Friday, July 6, 2012

Bye Bye Mirena: The Update

Alrighty, so here's the update to the Mirena disaster.

I pulled that bad boy out about 4 months ago (disclaimer... you probably should leave that to the professionals... even though I'm a nurse I probably should've had someone take it out, there are some nasty potential complications with removal that are rare but nonetheless serious enough that you should leave it to the MD's. In my case, that visit would've been a whopping $200 so I went ahead and pulled it out in .4 nanoseconds and saved myself a few bills. Granted I could easily reach the strings and all it took was a tiny tug and voila d.o.n.e. If there was any resistance I would've stopped and immediately went in.)

So here we are about 4 months later. I will say it was about a week of bleeding afterward but that was certainly NOTHING new. And then it stopped. I immediately started taking birth control pills the day after I pulled it out so I'm sure that helped the bleeding, starting to get the hormones back in order. Other than that things have been smooth sailing, no obvious crazy side effects or changes to report.

Now what have I noticed since finally being rid of this?? Well getting back to normal has been amazing, not constantly worrying about bleeding, no more pantyliners (I think I will burn the boxes I have!), no more cramping or bloating Hallelujah! So the annoyance factors are gone and they were gone quickly.

As for the emotional/subtle side effects, I do seem to have more energy, not as tired all of the time but the wee one sleeps through the night finally so I'm sure that helps. I can't really comment on the depression because with my Dad's new cancer diagnosis that aspect isn't changing anytime soon. Life is still stress to the max between getting 2 degrees, re-starting our business, and my Dad's constant rollercoaster of care. I will say that if I was still dealing with the annoying draining side effects like the cramping et al while also dealing with this life crap I would've lost my mind entirely. No joke. So if nothing else I at least eliminated a huge source of stress and contention in my life by removing the Mirena.

Sex drive, that's a key one. It slowly started to come back and things are MUCH better now. Such a small detail can make a huge impact on a relationship. I am very happy that this has changed because I'll be honest I was starting to think that this was just how life ends up... you have a couple of kids, you have too much stress, and no more sex folks. I mean duh, that's why "old people" don't shag anymore (oh wait, that's not true either... eeek, I know, but I'd rather not have that visual in my head mmkay).

And for the question everyone wants to know.... weight gain/loss... I have to laugh, because as I got on the scale this morning it reads lower than it has been since I lost 12 lbs with morning sickness while pregnant. That's right LOWER, which essentially means that I have lost 8 or so lbs since removing this thing. My weight gain was a direct result of the Mirena, that's the short version. This is the longer explanation... the weight gain put me in quite a state of panic and then helplessness. No matter what I did the scale wouldn't move. This is something I've never had to deal with in my life, I have been lucky enough to not really ever have to worry about my weight. This was an entirely new experience for me. So after taking it out I continued to try and find ways to lose the weight. I did several things, I continued to work out periodically, I stopped drinking all together. When that didn't work I tried starving myself for a few weeks (despite the fact that I know this makes things worse...) I figured at some point my body would finally give in and eat itself, lord knows by that time I had plenty for it to eat away at ha! Again, the scale didn't budge. I finally said screw it and I went back to eating like I used to (like I was eating with the Mirena) which is a million times a day and surprise surprise now I'm down 8 lbs. So what I gather from this is that the Mirena ABSOLUTELY was to blame for the random extra pounds hanging around, all in all, I'm currently eating the same and have the same activity level as I did with the IUC and I weigh less than I have in 2 years. Without getting all nursing lingo technical on everyone, the Mirena clearly messed with my hormones which translates to your metabolism and it created a lot of water weight hence the bloating so by taking it away things finally have had the chance to level back out.

Given this info, my decision remains the same, I don't regret for a moment taking the thing out. I will NEVER opt to get it put in again and I will continue to caution any friends and family against it's negative effects. I'll make sure they do their homework before just jumping in and then the decision is theirs... which is what the FDA is supposed to do in the first place, provide the patient with ALL of the info, the good the bad the ugly, and let them  make an INFORMED decision. Not hide the info to rake in billions of dollars, which they clearly have done considering that the patient information hand out contains about 1/10th of the info that the doctor information hand out contains including side effects!! That's right, there are certain side effects that are ONLY listed on the doctors sheet.... sketchy to say the least.

And for those curious, what are we doing for birth control now? Well with my clotting problems no doctor will prescribe me a regular pill that contains estrogen (although if this weren't the case that is what I would do) so I'm left with a variety of less than reliable options.... condoms (joy), abstinence (yea right, tell hubbs that), pull & pray (we're not 16 and pregnant people), or mini-pill (progesterone only, no estrogen). With that wonderful array of options we've landed on the mini-pill AND condoms and the general idea of charting. We do NOT want any surprises right now, like at all, so this is less than ideal and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has other options. But it's what we're stuck with, so we make it work. The mini pill isn't really my cup of tea, it has a lot of the annoying side effects as the Mirena when it comes to bleeding but I haven't had a problem with that anymore (I have in the past but that's another story). My main complaint is the lack of flexibility, you miss that damn pill by an hour and you're up the creek without a paddle.... hence the condoms. For now it works and we'll re-evaluate when we can. Bottom line is that ALL of this is a million times better than the Mirena, hands down.

Why all the crazy personal info, oversharing, tmi on the blog you may ask?? Well because if one woman may stumble here and benefit from this it's well worth it, because clearly the majority of medical individuals are NOT sharing this info with their patients.


Becca Janneck said...

I wish I would have seen this before I got mine! I got/am pregnant while on Mirena and it's no where to be found! We are hoping it somehow fell out without my noticing (doubtful), but my doctor expects it pierced though my uterus and now is somewhere in my body. We aren't going to do an x-ray until after the birth to find out. My doctor recommended it mainly because my insurance covered the entire thing, and in the same appointment I had it! I wish I had had the time to research and look up personal stories before getting Mirena.

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