|I pretty much wanted to show off my new gym shoes.|
Approximately three weeks after my surgery, I emerged the cave that is my home, shriveled in the sunlight and trudged to the gym. I was anxious to get back, and not only because my in-laws gave me a sweet early Christmas present: bright pink running shoes. I could feel my back and shoulders aching the way they do when I'm inactive. And I was feeling pain up and down my legs that I thought some cardio would fix.
So when I finally scanned my neglected gym membership card and hopped on to the elliptical, I felt empowered. I basked in the joy of overcoming a sliver of my illness. I managed to run two-and-a-half miles (slower and with less resistance than I usually do), and I came home with a renewed sense of strength.
In my surgery, I got a Mirena IUD placed. Given the mixed reviews women have with IUDs, I was really worried that my body would immediately reject it. (I've heard some horror stories...) But for those three weeks, my uterus cooperated, to my relief. And being able to manage the gym was a sure sign to me that my IUD was here to stay.
...and then two days later, I spent an entire day trying not to throw up.
I had already lost six pounds since my surgery (uh what?), so I was concerned with this nausea that seized my entire body for 24 hours. I could hardly concentrate on work, and any time I sat upright, waves of sickness would overcome me. I spent that afternoon sort of leaning on the couch so that I could still work and not vomit all over my laptop.
After work, my husband, Andrew and I went to check out a rental home we were considering moving into. As I was scanning the living room, my body said, "No, seriously. You're going to puke."
I immediately walked away and pretended to be super interested in the yard that I had already looked at. There was no way I was going to throw up in this poor woman's house. Andrew came out to check on me, knowing I was sick, and I asked him to apologize to the landlord for me. I thankfully never did throw up...
On the way home, we stopped less than a mile from our home so that I could spit into the grass a few times. And as soon as we walked through the door, I flopped down on the bed with a mop bucket next to me and took a nap. I woke up at 7:30 p.m., tried to eat something and immediately realized that wasn't going to work out. So I went back to bed at 8:30 p.m. and gave up on the day.
"What was that?" I wondered the next day. "Is this just a thing that's going to happen from now on? Or did I catch a 24-hour flu? Just, what is this?"
That sort of nausea, plus the new breakout of acne on top of my already scarred cheeks, wasn't something I wanted to deal with. While an IUD would potentially stave off endometriosis growth and keep me from having to worry about birth control pills, these were very inconvenient side effects...
I messaged a few endo sisters, asking for input. They sympathized, each having their own tales of IUD woes. Of course, it was still a little early to tell whether or not these symptoms were directly related to my IUD. But I had a pretty good feeling they were...
Here's the ironic thing I've noticed about IUDs. All of the women I know who have them and don't have serious reproductive issues LOVE THEM. They were the ones who were most vocal in supporting my decision to get one.
But my friends with endometriosis? "Yeah, go for it, if you want."
That should have tipped me off that having an IUD might not be smooth sailing. Of course one of the limited treatment options for endometriosis would offer a slew of side effects to the women it's supposed to help!
Again, it's still early to see whether or not my IUD will be more trouble than it's worth. But I've unfortunately had quite a few endo sisters get theirs removed after a few months. Which, knowing that most women didn't have the luxury of being unconscious during insertion like I did, really, really sucks.
I'm keeping an eye on my side effects, harassing my dermatologist about my breakouts and crossing my fingers that everything will balance out. I'm hoping some of this weight I've lost comes back, but I've noticed my IBS-like symptoms have crept back since my surgery, too. (That I think is just a consequence of surgery.)
Anyway, if any of this sounds like your IUD experience, please let me know. And if you're thinking about getting an IUD, please don't let my experience put you off! Every woman is different, and it might work perfectly for you! You never know until you try.