In the past few weeks, I’ve had to deal with a bit of grief over things that I had openly loved that then turned on me.
First to let me down was my IUD. I wrote about my experience having the Mirena placed in December of 2010 and, aside from that feeling of “Did a guman just shoot me in the uterus?” that I experienced during the procedure and the weekend following, I was really happy with it. Over the summer, I had some pain in my lower abdomen and had my doctor check the IUD, as that seemed like the obvious culprit. But no, the IUD was in the right spot and I just had a super unpleasant bladder/kidney infection.
Right before Thanksgiving, I started having the same pain and assumed my urinary tract was just all worked up again so I called my doctor and they called in the same prescription I had taken over the summer. I was happy to pick it up from Walgreens before leaving for Wichita, as ending up at the after-hours clinic for anything even remotely related to your vagina is not the sort of thing you want to have happen over a family holiday — especially when you’re around someone else’s family.
A couple weeks later, my lower abdomen was still hurting, very distinctly on the left side, as I had become accustomed to, so I went in for another exam. My doctor said my UTI appeared to be in the right place and there was no sign of infection but he wanted to do an ultrasound to be sure it was in the right spot. If it was in the right spot, he said, deciding whether or not to leave the IUD in would be a quality of life issue. If it wasn’t, then it had to come out immediately.
I was upset by this for two reasons. First, it was The Best Birth Control I’d Ever Been On. I loved it. Second, I was terrified of the pain of having it removed. Even though I was in a considerable amount of pain on a daily basis with it in, my memories of Cervix Slam 2010 were not far from my mind.
Three days and one rather unpleasant vaginal ultrasound later, my doctor called me in to tell me that the IUD was in the right place. But it wasn’t alone in there. It was, apparently, hanging out with a bunch of fluid, which had made itself comfortable in my rather-swollen left fallopian tube. The technical term for this is a hydrosalpinx; it can be caused by any number of things (or you can be born with it) and my doctor is not sure what caused mine. (I wanted to find a way to blame myself for it but without any real evidence or good reason to — trust me, a past STD would have been a simple, welcome answer here — I eventually got bored with this and found some other aspects of my life to overanalyze/obsess over.) My doctor said he’d leave the IUD in if I really wanted him to, but he strongly recommended taking it out, both for my quality of life, and also because all this “may” cause future fertility issues some day. I wanted to be selfish here, but really, taking a pill every day isn’t that bad compared with how I’d feel if I never knew whether or not Eric and I would have ugly kids. So I told him to take it out.
The good news is, the IUD hurt a hell of a lot less coming out. Like, barely at all. The bad news is that the hydrosalpinx still hurts a lot, every day. The even worse news is that there is no nice slang term or abbreviation for your fallopian tubes, so every time a friend asks me what’s up, I have to say, “Eh…my fallopian tube hurts extra bad today.” Ladies, can we work on this?
What really sucks is that as I’m trying to manage the pain, or even find out if this pain is normal (admittedly a better question for my doctor than the Internet, and I’ll totally go that route once the red tape of switching insurance carriers, which I’ve been dealing with since the end of December, gets worked out in a couple weeks) all the info I can find about hydrosalpinges is on infertility forums. It’s not that I want to Web MD myself into the worst-case scenario; it’s just that most people don’t discover they have this condition until they are trying to get pregnant and so they are discussing it in the context of, “I’m on my third round of IVF because of a hydrosalpinx.” When I tell people this, they tell me to get off the Internet and remind me that I can “always do IVF” if it turns out my whole uterus is really a lost cause. Getting off the Internet sort of helps; the idea that IVF is the new penicillin does not.
Anyway, yesterday, after a particularly painful day of twinges in my left tube, I was trying to find out if something like acupuncture would help, but I ended up just staying up until 12:30 AM, trying not to freak the fuck out about my fertility, and feeling rather sad about the IUD I had loved and lost.
And then, in a much-less-serious case of “I really don’t want to return you,” I had to send my Lululemon yoga mat back to their factory today. You see, after I bought it in August, it sort of…started shredding? I dealt with this for a little while but it eventually got so bad that I thought I might need to buy a new one. Then I realized, Wait a minute. This was a $70 mat that was supposed to be a good investment…they need to buy me a new one! And after I sent customer service pictures of the shredded mat, told them that the girl at the store told me it was reversible so this was not my fault in any way, and then showed them on the website where it said it’s reversible, they agreed to do just that. I’m getting a refund via gift card and will probably just suck it up and buy the Manduka mat this time.
Over both the IUD and the mat, I have this feeling of, Damn you, thing I openly and unabashedly loved! I mean, the mat was just mildly abused and still usable…and then a few weeks ago, it just started to rapidly falling apart. And the Mirena and I were 1/5 of the way there! I thought I was out of the woods! Then I realized the feelings of disappointment and mild embarrassment over publicly supporting something that eventually turned on me were the exact same feelings I experienced when I found out about Heidi Klum and Seal’s announcement that they were getting divorced. Is nothing made to last these days, people?!