It has taken me a few days to feel ready to write this blog. Mostly because, I think I was (and am) scared of describing the intense emotions I have been feeling over the last few weeks. Let me set the stage.
In my last visit with Dr. S, he mentioned that the Visanne should have worked for me to eradicate my cycle, and given that it wasn’t there may be something related to my IBD that wasn’t allowing me to fully absorb the pill format. We decided together that 1) since the progestin bodes well with me overall and 2) I can bypass the gut with an IUD, we would try the Mirena.
A few days leading up to my implantation, I broke out in a rash with (of course) an unknown cause. I couldn’t pinpoint any new food or drug or lotion that could have caused it, and the Antihistamines weren’t working for the itching and swelling. My GP gave me 18 days worth of Prednisone which has worked well for me in the past.
So I walk into Dr. S’s office a few days later, with Prednisone circulating in my body and my immune system pretty much at an all time low. But I was dead set on getting the IUD and was strong enough to endure it. My man was with me and we were ready. I feel for my man, as he kept seeing the longest instruments being plugged in and out of my vagina, each one with a weird sensation that he could feel through the crushing of my hand in his.
First was the duck bill which all of us ladies are familiar with. Ok no big deal. Then came a tong with a gritty material to clean the inside surface of the vagina. Then a stick to measure how long the IUD string needed to be. Then came the …(*pausing the catch my breath)… long-ass needle that poked me deep into the cervix in three different locations, each one just as bad as the other. This here is the point of my whole post, because while I was prepared that this would hurt, I am not sure I was prepared for the feeling of a needle deep within my cervix, pricking holes into me. The feeling was unlike anything I had experienced before and my immediate sensation overall was violation. I use this term very delicately as I don’t want you for a second to think that my doctor did anything to elicit this emotion. In fact, for days after we talked about how gentle and caring and understanding she was throughout the whole process. But when someone is poked like that in their cervix, a place where so much pain is harbored every day through endometriosis but felt through muscle and nerves and compression, it is so … odd.. to feel a sensation provoked by something going inside of you. Truthfully the implantation of the IUD into my cervix was not an issue. Maybe because the worst was already over, or maybe because the local anaesthetic had already kicked in.
That day I bled a lot. I bled the next day. And then by the third day I could feel my body sinking into a state of real depression. I was in the depths of despair. My heart was racing, I was waking up several times a night anxious about the most ridiculous things, and unable to complete any task just from the exhaustion of the depression. For several days after the procedure I was a mess. I hot, numb, mess.
At first I thought it was the prednisone triggering the anxiety but the pharmacist I spoke to, as well as my doctor, didn’t think I would have reacted this way when prednisone sat well with me a year ago. Later I thought maybe it was the gloomy weather but contrary to the victims of seasonal affective disorder (SADs) this depression was close to suicidal. Again, I don’t speak light of these terms but part of what freaked me out was how severe and swallowing and paralyzing this depression was. I sat for days wondering how to get out of this. Luckily I was wanting to get out of this, and that was the silver lining – that I persisted to combat the depression before it swallowed me whole. I reminded my BF that the state of my mood had nothing to do with him, it was all internal and I apologized profusely for being so useless.
I had a lot of time to think about depression as a whole. How so many people fall victim to depression due to a number of stimuli – emotional, physical, or otherwise. And so many of them do not have the understanding or the support system like I have, that will lift them up off the ground when they are in their darkest. I thought a lot about hormones and how they play a big part in depression/mood. I thought about IUDs and the invasiveness of them. I thought about the trauma we put ourselves through for the hope of a better, healthier life.
While all of this felt so heavy, a cloud lifted several days later. I don’t know why. I don’t know if anything actually changed, but by the 6th day I felt a little lighter. And the next day even lighter. Out of all of this I just wanted to share my story as I am unsure whether it would resonate with anyone else, but Im putting it out there.