Cave Canem! Mitten Fugit!

Things I learned this weekend.

First, the good news.

1. I am less afraid of dogs than I used to be. I went to a bar to meet Trixie Biltmore, draweress extraordinaire, and there were DOGS DOGS DOGS. At one point I was in an actual sea of dogs, being bumped and buffered from all sides by them. I knew what I was getting into, and it was really okay. And Trixie is VERY funny and nice and it was a blast. I feel so lucky to be able to meet people via the internet, because while I luck into certain people at parties or whatnot, I think I might have been very lonely at certain points without my digital tentacles.

2. Renewal.
Earlier I was talking to a friend about how spring is for renewal, like babies and flowers and weddings and crap. Portland was GORGEOUS. Sunny, warm, flowers puking out of every container and every empty patch of dirt. Somehow seeing all that and thinking about death and loss compounds the unfairness and the awfulness of it all. Renewal, I guess, is not just creation. Sometimes it’s what life feels like after you leave someone behind.

3. When your ex-spouse dies, you need to sack up and remember that your child’s parent has died, and you (and I will) need to deal with that child accordingly. That’s all I’m going to say about this.


I’m getting my IUD out tomorrow. I am thinking really, really hard about the IUD. I got the Mirena, which has the hormone as well as the baby scraper or whatever. Technically it’s early to have it out, but I’m just done with it. The one benefit was that it completely disappeared my cycle for a while–no PMS, no bleeding, in addition to no babies. Now I am having monthly cramps and pain again and have been having breakthrough bleeding, so there goes that benefit.

I was thinking about going round two with it, and have been reading about other people’s experiences with it, and I’ve been getting this creeping feeling of unease that I’ve been dealing with the side effects as well. I’m kind of a fucking moron when it comes to medical stuff. I have a really high pain tolerance and I just don’t notice things. When I was first pregnant with Strudel, my midwives tested me and told me I was anemic and had a UTI, and I had no idea about either. This means that I can just stop digging trenches or whatever and crank babies out at home, but sometimes I worry my first sign I’ll have that something is wrong will be when my leg falls off or something.

So I got the IUD installed in February of 2008, and then I had this crash in March that dragged on and turned into an unexplained depression that culminated in me breaking up with Strudel’s dad. I keep thinking about that. Did my IUD make me so crazy that I broke up with my babydaddy?

I felt TERRIBLE. Terrible, like, I am embarrassed to tell you how bad I felt and how awful my thoughts were. I got into therapy and took a lot of GABA and ran A LOT and kind of crept along until I started to feel better after about a year. Now I am reading stories about hormone changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, all related to this IUD, and how it ceases when it comes out. I became afraid of dogs around this time as well, which, who the fuck knows. I also gained about 15 pounds that never really came off, even when I was running 5Ks and whatnot.

It makes me wonder. I don’t have a history of chronic depression. Any depression I’ve experienced in the past has been situational. I really liked my life when I got it in–nothing was happening that would have triggered a year of depression. I’m really interested to see what will happen. I’m going to try to overcome my inherent medical dumbassery and really pay close attention this time. Do I need to be more tough? Less tough? I don’t know.

I hope they let me keep the IUD. I think it’s crying out to be a necklace.

20 thoughts on “Cave Canem! Mitten Fugit!

  1. OH MY GOD! I dragged you into a DOG BENEFIT! I had totally forgotten that you were nervous around dogs. I’m so sorry! Next time we hang out, there will be NO DOGS ALLOWED. You showed no signs of being at all scared, because you are brave, and I had just completely spaced out about your past history with them. Yikes.

    Also I blame the Mirena for the sudden uncontrolled growth of a fibroid tumor I had to have out. I don’t know if that’s rational or not but I swear that thing was like one of those Jobes Plant Food spikes for tumors.

  2. No man, I volunteered to come down!! I was fine! I knew what was coming. This weekend and the dog benefit made me really start to question everything and the timing of when I started being nervous around them, so that’s good. You know I try not to hide from things forever.

    There are so, so, so many horror stories about the Mirena. And still, glad I came. This is not a martyr post, I swear.

  3. I’m so glad to read this. I’ve been having lately health problems that are totally random and yet possibly adding up to symptoms of a single thing. Which also brings depression and moodiness and the usual brain bads. And hey, I ALSO just ended a relationship that was Totally Because of Him. Except what if I was sick and thus a bit crazy? I’m pretty sure it was him. But I feel so messed up and scared to go to a doctor because it feels an awful lot like taking the red pill in the Matrix. Or like what if Pam Ewing just dreamed my whole last year? Or something. Anyway, as usual you’re all brave and curiously going forward and this helps me a lot. Thank you.

  4. I can’t use hormonal birth control because either it makes me INCREDIBLY depressed (and I have clinical depression and oh LORD, even when I’m down, I can still drag myself out of bed. Depo Provera was so awesome wrt to ending The Bleeding Times, but it set me on crying jags and ultimately made me want to stop living… something I hadn’t felt in YEARS. Something bad enough I noticed SOMETHING WAS WRONG.) ~or~ I get increased headaches, both the regular kind and the migraine kind. Hooray!

    I hope your life improves after you get the IUD removed. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR LADY BIDNESS.

  5. “I’m kind of a fucking moron when it comes to medical stuff. I have a really high pain tolerance and I just don’t notice things.”

    I do this too! People are like, “Do you have a cold?” and I’m like, “No, I’ve just been sniffly and sneezing and running a slight fever for a few days… oh.”

    I have actually tried to be better at it by writing major mood changes down on the calendar when I notice them. I am not very good at it yet but it helps when I’m trying to figure out whether a medicine is doing stuff to me that it shouldn’t.

  6. I notice lots of symptoms and side effect, but still, when I got mildly depressed from a medication, I wasn’t sure that was it. It took months. Everything kind of made sense as an existential reaction to real stuff, but I think it wasn’t.

  7. Hmm… I had the Mirena some years back. The first year I did some stuff that really rocked me to my core, nothing too outrageous in the grand scheme of things but it was stuff I never thought I was capable of doing and not in a Helen Ready, I am Woman, Hear Me Roar sort of way. Everything is fine now, but nobody ever said a thing about that as a side effect. I was angry a lot that year and did not react well to a lot of things. Since I got it pulled out I’ve decided that my whore moans are just fine how they are and I’m just DONE being the one dealing with birth control all the time after nearly 20 years. I tasked the husband person with finding something. Or he can go get surgery. I’m not gonna.

  8. Anne: I know how you’re feeling, and I’m sorry. I hope you get enough clarity sooner rather than later.

    Brigid: Thank you! I am ready for a big nothing today or perhaps working from bed with a heating pad. We’ll see.

    Molly Ren: I like this idea of writing things down. I do that here, but then sometimes I forget to go back and look. Rereading 2008 now is YEESH though.

    Amanda: “Everything kind of made sense as an existential reaction to real stuff, but I think it wasn’t.” YEP. You kind of cast around to figure out what’s wrong and land on something. At least, that’s what I did.

    jendajen: I hear you. I’m going back on the old tried and true pill, because it is easy and I am one of those lucky people it never bothered at all.

  9. Hi! First time poster, long time reader. But! What about the regular IUD? The one with no hormones. It’s just good ol’ natural copper doing its natural thing in there, no added B.S.! My friend (a doctor) has had one for 10 years and loves it, has zero problems, etc. (plus, you can have it in for 10 years instead of 3 or whatever the Mirena is). I got really bummed out on hormonal b.c. of all kinds, and even quit the pill, and now I’m stressed out (I have been taught to fear the “condoms only” method)…and am considering the “plain old” IUD. I have heard it makes your periods heavier, and that if you already have to-the-max heavy/crampy periods then you shouldn’t get one, though, so maybe I just answered my own question (“what about the regular IUD”). Anyway, GOOD LUCK!

  10. Man, get it OUT. And yes, I think it will make a simply lovely pendant…maybe for your mom on mother’s day? Forgive me a cruel chuckle.

  11. Hi Marianna, thanks for jumping in. I will think about it! They gave me some pills that have worked A-OK for me in the past so I will try that for now.

    Dorrie: HEHEHEHE.

  12. Hormonal contraception (even the pill) fucks me up in a big way, but I didn’t notice either until I came off it. It didn’t make me break up with someone, but it made me so depressed that I couldn’t leave a really bad situation. When I finally stopped taking it, I got the balls to leave. I was pressured into buying a Mirena after the first spawnling (I was refused a copper one), but I was too scared to have it installed. I think it’s still in a cupboard in a box somewhere.

  13. Dear god, I realize my oversight. Reference is surely to P’s loss. Sorry, and my sympathies regardless of my gaffe.

  14. I started feeling Crazy after getting the Mirena, too. And yet I still have the darn thing. I feel slightly less crazy now, but that first year I was so angry all the time. I went to the doctor to talk about it (and I took a list of Things That Make Me Punch-Things Furious, one of which was “When Sarah Palin winks”), and he said it couldn’t possibly be the Mirena. But I don’t believe him.

  15. Ooooh. I get my copper one soon, I can’t do hormonal meds or it’s Death to Libido. Will let you know how it goes! Do you feel better since you’ve had the Mirena out?

  16. Ps, I was in a funky book shop today and found a massive Mrs Beetons book, Household Management, I assume it’s the same one you have?

  17. Possibly the same book! I have the 1969 reprint, which is unabridged. And I’m glad you’re not getting the hormonal one. I feel instantly better. My body is flushing itself now and I think I’ve lost at least a couple of pounds in water weight already. No more puffy!

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