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We always thought we would have kids. We started trying when we believed we were ready. A month went by, then two months, six months, a year. Nothing happened.

Something was wrong, but nobody could tell us what - and they still can't to this day. We tried IVF three times but our results were not good. We were devastated.

Eighteen months after our last IVF cycle, we knew we would not be having our own children. And, somehow, we have moved to a life that is much different to the one we thought we'd have.

This blog is about what we do now we know we won't be having children - the thoughts, dreams, realities, sorrows, and joys that have become our new life path.

I hope you will enjoy what I will be sharing, and I hope that if you are at the point where life without children is a reality for you, that you might find some hope and inspiration here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mirena and me...

Before I really start this entry I want to make it very clear that what I am writing applies to me only. In no way is this medical advice or suggesting that what happened to me will happen to everyone. Talk to your doctor about your situation and what is right for you.

Okay – now that’s out of the way!

A few months ago I wrote about how I have extremely heavy periods to the point of being borderline anaemic, and that I was going to try the Mirena (a new wave IUD) (you can read that entry here). Just over three weeks ago I had it put in and initially it was great. No bleeding, no pain (except when it was put in), and I was positive it was going to work for me.

Well – not so much.

 A few days later I started having slight mood swings – I would go from being happy to weeping for no reason that I could identify. It wasn’t nice, but I thought it was just an adjustment to the Mirena and would pass.

But, it didn’t. It got worse. I went from happy to weeping to happy to weeping. I didn’t know what was going on, but I was still determined to keep going with it until my review with my doctor just before Christmas.

But, then... Okay some back story first. I first got depression when I was 22 years of age (so almost 20 years ago). It started soon after a client at my work thought it might be a good idea to stab me when I went on a home visit and I had to fight them off. I ended up leaving that job, but depression came along with me.

Over the first ten years or so I tried many natural therapies and counselling and so on to try and overcome the depression – but, despite people trying to convince me otherwise, mine is a chemical imbalance and I have to be on medication. It took me a long time to accept this and only then was I able to work with my psychiatrist to find a medication regime that really suits me.

Until we found that regime I regularly had an episode of depression (perhaps two to three a year which lasted a month or more at a time). I would be in a black hole where I had no energy, I had no decision making ability (I would wear the same clothes day after day, eat only bread, and stare at the TV unable to change the channel because my brain just didn’t work properly).

Believe it or not – it was the in-between times that were often the hardest; those times when I was sinking into depression and I didn’t want to believe that I could possibly be having yet another episode.

This is still hard to reveal to people, but I did do self-harm. When I first became sick I attempted to take my own life (through overdose) and it was a rose that saved me. I took tablets, then looked out the window and saw the sun shining on a rose – and I realised I didn’t want to never see such a vision again – and I called for help. I also scratched myself on my thighs to the point that I bled, and there are scars where I did so.

Well – I haven’t had an episode for almost four years and I haven’t done self-harm in that time either. My life has been really good – I’ve learnt that I don’t have to be happy all the time and that I don’t have to fight all the so-called negative feelings. I used to be scared that any sadness or anger meant I was getting depressed – but I now realise that they are normal part of the spectrum of emotions (at least most of the time). I can sit with these feelings and not fight them, and I think this has helped, as trying to fight them was exhausting and I believe contributed to my depression.

Okay – back story finished.

Last week I was flipping backwards and forwards between being fine and weeping. I even cried when I was leaving to go to the shops and had to leave my pets – I felt like my heart was breaking. Then, mid last week I went into the bathroom feeling so sad, I picked up some tweezers, and ran them across my thigh. It was only a light scratch, but it shocked me so much. I called Kirby and told him straight away and then told my Mum as well. It was clear that the Mirena was messing with me.

Last Monday I went to my doctor and told her what happened. She immediately said that the Mirena was coming out and that it was going to come out straight away. I was so relieved – especially because she validated that it was the Mirena and I wasn’t going crazy.

The first day after it came out wasn’t easy as I still felt emotional, but now I feel like my usual self again, much to the delight of Kirby, my parents, my parents-in-law, and my dogs and cats too (and of course me!)

Now what is quite confronting is that the options available to me now are going to be much more invasive and more permanent. From what I understand, the options are a uterine ablation (where the lining of my uterus will be destroyed) or a hysterectomy.

I admit – I’m anxious. I have no idea which one the gynaecologist will recommend and which option I will take up.

But, I’ll know soon enough. I have an appointment with a gynaecologist two weeks today and with the one I hoped to see (as she specialises in peri-menopause and all the fun things associated with it).

Well – I think I’ve rambled on enough for today. I’ll certainly let you know how the appointment goes, and in particular how I’m feeling about it all, after my visit to the gynaecologist on the 17th.

Adieu till next time! And, are you ever going to laugh at my next entry!

6 comments:

BentNotBroken said...

Woah. Shit. I'm so sorry that I might have played a small role in helping you make the decision to get it.

I am so glad that you were so aware of your symptoms and addressed it ASAP. And kudos to your doc for taking you seriously. I'm glad it's out and that you are getting better. I hope that they can find a solution for you, and soon!

Before I got Mirena I read a few things online about women having symptoms similar to yours. I was worried because I've had past deep depressive episodes and I'm usually really sensitive to anything hormone related, but, while it's not all rainbows and unicorns for me, I haven't had any scary side effects.

Kate Bettison said...

Definitely no need to apologise! :-) It was well worth taking the chance and seeing if it worked for me.

My doctor is pretty awesome - she is one that doesn't dictate but actually listens!

I'm really glad the Mirena is working for you, because I think it is a brilliant thing when it works - it just didn't for me. So, onwards to the next thing! :-)

Take care! xx

Mali said...

Sorry it didn't work for you. They're not right for everyone. My hysterectomy was a big deal at the time, but I'm so glad I had it now.

Kate Bettison said...

Thanks Mali - I'm very keen to find out what the gynecologist says - less that two weeks to wait! I can't believe I got in so quickly! If a hysterectomy is needed then I will do it xxx

Unknown said...

Fyi, I had ablation done 4 months ago. My bleeding was bad enough that I was anemic. Generally doctors today steer away from hysterectomies unless they have no other choice due to the complications of hormone replacement therapy. The ablation can be a very simple procedure that can take just a few minutes in the physician's office (Google novasure) or it can be a bit more complicated as mine was. I have a tissue wall running vertically down the center of my uterus. Mine was done outpatient under general anesthesia. The first couple days after were rough, but I was back to work 5 days after the procedure. Since then, my period have been enough to occupy a regular size tampon the first couple days, then two to three more days of sitting. This from constantly wearing overnight pads & ultra absorbency tampons and having to constantly change them.hope this helps.

Kate Bettison said...

Hi - I'm so sorry I'm only just publishing your comment now - I missed it somehow! Your comment really does help. It seems I'm going down the ablation path with Novasure. I'll be writing more about that after I see my gynecologist next week. Thanks for sharing!