Tag Archives: dysmenorrhea

UTERUS UPDATE! (Cyborg Implant Month 1)

I know each and every one of you has been waiting with bated breath for an update on my uterus issues. THE WAIT IS OVER!

As I’m sure you recall, I had a nexplanon implant put in the end of August. (OMG – the bruising for this was horrific. I really, really want to share a picture, but I’m not going to, because I am a good person.) This was to help manage the horrific dysmenorrhea I was suffering for a week straight (the worst usually only lasted a day or two, but it was a day or two of sobbing, wracked with pain, emotional hellbeastiness and then 4-5 days of regularly awful cramps that would cause me to randomly double over with pain and work through headaches, back aches, and neck aches, not to mention the nausea and random dizziness).

My period tracker tells me that my period was due two days ago. That means that I am currently LATE! This is super exciting for someone whose cycle was lasting between 9-12 days for much of the earlier part of this year. I’m at an actual 4-week cycle this month (or maybe even longer! fingers crossed!).

The best part is that I’ve been having cramps. But not full-body, wracked with pain and sobbing until I practically throw up cramps! No! I am having midol ad cramps.

Wait – not this Midol ad!

 

I wouldn’t necessarily choose this one, either…

 

Yes! This one! She looks like she’ll be going on a hike as soon as she pops her midol!

Like, I have cramps. They’re twingy and uncomfortable. I literally don’t know how to deal with this. I had a craving for chocolate yesterday, so I had some. I haven’t cried, or pulled out the vicodin, or even grabbed my heating pad.

I feel…not bad. Almost good, even. It’s so weird.

I’m not sure I’m quite at “happy bitch” stage, but I’ll take this.

My doctor and all the studies I’ve read (because of course I was on pub med central searching for journal articles, I am not [often] a spontaneous decision maker*) laid out the following stats:

  1. 20% of users have a complete cessation of menstruation
  2. 20% of users have unpredictable menstrual cycles with extra blood
  3. 60% of users have regular cycles

Of women who’ve suffered from dysmenorrhea, 80% (give or take, depending on the study and what they were using as markers) have a drastic reduction in pain levels over the course of six months.

AND – most women who have the insert removed before it expires (three years, I think) do so because of point #2 above, and almost all within the first 3 months. I’m one month in and feeling hopeful that I’ll fall into camps 1 or 3 (I’d really, really like to be #1…for so many reasons, but mostly because my damn uterus OWES ME.

Maybe, if it repents and is good, I’ll let it stay a bit longer…I’d sure like to avoid major surgery if at all possible.

I’m hoping if I can get to a place where I’m not in pain 50% of the time and dopey from my borderline anemia, I’ll have more energy so I can start waking up and exercising and feeling all around better!

*fingers crossed*

All positive uterus thoughts accepted, although honestly, I don’t need you to spend a lot of time thinking about my uterus because that’s just weird.

*I can be spontaneous if you give me a heads up.

 

Three Things Thursday: Uterus TMI

  1. 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:
    1. Pregnancy (worked for a while, but then I was no longer pregnant [and thank fuck for that] and all the bad came back).
    2. 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.
    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.
    4. 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.)
    5. 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.

      After staring at uterus pictures for a long time, I am now convinced those are arms and hands and they want to strangle me.
      I’m not sure exactly what my abnormal shaped uterus looks like (it’s definitely not a fully bicornated one), but it’s not fucking normal, because of course it’s not.

    6. 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!
  2. 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.)

There is a surprising dearth of uterus candles on the internet. Someone needs to get on that.

  1. 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.)

    (For Marcy)

    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.

 

 

 

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Three Things Thursday: Keeping it Real Edition

  1. I know I owe you a review of The Silent. And I want to give it to you. But the last week has been a rough one for Amy-kind. I was felled with some kind of likely migraine issues last Thursday, and then have had various levels of horrific cramps over the past few days. Hunter deserves more than a half-assed review written when I couldn’t think straight. If you’re desperate for a great review and don’t feel like waiting around until I can pull myself together, check out my PSM’s.
  2. I am (with the exception of yesterday) making excellent progress on my rewrites of The Ruby Blade. I am hoping to finish up in the next week to ten days. Rewriting is ever so much harder than writing, because I have to make sure additions make sense within the story, and add rather than detract. There are a couple new characters in The Ruby Blade, and I hope you love them as much as I do. There’s also a lot more Raj, and he is even more morally ambiguous than I was expecting him to be. Still hot AF, though.
  3. Did I mention the cramps? Yeah. This month has not been good. I was a wreck last night. There may have been tears. And sobbing. And the inability to walk properly due to pain. Today, I feel like I was in a fight or something (on top of the only slightly less awful cramps I have today) because my body aches all over from the aftermath of the full-body cramps I had last night. Since I can’t take vicodin at work (or drink a bottle of wine at my desk), I’m thinking a combo of reiki and essential oils might be my only hope. Maybe also coconut oil, although I’m not sure of the proper application. (Please don’t chime in with advice on pain management…trust me, I’ve probably tried it, or considered it and dismissed it for legitimate reasons.) (The no assvice thing goes double for the non-uterus havers.)

 

Have a great rest of the week and fantabulous weekend. If you don’t hear from me again, it’s probably because the entire Pacific Northwest melted, thus saving me from further pain.