Act Three, Scene One: I leave the office and wait in the lobby for my mom to pick me up. I’ve planned to go straight to work from the doctor’s office. As I get in the elevator, the cramping starts. It’s nothing I haven’t been through before, but it certainly isn’t pleasant. I curl up as much as I can on a couch to try to minimize the cramping.
I get to work and go about my day for the next hour while trying to pretend that it doesn’t hurt so much. I find that standing feels better than sitting and walking feels even better. By 11:30, though, I realize that I’m too distracted by the cramping. I decide that I need to go home and try to sleep throug the worst of it. I pretend to be flippant about it as if I’d rather just avoid the nuisance of the pain. I mean, why not sleep through the pain if you can?
Act Three, Scene Two: I wake up around 5pm aware that my body has been hurting while I was sleeping but glad that I feel mostly better now. I decide to go to a comedy night event. I feel fine through the evening but the three Sex On The Beaches I drank might have had something to do with that.
The next day the cramping comes and goes but is nothing I can’t handle. I have the lingering awareness that I’m not actually well and that I may have jumped the gun on getting the IUD while sick but I talk myself out of worrying about it.
Act Three, Scene Three: It’s Friday night and I feel like I have no reason to not go out dancing. I pretend that feel fine enough and I really haven’t cramped much that day. I’m sure Dr. Dashing would approve of the exercise (Note added later: I didn’t actually believe this). When I start to feel really off and emotional, I attribute it to the foreign hormones in my system.
I don’t cry, people. Ever.
After a long drama of leaving with someone who I thought was just a friend, texting, phone calls, finding out that the other boy was there, making excuses to the “friend” who was now trying to hit on me, and leaving the “friends” apartment like a bat out of hell to get back to the other boy (who shall henceforth be known as The Stoic) who was waiting for me at the club; I try to attribute these crazy-girl-emotions to the IUD.
Completely unrelated to the story at hand, he says that I’m like fire. I’m not sure of his exact meaning at the moment but I liked the look on his face when he said it. Yeah, I just wanted to share that…
Act Three, Scene Four: 5am on Friday morning, I experience the first of the major cramps. I gasp and curl up, frightening The Stoic. I assume that two days after insertion is too early for having sex (twice). He gets me pain medicine and watches anxiously while I fall asleep.
I sleep for most of the next day, get up briefly, and then fall back to sleep by 10pm. I’m aware that I’m getting more sick but am trying not to… as if sheer force of will could prevent it.
Act Three, Scene Five: My throat swells and hurts like a bitch. I’m finally worried that being sick is going to make my immune system attack the foreign object in my uterus. The sicker I get, the worse the cramps get. It’s gotten to the point now where I have to stop myself from gasping at some of the cramps. Although I’m aware that I should go back to the doctor, I have funeral arrangements to finish and so I push through the pain.
Act Three, Scene Six: It’s been a week and a half, the pains still getting worse and I’m getting sicker. I’ve had a fever for at least a week but I don’t know if that’s due to my throat or my uterus. I can’t stay in one position when I try to sleep and I go back and forth between wanting to eat everything in sight and not wanting to eat at all.
Finally, I decide that I need to get things checked out. I go to the urgent care clinic near my house since it’s Saturday and my doctor’s office is closed. They examine my throat first and tell me that I have tonsillitis. Then, they exam my abdomen and pelvis. The doctor decides that I need to go to the emergency room.
I’m sicker than I thought.
I get an IV line and they draw blood to do tests. I have more tests and exams. An ultrasound shows that my IUD is sitting far too low.
They give me Vicodin.
I like them all a little more.
As I feared, the tonsillitis is making my immune system attach the IUD. They tell me that I need to have the IUD removed and that I have Endometriosis caused by the IUD. I find out that the pain I’ve felt for the last ten days is from my uterus contracting and that I’ve basically had ten days of labor pains.
The removal was painful but fast. Usually, the removal is painless but I had so much irritation in my cervix already.
I’m given a prescription for Vicodin (again I like them more and more) and Doxycycline. The nurse tells me that the pain should decrease in 48-72 hours, and that I need to schedule a follow up with my primary doctor.
Act Three, Scene Seven: I follow up with Dr. Dashing who prescribes me more pain medicine and more Doxycycline because I have multiple infections present. He agrees that the problems with the IUD were probably caused by how sick I was or by my recent stress levels. There’s also the possibility that it could have just been my body rejecting a foreign object.
Epilogue: The problem in this whole situation was not the IUD, it was me. Firstly, you should never have an elective medical procedure when you’re not well. Secondly, I was acting completely out of impulse and justifying every step of it. I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. I was just desperate to move on from the past few months. Obviously I paid a price for that.
My doctor prescribed oral birth control for the next few months to see how my body deals with that. I’m hoping to try again in six months as long as I’m healthy. I still think it’s a smart choice for birth control and I’m hoping that it’s the right choice for me.
I know many other women who have gotten an IUD without incident and who are extremely happy with it. If you are considering this option, please take care of yourself much more seriously than I did.
Oh, and don’t get tonsillitis. That hurts too.