“Ow my boobs really hurt” is another thought that tends to cross my mind as I’m running to catch the bus.
I got my Mirena IUD over a year ago now and it was a very simple process: go to doctor, pee in cup, confirm you are not pregnant, and then stick a plastic Barbie arm into your uterus. I experienced little pain without any Advil and went back to work right after, but as my doctor once said while freezing a wart off my leg and me not even knowing she did it, I’m “one of those.”
Fast forward three months, my period disappeared before my eyes, I deleted the reminder on my phone to take my pill every day for the last ten years, and I was liberated. Like “white pants every day because fuck you tampons” liberated.
With all short-term side effects in my rear view mirror, I didn’t pay much attention to my breast pain. “What the hell is going on? Ah bodies as usual” I’d converse to myself until one day my maroon blouse’s second button popped off right in front of my eyes and my tits were framed like the eye of sauron.
Over the next nine months I gained 25 pounds. Mentally healthy would not be a way I’d describe myself during this time unless that means measuring my thighs every night and spending 20 minutes staring at myself naked in the mirror because I caught my reflection on the way to shower. I went to the doctor who blamed it on lifestyle, told me I was vitamin D deficient, and then sent me on my way.
The last few months have been a journey of seeing what foods trigger my body to spiral into an “I feel icky” (that’s the scientific term) state of affairs until last week when I got a physical and then had a revelation.
This doctor I saw wasn’t anything but jaded at what medicine had become. She was verbally rolling her eyes and saying things like “sometimes it’s more of an art not a science.” This is in relation to recent blood work I got where my vitamin D levels reported at 15.4 – you would have had to be prescribed something if it was 15. I was recommended an OTC vitamin.
I loved her jadedness. It was calming to see someone who’d seen way more in her field so I asked her about why I’m fat. Simple enough…
“If you were 168 pounds before your IUD, nothing changed, and then now you’re 190 than, by using middle school logic, I can probably say that’s what it is. Just because it’s not a ‘common side effect’ doesn’t mean you’re not common.”
My head exploded.
She also mentioned that I had a choice and can take it out whenever I want and then go back on the pill.
What was left of my exploded head then exploded again.
Why is that we like to suffer and not see the bigger picture with these things? Maybe it’s because People Magazine has named it sexiest birth control method of 2016 (not a real list) or your friends talk about it like they talk about the best acai bowl in San Francisco. Even sometimes I have a hard time admitting that I don’t want an acai bowl because I’m overcome with the need to be current.
So here I am writing a pro/con list between the Barbie arm in my uterus and taking estrogen candy every day until I go through menopause. On my list are things like convenience, no periods, prescriptions…but the one thing they have in common is also the number one thing for both – they’re not permanent…unlike my ability to ask and do what I want.
Mental health should be just as convenient as not taking the pill every day so call me old-fashioned, but I can’t keep up with this hype.
*This is only my personal experience and not at all medical advice because lol