nine months ago

I had a Mirena inserted nine months ago. The first few months, up through the first of June, I wasn’t really too sure about it. But then things in my system started to adjust, and my OB/GYN told me to ‘stop obsessing’ and go live my life. She also told me to stop buying/using tampons and stock up on my favorite pantyliner.

It’s been twenty-five days since I’ve had any bleeding or spotting at all, and I count myself both grateful and blessed. I’m a little crampy, tired, and blah, but this is the ‘normal’ time a period would start for me. (Preston and I called them exclamation points because what I experienced was nowhere near what a ‘normal’ period (for anybody) is like) I jumped up and down like a pure idiot in September, October, and the first of November. Is this a real period? Is this what a real period is supposed to be like? Is this normal? I called people. I tweeted my friends. I googled. Apparently for the very first time in my life, I was experiencing what’s meant in the medical profession as a ‘normal period’.

I started tracking my periods in January 2007 at My Monthly Cycles. Going through those records now. Damn. What a mess. An incredible, inexcusable mess. On average, I’d range anywhere from twenty to thirty days between periods and have anywhere from three to fifteen day periods. And people had to ask why I was so miserable and unsociable all the time? Sure! I’ll just go grab my box of OB Ultras, a towel, a bag of pantyliners, extra panties, and an extra pair of jeans, and we’ll be on our way! No. Trust me, when you know for a fact you’re going to lose your life’s blood when you stand up and/or walk a few feet, you’re not in the mood to go much of anywhere for any reason. Doing the shopping got to the point where I’d have severe anxiety and sometimes panic before I left the apartment to go anywhere. Imho, this is where, when, and why the agoraphobia started setting in really badly.

I would flip out if I had to open our front door for any reason. Gods forbid I have to slip on a pair of flip-flops to go down to fetch the mail or deliver the rent to the office. I’d put it off until it couldn’t be put off any more. I refused to talk on the telephone to just about anybody. Now, I must say that I’ve never liked talking on the telephone, even as a teenager; it would ring, and I’d grit my teeth. Over the last two years of carrying a cellphone (I’ve had one since January 2007 when Thomas’ health was so grave), I’ve gotten even more selective about answering calls and texts. That’s a whole ‘nuther post, though.

But looking at January 2010 forward, things started changing. Again. I started getting somewhat regular – I’ve never been ‘regular’ in my life. I was going twenty-three to twenty-six days between periods, and my periods would last three to seven days. And <acronym title=”oh my god”>omg</acronym> the pain! And the bloating! My misery went straight through the roof. I spent the time in bed, in love with my heating pad, and using medications that only teased the pain. I had days when I couldn’t think of getting up except to race to the bathroom and back to the bed. I slept with a beach towel between my legs and another between me and the fitted sheet – sometimes that wasn’t enough. Then, somewhere in August and September, I realized I was having night sweats and mild hot flashes. I thought to myself, Well, maybe this is the end of it.

Except, if you’ve followed my blog all this time, you know it wasn’t the end of anything.

Then came that period that started December 30 and lasted straight through January 14, skipped three days, came back for two days, stopped from January 20 through the 26, came back again January 27, and didn’t stop again until February 5. I made that fateful visit to the ER at UK on January 30. Of course that trip to the hospital is what set me up with my fantastic OB/GYN. I absolutely love her to pieces and don’t have a clue what kind of shape I’d be in by now if the gods hadn’t put the two of us, and her wonderful staff of clerical folks and nurses, together.

I saw her last on November 1. I had gone in because of my blood pressure and a few other concerns, and as always she was wonderful. Again, she said I’m doing great and reminded me to ‘go out there’ and live my life. She said she’s very comfortable leaving the Mirena in another five, six years. Then we’ll ‘pop it out’ and see what’s happening then. And go from there.

Let me tell you, it’s been amazing knowing I can get out of bed, stand up, and walk across the room without blood going all over the place. It’s been amazing knowing I don’t have to sleep with two beach towels any more. It’s been amazing knowing I don’t have to use a tampon when I go to bed at night. It’s been amazing knowing I bought a box of Kotex Super Plus tampons back in June that I’ll never use the rest of (I think I’ve used something like four or five and that was only because I was leaving the house and used them for ‘safe measure’ because, yes, I am that paranoid). It’s been amazing knowing I’m not going to bloat so badly I won’t be able to put my pants on. It’s been amazing knowing I’ll be able to eat and not be so crampy or in so much pain that neither my bathroom nor my person will look like the pea soup scene from The Exorcist later. There are so many of these things! I could probably make an entire post of out just “It’s been amazing knowing” stuff! One more. It’s been amazing knowing I can go out and live my life and do things I want and need to do without having to worry about carrying along a purse packed with full riot gear!

Earlier today, I went up to Preston and asked, “Can I pop out my Mirena and kiss it on the mouth and pop it back in?” He looked up at me and said, “There will be no Mirena popping.” He can be such a party-pooper!

Now if I can just get my blood pressure under control. I have an appointment with UK Internal Medicine Group on December 19. We’ll see how that goes. I have my fingers crossed. The doctor I’m seeing is supposed to be good and well-versed in what she does.