Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Mirena Story...don't worry, it's not gross.

I had a new birth control device implanted in my body yesterday. I was ridiculously excited about it, from the time I made the decision to do it right up until the doctor finished the process.

I don’t really know why, but I blame the overexcitement a little on the whole been-on-the-Pill-for-22-years thing, as well as the thought that maybe – just maybe – the consistent addition of those hormones in my body on a month after month basis might’ve been damaging things like my thyroid, my gall bladder, and even my liver. Possibly jacking up all the work I do in order to try to control my weight and keep my stomach in a happy place.

It had to end.

So I ended it! I talked over my options with my doctor, and he encouraged me to give an IUD – either in copper form, or the Mirena which is a plastic version with fewer side effects and lower possibility of pregnancy – a chance to do the job for me. I chose the Mirena because, even though it only lasts 5 years compared to the copper version’s 10, it gives me an even better chance of keeping from getting pregnant than the Pill ever did, and there’s a strong chance that after a few months, periods will completely stop all together for me. Which is my whole goal. There’s just no point to me having them at all. They’re annoyances that simply piss me off to have at this point in my life.

I prepared for the appointment by asking people who had been through the experience of having an IUD inserted what I might expect. The doctor warned me that because I’ve never had a child, it could be a considerably more painful experience for me, since my cervix had never dilated for any reason. I’ve been through some painful experiences in my time, but nothing in that general…um, area. So I went on a message board I’m a part of and asked for feedback from other women that had had the Mirena or copper IUD inserted to find out what their experiences were like. I heard everything from “it wasn’t too bad…just a little pain, but over pretty quick” to “on a scale of 10, the pain was a 9”. So I knew that it would be tough to gauge what I should expect for myself. I simply took the suggested 4 Advil a half hour prior to my appointment, and went in with hopes for an easy process.

The nurse that took me back asked me if I’d had a good day so far? I said yeah, nothing too bad. I got on the scale, and she slid the main weight down to the 150 pound starting point. I was all, “Oh, you’re too nice! But…no.” She laughed and said she’d been a little ‘off’ all day, and she blamed it on Leap Day. I said, “Whoah…dude, that’s not what I want to hear 5 minutes before having something like this done!” And she reassured me that this was a very simple, quick procedure and not to worry. We chatted about how she was looking forward to getting a Mirena herself sometime soon, but had to wait for her insurance to cover it. (That was a mistake on my part…we haven’t met our deductible yet this year, since it’s only February, so I had to pay the whole thing in order to get the Mirena inserted. No biggy…just means that all the rest of our medical stuff this year will be beyond deductible level, I guess, but still. That was $400 out of pocket. But when I consider that I’ve been paying anywhere from $70 per month to $15 for a 3 months’ supply of my birth control pills for the past 22 years, it’s quite a savings for me to have this done, even with the out of pocket costs!) Then she left to get the doc and to allow me to get undressed.

As I sat in the room waiting, I noticed how easy it was for me to hear what was going on in the hallway, and in the room right next to me. It didn't bother me much, really, but I didn’t know how many patients might be around to hear my possible screaming, so it kind of messed up my focus for a sec. Then I tried taking some deep breaths to calm myself a bit, and pretty soon the doctor and nurse came back in, and we got to work.

We had talked about the pain expectations I had, and the doctor reassured me that everyone is different, and there really was no way of knowing how I would feel, so we just needed to get it done. He warned me about the first stab of pain I would feel. “This is going to pinch, and get uncomfortable, ok?” “Ok,” I said, and tried to remain as relaxed as possible so as to keep things hopefully in a less clenched state.

And holy. shit. Yeah, OW.

I gasped, and held my breath, and the nurse heard me and said, “BREATHE.” And I breathed out, and said, “Thank you. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath!” I figured out then why it is that some women are reported as fainting after/as they have the procedure done. That gasp was deep and didn’t really help with easing any pain, but it was unavoidable. The only other way I’d react to that kind of pain, usually, would be to grab at it. And…he wasn’t hurting a totally grabable area!

I told some girlfriends on a message board I’m on that the pain is hard to describe. It was like someone pinched me really hard in a spot that I’d never expect or want to get pinched. EVER. It fucking sucked.

But it was quick. And then I laid still and tried to relax again.

So he was doing some stuff, and then he said that there was going to be another shot of pain, and this would be worse than the last. Fuck. “Ok, good to know,” I said. And as I clenched my fists to try to have control over some part of my body, the pain hit me. I gasped again, but remembered this time to breathe. And as I breathed back out I said, “JEEEEZUS!” almost involuntarily.
But then he was done, and just finishing up some loose ends, and so we chatted about my friend Jackie, and how she practices hypnotism when she goes through childbirth to help with the pain, and I wished that I knew how to do that. My doctor said, “Oh? And how well does THAT work for her?” He sounded like he thought it was a kind of silly idea, but I told him that it seemed to work really well, actually. To the point of where, with her last daughter’s birth just last week, she was apparently too relaxed for the labor to even get to a helpful level. He actually thought that was cool, and then we chatted a bit more about things I should watch for after I went home, and then he left me to get dressed.

I could hear the nurses in the hallway desk area chatting about something, and then one of them imitated my “JEEZUS!” exclamation, and I realized how loud I’d been when I reacted. Oops! They seemed amused by it, though, and as one of my goals in life is to amuse the people around me, I felt my job had been done, and I snuck past their desk and back out to the waiting room to collect my husband and go the hell home.

Cramping continued throughout the early evening, but felt much better by about 8 p.m. By the time I went to bed, I felt perfectly comfortable. Today, I’m working from home, as I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the way of continuing cramping/bleeding, but it’s been a quiet day for the most part.

So I’m hoping for continued success with this thing. It’s so weird having something…well, foreign inside of me 100% of the time. And when I think about it too much, it bugs me out, so I try not to. I expect it to bother me less and less as time goes on, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m going to think positive thoughts, and continue to enjoy my baby-free life. I have a lot of other hopes for this thing, but I try not to think about those too much, either. For the time being, I’ll just be happy that the beginning is behind me.


Ms. Pants said...

I loved mine so much, I asked the doctor if I could have it when they took all my parts out. (Okay, not because of that, but I did love it.) ((The doc said no, by the way. Something about hazardous waste. Pshaw.)) (((I was just glad I hadn't bought a new one!)))

I had the same pain thing. The doc gave me a shot of motrin and a moment to compose myself and came back and asked if I really wanted to do this. I said, "Yes, but I don't want you to ask me if I want you to stop, cos my natural reaction will be to say yes. I don't want you to stop. Just shove that bastard up there!" So he did.

You'll looooooooove it when the hormones kick in and you stop having periods altogether. I called mine a comma cos I only knew I was supposed to have a period when I got bitchy and wanted Taco Bell really bad. Seriously. I haven't had Taco Bell since they took all the parts out. I really think my ute wanted a last supper of mexi-kinda instead of crotchfruit.

Lushy said...

I just had a copper one put in 3 weeks ago...I was one of the fainting people. Passed right out. Once it was over, I started throwing up in the exam room. Who knew I was that big of a wimp? I'm so embarrassed.

Faith said...

Ms Pants, I finally have managed to kick Taco Bell cravings pretty much all together. For me, McD's cravings are stupidly ridiculous. I honestly don't know how I've gotten through this week without giving in, already!

Lushy! Oh nooo! The thing is, it seemed like a common enough occurrence that it was something discussed as a possibility of occurring on the WebMD info about the Mirena. So you're not alone! And the doctor and nurse both helped me to sit up when I was done, and made sure I wasn't dizzy/that I was totally ok before they left the room. So I'm sure it's happened in that office a lot, too. You shouldn't be embarrassed at all.

faithstwin said...

Yes, what IS it about the thin walls in doctors offices? Although when I have made an effort to try and hear what the people are saying I've been truly disappointed in how boring their questions were, so it's not worth it. However, I would probably be wondering allllll day long (and it would keep coming back to me, really, for quite some time) if I heard someone exclaim something like "Jesusss!" from another room. Just my curious nature.

I'm sorry you had to go through that though. Pain in the female parts sucks some major ass but I'm glad it was over relatively quickly.

Poor Lushy! Like Faith said, they put those side affect warnings for a reason- because they happen to more than 2 people during trials, which means you are NOT alone.

Janet said...

I love mine! NO MORE CRAMPS!!!! It's awesome.

I have to get it replaced this year, though. Not really looking forward to it, especially since it will be with a new doctor.

PhotoMom1978 said...

Mine was hard to place because of nabothian cyst. They originally thought it would be easy. They since I've had four kids it would be fine. I had to actually be rescheduled to be seen with ultrasound. The only reason I got it is to control my severe bleeding. If this doesn't work my doctor said she had little options since getting through my cervix is not an option. Sound like hysterectomy is my only option if this doesn't work. My first period has last 2 weeks and now have intense cramping. Since I just got out of surgery for another issue I really hope it's like the post online. They mostly talk about it being bad a first and then getting better.