Monday, July 09, 2007

Mmmmmm Health (another IUD Post)

This is another TMI IUD post. I write about my experiences with the IUD here because it's been really difficult for me to find fuck-all first-hand information about it, and I figure I'm doing a public service to other women interested in the option, though my results may no longer be typical since the whole diabetes thing.

That said, I do realize that I am, increasingly, actually meeting and interacting with the people who read this blog, and if you're not terribly down with knowing all about my plumbing and health issues and then conversing merrily with me in person, I do advise you to skip these posts.

So, disclaimer done.


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You know, as lovely as it is to go to the ER and have somebody tell you you're "fine," I just don't trust it anymore.

So, as you'll recall, a few weeks ago I got a knee to the gut during Muay Thai class that resulted in pretty sharp pain right there where my IUD is at its worst on my left hand side. I waited a week for that to settle down, then had my period, but over the last week since my period, the pain hasn't been getting any better, as expected. If anything, it's gotten more uncomfortable.

Now that I've got the diabetes, I don't heal as well, and I suspected I had probably knocked something badly that would have healed fine in a normal person but that was getting real gunky in a diabetic.

Last night I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep because of the IUD pain, and then I woke up at 3am with... IUD pain, and resolved that I would go to the ER first thing in the morning. As I've said, the pain's been getting worse instead of better, and Sat was bad and Sunday was worse. It's not constant, but it's persistent, and I'm eating Motrin like candy.

I made it through about four hours of work before I packed it in and took the bus over to the ER and explained the problems and pain I've been having. It was actually a very nice, efficiently run hospital. I was in the back in half an hour and saw a doctor in 45 minutes, but after that, things started to get dodgy.

Everyone seemed very perplexed about my problem.

"Shouldn't you see a gynecologist?" they asked.

Um. Well, I explained, I have an appointment on Wednesday, but with symptoms like these, the gyno said that I should come into the ER.

"Um, OK, we'll look at it, but if there's something wrong with it, we can't take it out."

I didn't have a fever, and they were expecting to find upper abdominal pain, but I don't have that, I have lower abdominal pain. Which they found Even More Perplexing. I do love that they have no Imagination whatsoever, because there are about half a dozen Very Bad Things I could think of this being a symptom for, but they were just Perplexed.

I told them it was totally fine for them not to take it out, but I'd like to get confirmed that I had an infection, because I figured they could just confirm that, and get me on a cycle of antibiotics, just as was done in November, and I could be in less pain and could sleep and sit for long periods without pain and not toss and turn for an hour in bed nor have sharp, shooting pains when sitting or stretching in certain positions.

Really, I'm terribly demanding. Life, Liberty, pusuit of happiness and all that.

So, of course, I had to pee in a cup so they could test me for the TWENTY MILLIONTH TIME FOR gonorrhea and chlamydia.

So they had a look and said well, yeah, your cervix is a little red and irritated, but really, the discharge here just looks like something from the tail-end of your period (which ENDED 10 DAYS AGO). We'll take a look at this under a slide.

And I'm thinking, great! They'll find the presence of white blood cells, which is what clued off the gyno in November who gave me meds for this exact sort of thing: just a localized infection caused by irritation of the uterus by the IUD.

But instead the friendly nurse came back in and said everything looked fine! Yep, everything is fine and normal and there's nothing wrong, but the doctor says you'll likely want to keep that gyno appointment on Wednesday because you never know!

W.T.F.??

"So there was no infection? I'm not getting prescribed any antibiotics?"

"No, no infection. And we're running those STD tests, but honestly, there wasn't anything indicating you've got any of that either."

Well, no. I have only been tested for those TWENTY MILLION TIMES.

"I'm sorry," I said. "So you're not giving me any drugs?"

"Nope, it all looks fine."

"Then why am I having persistent pain?"

"Honestly, we don't know a lot about IUDs here, so maybe Planned Parenthood will know something else."

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

IF YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T FUCKING HELP ME PLEASE DO NOT WASTE THREE HOURS OF MY TIME AND CHARGE ME GOBS OF MONEY AND CAUSE ME TO LOSE FOUR HOURS OF PAID WORK TIME TO TELL ME YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHY I AM IN PAIN AND CAN DO NOTHING TO HELP ME.

I spent over three hours of my day and fuck alone knows how much money (easily $500, I'm sure, since they had to get me up on the table) so you could tell me I'm FINE?

It's so hilarious, too, you know, cause I've been trying so hard to be better about my health, and to ask for help when I know something's wrong, and the thing is, I keep expecting somebody's just going to *know.* Some doctor will actually know something about some aspect of my health care issues, and voila! I will feel better.

It's really frustrating to feel like you're doing everything right and have the whole thing come to nothing. And it makes me even more angry because this is what happened to me last time. I kept going to doctors and saying, "Hey, yo, all these yeast infections! And I'm tired and getting sick all the time!" and everyone just looked Really Perplexed. And then I went into a coma and spent four days in the hospital.

But at least those people fucking gave me drugs.

And, in general, I didn't feel as if I was "inconveniencing" anyone by showing upat the ER with something I should "see a gynecologist" for (um, hello, the gyno says to see you with this if I can't get an appointment!). But they did seem pretty put out.

So it's Motrin for another two days and then a Weds PP appointment.

For fuck's sake.

You know what I can't wait for? I can't wait until all the fallout from me getting this illness is just done. And maybe, you know, it won't ever be, but I feel like at some point I'll have enough experience with it that *I* can at least peg things. I'll get a good enough regular doctor that I can actually have fewer issues, and I'll know how everything interacts with everything else and... someday, I'll be able to fly!

And, you know, all that.

What I'm actually starting to suspect is that I may have started developing those benign ovarian cysts - fibroids. All the women in my family have them, and I often forget that I am, indeed "getting older." Growing fibroids + IUD = persistent lower abdominal pain.

I'll have to have the PP people do some kind of ultrasound. Oh, that's going to be lovely expensive.

Mmmm health.

I'm telling you: health is tasty.

7 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

La Gringa said...

So I see you're having a week like mine.

;-)

Kameron Hurley said...

That's right! Unable to pay rent OR groceries (still missing last week's paycheck, which seems to be missing in the mail) and paying for medical bills on credit!

Mmmmm health.

But you know, every minute we keep kicking is one more minute we get to pull it all back together.

Jackie M. said...

Oh why oh why did I read that post? I know it makes me sick to even think about IUDs and you had a Big Fucking Disclaimer and WHY OH WHY DO I ALWAYS READ THESE POSTS ANYWAY?

And didn't you just pay a big old chunk of change for some insurance? Shouldn't they pay for some emergency care now and again?

I hope PP can make this better. Ideally without invoking cysts.

("Getting up there in age." Hahah.)

Terri said...

Get rid of the IUD.

Kameron Hurley said...

Moms - yeah, this is likely what will happen on Wednesday, though I'm not looking forward to that, or figuring out what to do after that, either.

Steph Burgis said...

Oh, God. This sounds like so many of my ER experiences in both America and England - and the way they always look at you when you explain where the pain is ("wait, you want us to look down there????") is just priceless. It's amazing how all of that turns out to be "women's stuff" and therefore something all these highly-trained ER doctors know nothing about...

FWIW, the only other person I've known who had an IUD had to get rid of it because it gave her such persistent, agonizing pain, despite the fact she didn't have diabetes or fibroids - it just hurt really, really badly and wasn't worth it. Good luck getting this sorted out on Wednesday and hanging in until then...

Lu said...

Ask about Cervical Caps. I've used them (need a new one each year) for about 15 years or so, they work great and are cheap from PP. Which is the only place I have found them in WA.