I have periods from hell. Like call Grissom and Sara or Dexter and Debra CSI scene worthy periods. Like soak through a heavy duty pad and heavy duty tampon on the 1 hour it takes me to get to work periods. They've been horrific for about 10 years now, and they really jack up my life. It usually starts with a night of PMS where I just can't sleep. Then I get a day with a raging headache from not sleeping the night before. And then - then it follows with the horrific cramps and the gushing flow - which lasts for about 2 days, followed by a couple days of lighter flow, followed by another bad day or two, followed by a couple days of spotting. It's just not fun.
Last year I decided to do something about it and I went to my primary care doctor and discussed this during my physical. I told her that birth control isn't an issue as my husband was snipped after Mikey was born, but the misery was just taking too much of a toll on my life. After an oh so fun pelvic exam she wrote me a referral to an OB/GYN in my area. I then scheduled an appointment with the OB/GYN and got to repeat the fun of the pelvic exam. My options were an Mirena IUD or ablation. I decided to try the IUD.
The doctor needed to get authorization for the IUD so she handed me a few samples of Nuva Rings to try and sent me on my way.
A few weeks later I went to follow up on the authorization - since Tricare was switching management companies for the western region they had a period where all referrals were automatically authorized. Unfortunately the OB/GYN office had FORGOTTEN to put in my referral and the free for all period had just ended. They put in another authorization but it was determined that since the Navy Hospital had availability, I had to go there, almost an hour out of my way, to get the device inserted. After another pelvic exam of course.
So there I was, outside my work, screaming into the phone "How many people are going to have to stick their hand up my vagina before I can get some period relief". The girl on the phone wouldn't budge. Finally I gave in and asked when they could schedule me. She then explained that due to sequestration cuts, the soonest appointment was 4 months out.
At this point I've taken several hours of PTO, driven all over the place, I'm frustrated and I'm still bleeding like a stuck pig every month. I am not sure what I told her but I'm hoping she's heard worse. I decided to let it go and just suck it up and deal with it.
A year later I've forgotten the horror from last year and I decide to start the process over again. The NuvaRing was a total failure that led to constant spotting, just like the minipill and I need this to change. I go back to my primary doctor who writes the referral and says "Make sure you say it's for birth control and not period relief". A few days later I get a call from a local OB/GYN who has offices by my home and by my work and appointments available within the next few weeks.
Everything is working out great. I got to the OB/GYNs office and she puts in the order for the device and an ultrasound just in case I have something or another growing in my uterus - cysts? Who knows. I just know the end is in sight for the unwanted monthly visitor - I don't even mind that she's running an hour late at 8:30 AM....
The authorization goes through and they schedule me to go in. I take yet another afternoon off work to get the damn device implanted. I'm excited because I'm at the tail end of another period from hell and when I bought the last box of pads I was hoping it was the last box I would ever have to buy.
I get to the doctors office on time. I sit and wait in the waiting room and she's running late just like last time, and I don't care. I'm singing in my head "No period no period". I get called back and get naked from the waist down and it doesn't even bother me. She comes in and has me put my feet in the stirrups. She explains that there's going to be a local anesthetic that may make my heart race a little. That's fine - I think to myself. Just get this over with.
Then she goes to implant the IUD. Just a little cramp she says. Well it hurts like hell. She's trying to put in a guide and then the IUD goes in through the guide. But it's not going in. She tries again. And again. And again. For almost 20 minutes she's trying to get this in. Oh hey - guess what. I have a curved cervix. I had no idea but that thing bends like a drain pipe I guess. So she pulls out the ultrasound and I'm there with the feet in the stirrups, the whatever it's called stretching my hoohaa open and she's blasting sonar waves up my vagina in every direction. The assistant is standing over, and the two of them are making puzzled and confused faces as they try to determine exactly which way my cervix curves. I'm going to say this again. I had no freaking clue my cervix turns. 4 kids, multiple visits to various OB/GYNs and no one bothered to tell me my cervix is crookeder than a career politician.
She says she can try one more time. I think about it, think about the freaking cramps and misery and tell her to go for it. I try to relax my cervix, because you can relax that right? I try to think of happy places. I tell myself it's still not as bad as the cramps I had last week. I try to think about anything other than having the inner sanctum of my inner sanctum violated. I'm trying to focus on the end result and not lose my mind. And she says she just can't get it in.
After my internal 12 year old boy gets a good giggle, we discuss the options. I can go back and take a pill the night before that will relax my cervix. Because it just wasn't relaxed enough. Or I can go with the ablation. Or - I can try taking birth control pills and just not take the placebos. Now - I've tried this with the minipill and the NuvaRing and I just spotted non stop for months - and lets face it - I'm not the best with taking pills since half my kids were pill babies - but my cervix is begging for mercy, I've been there for over an hour and I want to get out of there.
I left the office with antibiotics, sample packs of pills and broken dreams. Seems to be the story of my life right now.