Three Things Thursday: Uterus TMI
- You may or may not have blocked out the fact that I am in a war with my uterus, and so far, it’s winning. In the last six years, I have tried the following methods to wrangle it into submission:
- Pregnancy (worked for a while, but then I was no longer pregnant [and thank fuck for that] and all the bad came back).
- IUD. I had one of these inserted a few months after Bean was born. Actually, it took two tries (and literally three people to move my abdomen around and tilt my cervix up so someone could get it in because everything is wonky in there). Finally, I had an IUD and I hated it. I was in extreme discomfort all the time in the lower left quadrant, i.e. the fallopian tube region. After eight months of stupid pain and major discomfort, I requested it get evicted. I knew I was done procreating, so we went to step 3.
- Essure. Little springs are inserted into the fallopian tubes and in about 3 months, scar tissue grows over them blocking the passages so sperm can’t get in and eggs can’t get out. (Sidenote: Bean loves anatomy books and we were looking at the reproductive system. “Mom, what are testicles even for? They’re weird.” Me: “They make the sperm that is needed to make babies.” Horrified look. “I don’t want any sperm.” “No worries, my love. You’re too young to be making sperm.” Bean: “Well, when I’m old enough, how do I make it? Do I eat some eggs and flour and sugar?” Me: “I can’t stop laughing long enough to admit I don’t know the exact mechanics of sperm production.”)
Anyway, when the Essure procedure was happening, the docs found that my IUD wasn’t hanging out all happy like the below image, but instead was trying to make friends with my left ovary via the fallopian tube. That is not ideal and explains the discomfort.
- Essure sterilized me, but did nothing for the dysmenorrhea or anemia-inducing flow, so I was put on a progesterone-only pill, which stopped working effectively about a year ago. (I can’t have estrogen birth control because I get ocular migraines, and apparently having a stroke is bad.)
- After a few months of having menstrual cycles averaging 9-15 days, I’d had enough. We scheduled an ablation to destroy the lining of my uterus, eliminating menstruation and hopefully the majority of the dysmenorrhea. That didn’t take. My uterus, rather than looking like a nice little triangle, is roughly diamond-shaped (which might also explain the IUD issues, and btw – fuck you to the person who accused me of lying about my IUD issues; you are a twat of the first order). Several attempts to deploy the uterus blaster failed, leaving me sore and really fucking sad that once again, my uterus was winning.
- The last few months since the failed ablation have been awful. Cramps lasting upwards of two weeks, including 24-36 hours of full-body cramps, vicious headaches, and pain in my legs rendering me unable to walk. There is a lot of crying and nausea involved and it is no good.Now that you’re all caught up, let’s go to Tuesday!
- Last Friday, while on day 7 of cramps, I gave up and contacted my doctor. “Please do something to help with pain management!” I begged. “It is sucking the life out of me and I can’t do this every 3 weeks for the rest of my life.” So yesterday I went in and got a Nexplanon implant in my arm. I read a few pubmed studies on using the implant to treat severe dysmenorrhea, and for the 80% who kept the implant past 3 months (20% dropped out because of an increase in irregularity and volume of bleeding), they almost across the board saw a huge reduction in pain. Like pain levels previously at an 8 or 9 dropped down to below 5 in six months and below 2 in nine months. (And 20% of women saw an almost complete cessation in menstruation.) My uterus has not been giving me the best outcomes so far, but I am hopeful that this one fucking time, I can get the pain reduction and have no more bleeding. Ever. So, I’d appreciate all the well-wishes, prayers, positive energy, and candles lit for my uterus. (My NP said she was going to go home and light a candle for my uterus and I just love her so much.)
- Ten days of cramps plus the other stuff that comes with it (bodily fluids = ewwww…) mean my mental acuity is not top-notch. Chronic pain plus borderline anemia really fucks with your brain. Yesterday was a hard, hard day. I went to get my implant and couldn’t remember what floor my doctor was on in the hospital, even though this was my sixth visit in three months. I asked the reception desk if it was on the 3rd or 5th floor. Turns out it was on the 4th.Next, I had to do a pregnancy test, because those are the rules even when you’ve been spayed. I took my labeled cup into the bathroom, peed, flushed, washed my hands, and then looked at the cup I’d set on the shelf and not used at all.And then last night, I attempted to make dinner. Nothing fancy. It was taco Tuesday, but Bean requested burritos (he then refused to eat those burritos because he wants to see how fast mama can lose her mind). First, I set the plastic salsa container on the stove while I heated up the back burned to warm tortillas. (You know where this is going, right?) Yeah. I didn’t turn on the back burner. You know what smells great? Melted plastic mixed with salsa. Then, when adding avocado to the beer guy’s burrito, I threw it on myself and the floor. And then, my tortilla flipping, which I usually excel at, was terrible. And to wrap it all up, when flipping the beer guy’s burrito, it didn’t flip and everything ended in sadness and tears for everyone. (Mostly me.)
I am really, really looking forward to feeling better and hope this implant will be the key to getting me there sooner. I’m pretty tired of always being tired. I’d like to have the energy back and not be alternately a giant ball of intense cramps or sore from being a giant ball of intense cramps.
In conclusion, you know more about my reproductive system’s fuckery than you probably wanted to, but if you send me a case of red wine, I promise to not talk about it any more.