As I sit here, turkey sandwich in hand waiting for my homemade ice cream to be ready, I realize this may not be the best day to talk about healthy eating or discuss weight loss. While I had intended to write about going poo free and hair chalking I've instead decided to come right out of the gate with something incredibly personal, birth control.
I'm one of those people. I have red hair, light skin, light eyes and freckles galore. This also means I'm one of those people who breaks out in hives when I use a lotion with perfumes or who gets a burning welt after spilling some cinnamon on her arm. I can't take hormonal birth control. I tried and it left me in contemplation with a razor blade. When I was in my early twenties my OB prescribed the Depo shot. This was a different hormone all together than what was always used in the pill. I used it for the following 5 years with a 1 year, Dr recommended, break in the middle. By the fifth year I was loosing interest in art and music. I was becoming uncomfortable around people and having extreme mood swings with in days of getting my shot. Well, guess who can't have Depo anymore? At this point my Dr was pretty blunt with me. "There really isn't anything I'm comfortable giving you at this point. You are going to have to use condoms" Well I tried for a while. Unfortunately it seems I have some sensitivity to them. I know, shocker right? By this point I was married and planning for a child so I put the idea of birth control on the back burner. After my daughter was born I just used the rhythm method and avoided sex while ovulating. There were no oops moments, we didn't get pregnant again until we planned it. Now I'm 35 years old and I have two great kids. I'm done having babies. I'm not just "I'm done but if it happens we will make it work" done, I'm really done. I've had two c-sections and I don't ever want to be pregnant again. Although I love my two children, I have no illusions about how much I can handle. Most days I feel like I'm clinging to the edge of sanity, I've reached my motherhood limit of two children. One more will surely push me to medication and guess who is overly sensitive to meds?
My Dr asked if I wanted a tubaligation during my second c-section and I said no. Morbid as it sounds, babies are fragile. What if I had a tubal and then my baby died? I know it's horrible but I wasn't comfortable taking permanent birth control measures until my child was a few months old and healthy.
After what I thought was a great deal of research, on October 31 2011 I had the Essure procedure done. It's the only regret I have so far in my life.
You will never guess who had a bad reaction to this procedure. Wow, you guessed it. You're good. The first 4 months were debilitating.
Lower back pain that was so severe that there were days I couldn't stand up all the way. Cramping that was reminiscent of that moment during labor when I asked for the epidural. Daily migraines, and inner thigh soreness. Any physical activity made the symptoms worse. So there I laid on my couch each day, popping Vicodin and muscle relaxers, for four months trying to take care of a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Not surprisingly, I decided to have the coils removed.
In all my research I never really understood what "permanent birth control" truly meant. It can't be removed, in fact there are other women like me who had bad reactions who are having hysterectomies. Eventually I found a Dr in Georgia who had invented a procedure to successfully remove the Essure coils. Problem number one, I live in Chicago. Problem number 2 it's costs 5 grand and my insurance may reimburse me for 40% of that afterwards. Problem number 3, no payment plans cash only.
I was set to do it in April of 2012 but the oddest thing happened. Most of my symptoms went away. The only real issue I have now is that my periods are terrible and I get very tired very easily, oh yeah and there is an issue of 20lbs I gained after the procedure that won't go away. I decided to wait and see if these last symptoms went away too.
My Dr called me a few months ago and said they had successfully removed the Essure coils from a patient using a robot. This was exciting news because now my insurance would pay for it and I don't have to fly to Georgia. The issue now is that my symptom of being exhausted all the time doesn't match the cause. My Dr thinks there is something else wrong with me now, and doesn't want to remove the Essure until I have a full physical and a million blood tests to rule everything else out. So that's where I'm at now. I have about 35lbs to lose and very little energy to exercise. I ride my bike in the evenings so I can go to sleep right afterward. I was working out in the mornings for a while but by 2pm I was passing out. I literally couldn't keep my eyes open.
I wanted to write about this, because many people out there considering this procedure may not understand the risks of Essure. They may understand that their body can reject it, but do they understand if it does there is nothing anyone can do, outside of Dr Green in Georgia that is. I'll continue to update. If anyone has a wayback machine I could borrow, I'd love to just go back in time and skip the whole procedure. I'm smart, I'll bring your time machine back before I took it so it will never be missed.