no significant medical reasons for having one and the stupid docs are convinced that I am going to somehow magically change my mind about having kids after 29 years. What exactly IS old enough in their world? I am so sick of hearing "You're young, you could still change your mind." Pffft! If I decided to have kids now I'd be trying to pay for college and retirement at the same time. No thanks! lol In my book that window closed about 5 years ago. Well actually in my book it was never open to begin with. Some people do decide to have kids in their 30's and that's cool for them but let's face it - I'm a selfish person and I want to living in luxury at 50 not worrying about curfew, grades, and having to staple my kids pants to the back of his ass so he won't low-ride them.

  5. Oh wow, sorry you are going through all this. I hope by the time you read this things have gotten much better for you. I have a question, and I don't mean to be too personal, but if you know you don't want kids, why doesn't Snackers 'visit the vet,' as I call it? Honestly the proceedure is not that bad, o.k. I have never had it, but from what men who have had it tell me, 1 day max of discomfort and that's it! My ex had his on a Monday and was back to work Tuesday. Also, although it isn't 100% sure, it can be reversed usually with the desired result. I know this is something you guys have no doubt talked about, but every man I have talked to about it, (o.k. there haven't been tons, but my ex did lots of personal research before he had his,)says they are glad they did it, and lots say they should have done it sooner. I know mine did.
    Don't you just hate it when people you don't know are commenting on your most person issues? But, hey, you brought it
    Anyway, I hope you are doing better!

  6. I can't help but LOL! I thought the whole "staple my kids pants to the back of his ass" was hilarious. I HATE HATE HATE that trend with a fierce passion. But what can you do about the stupid public around you.

    My understanding is (and don't get me wrong, I have not googled this recently so I may very well be completely mistaken) that mirena isn't a hormone free iud. I was looking into iud right after Ethan was born. There ARE those that just have the copper wire but there are some that actually do still use hormone therapy. There wouldn't be weight gain and other associated side effects otherwise. Also, based on my understanding, it is the hormones in mirena that cause light or infrequent periods. The paragard will allow your body to still cycle, including ovulate. Somehow the reaction with the copper prevents fetilization or something along those lines.

    So, while both are iud's, they aren't the same thing by a long shot. One is natural and one has hormones.

  7. Ok, after posting the previous comment and went and found this...a fairly detailed explanation of the similarities and differences in paragard and mirena.

  8. Brendalyn: I've tried to talk Snackers into being the one to handle the issue, so to speak, and he's not having it. Little comments that he makes when he's around my brother's kid makes me think that he might actually think he might want kids someday maybe. Now when we started dating we were both 100% certain neither of us wanted them but since then I think he's kind of changing his mind but isn't outright telling me and I'm not changing mine at all, ever, no chance, he's barking up the wrong tree, final answer ... which is probably why he won't come right out and tell me his biological clock is ticking. Basically if he firmly decided bad enough that he wanted kids that would be the end of our relationship and I think he's on the fence - I think that's also why he still hasn't proposed. He's also one of those guys that isn't willing to do the research to get the facts on a procedure of that nature, isn't willing to trust anything I say, won't read anything I might try to give him on the subject and will stubbornly assume that because it deals with "the boys" it's just not going to happen. From what I can gather, since he won't really even discuss it with me, he doesn't know much about it and he's not willing to learn. It's entirely possible that he could be buying into the myths like it can make him impotent (it can't but a lot of guys think it could and have an 'if it aint broke don't mess with it' mentality). I think his aversion is a combination of these two primary factors. 1) He's still not 100% sure that he doesn't want to someday have kids and 2) Won't even consider it enough to find out the truth about it. So that leaves the responsibility on me.

    Misty: I didn't realize the Mirena did have hormones but I did know that Paragard doesn't. That was one of the reasons that I chose it. Thanks for the research and info. They gave me pamphlets on about a dozen different methods back in November and I read them all but after deciding which one I wanted to get, the facts on the others just kind of mushed together in my memory. I slept a bit better last night but still woke up a few times in pain. It seems to have caused constipation which was pretty severe yesterday and almost led to a black-out session in the bathroom which was scary because I was home, alone, and my phone was four rooms away. I suspect that the majority of my lingering pain is now from the potty problems rather than the IUD. Midol has a lax in it and I've been taking two of those a day so I'm hoping that the situation will right itself this morning on my regular schedule. If not I'm going to have to send Snackers back to Walgreens for yet another embarrassing purchase (I made him buy me some panty liners on Wednesday ... poor dude - I thought he was going to explode from the discomfort that I could hear in his voice as he asked "what do they look like?"). I am GLAD you LOL'd. One of my personality quirks is to try to take something that really sucks and make it funny - it's a way to "vent" while entertaining the listener instead of boring them or making them uncomfortable. I like making people laugh at awkward subjects - maybe that comes from my mom being a nurse my whole life and, as a result, I don't really find very many subjects to be too personal to discuss you all might have noticed by now. ;)

  9. I understand the reluctance on his part if he isn't sure if he wants kids, but like I said there is a significantly high success rate on reversal.
    As far as messing with the 'boy parts' ya, well that one is hard to overcome. Men don't understand that often the sex is better, esp for the woman, which of course makes it better for the man, in that we are no longer dealing with the worry of becoming pregnant. Not worrying about it was way more freeing than I knew it would be. For women on the pill there are the other issues of what the hormones do to our sex drive...
    I feel bad for you in that you may have a hard decision to make at some point, but no point on dwelling on it, or worrying about it, you will deal with it when and if he decided he does want kids.
    I have to say I do admire you for knowing you don't want kids and being upfront about it. I'm sure there are people in your life, and there will be more, esp if you guys get married that will openly wonder when you are going to start a family, then openly wonder why you wouldn't want to. I have never understood society's desire to pressure people who dont want, or don't like kids to have them! I mean seriously? It is the biggest, hardest, job out there, why would you encourage/pressure someone that knows they don't want it, to do it, knowing that it will only get done half-assed at best?
    Anyway, on another note...I hope you poop!!

  10. Hope your feeling even more better (yes I just typed that LOL) today!!

  11. Brandalyn: Enough said. You nailed it on all points. I did overcome the gastrointesintal issues on Friday and although I am still having intermittent cramping and bloating, I am feeling much better.

    Swan: Thanks!