Make Pain Your Friend – Entry 178

Dear Diary

After my last post my mild head cold rapidly morphed into the flu. I spent most of the night awake with fevers, hot and cold sweats, shivering, hips aching and a headache. I certainly wasn’t going to work the next day.

When I woke up I noticed that my neck was tender. This worried me because it could either be a symptom of viral meningitis or because I was sleeping awkwardly that night. I made an appointment with a local Doctor for first thing in the morning.

I was relieved after the appointment. It was just influenza and not meningitis! My neck was likely tender from tossing and turning all night and from how I slept. This news was such a relief.

I phoned my boss and explained the situation so that they could find cover for me for my shift on Saturday. After I phoned my boss I had an idea: I had the day off and so could take advantage of this rare occasion to see if I could organise an interuterine device (IUD) for contraception.

Almost three months ago, I had the intramuscular depot injection for contraception. I haven’t enjoyed it at all. The main reasons were constant breakthrough bleeding (which essentially is a light period every day of the month – not fun). I am pretty sure that I have also put on a little bit of weight, though I don’t weigh myself so am not sure by exactly how much. I have had annoying pimples most days, it’s just in the last few weeks that things have improved. And, I’m also sure that it’s contributed to my moodiness towards Karate Kid…though, one could argue that this is the same as baseline….

Another reason why I don’t like the depot is because it increases your risk of osteoporosis. They recommend not being on it for more than three years. In my opinion, three years isn’t a long time. Imagine how much damage it could do just after one or two years?

Because of all the reasons above I have been researching other forms of contraception. I settled on the copper IUD because I don’t have to remember taking a pill every day, it lasts five years, it doesn’t have the hormonal side effects and you are instantly fertile once it’s removed. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Before I share with you more about why it’s too good to be true, I wanted to tell you a story about a work colleague. She is a single mother to a 6 year old and has recently announced that she will be going on maternity leave. I was surprised by this news as I didn’t realise that she had met someone.

Last week, we bumped into each other at work. She volunteered the back story without me asking any probing questions. She had been seeing a guy who seemed absolutely lovely. He was separated with a 10 year old child that lived with it’s mother. He had a steady job and owned property.

He changed the day that he found out she was accidentally pregnant. He asked her to get an abortion and was not in support of it at all. When she said that she was going to keep it he said that he didn’t want anything to do with the child and has refuses to talk about it since.

Naturally, she’s very upset and distressed by the situation. She told me that she needed counseling and that it was a hard decision whether to keep or let go of the opportunity of having a second child. Her first child was so excited that there would be a new sibling to play with also.

I have thought about how drastically my life would change if I fell pregnant as a single mother. Life would be tough. I tried to imagine what it would be like last year when one of the ladies at work underwent single mother IVF early-2017. She’s a brave and determined lady and I take my hat off to her.

Reality is, I could easily end up in the situation that my work colleagues is in right now. She will need to give up her position, put her career on hold and move back to her original city so that she has family support. She doesn’t like that city but she doesn’t have much of a choice. She also won’t be moving back here any time soon which she is upset about.

I just think about how much this will set her back in her career, how much less money she will have for her own retirement, if she will meet a man to share her life with and if she’s going to be okay with the decision that she’s made? She wasn’t happy at all when I spoke to her. She’s actually on anxiety and depression medication to help her cope with the situation.

It’s funny, because back in June 2017 when I returned from Spain I was a little excited by the idea of possibly being pregnant. Maybe the change in mindset is because my family have recently decided to move to another State? Either way, I wouldn’t want to be in my work colleagues situation and I really hope that everything works out for her.

Okay, so back to the copper IUD story. I made a few phone calls whilst sitting in my car at the Medical Centre car park. I figured that having the day off was a great opportunity to have an IUD inserted before the intramuscular depot injection wore off (which would be in three weeks time and I had no available week days off between now and then). I managed to make an appointment for 11.30am that day at a clinic specilising in contraceptive services on the South side. Fantastic.

On my way to the clinic Karate Kid sent a message that softened me so much:

Good morning snowflake! Just thinking about you. 🙂

The message made me so happy because it was just so sweet and unexpected. Was it because he’d learned something from reading my book the other week? Either way, I was happy. I replied:

Good morning cuddly raccoon. You are the sweetest thing. Thank you for making my day xo

Happy Friday btw 🙂 I’m actually off sick today. I was up all night unwell with fever, sweats, chills, aches and headache. I have a sore neck today so went to the GP. He thinks that it’s influenza (not meningitis) so I’ll rest for the wknd whilst I’m contagious.

I’ve booked myself in for a copper IUD insertion. It’ll be lunch time today that they put it in with some local anaesthetic. This means that I won’t need the depot contraceptive injection every 3 months 🙂 the IUD lasts 5 years and I shouldn’t have the hormonal side effects (wt gain, moodiness, breakthrough bleeding). The worst things that can happen are perforation where it’s inserted and heavier than usual monthly menstrual bleeding…..fingers crossed neither happen!

Wishing you a nice Friday 🙂 Thank you for making me smile xo

He replied soon after with another sweet message:

Poor snowflake, should of told me last night. I drop by and give you soups tonight. Is your housemate back from vacation tonight?

I replied:

She is coming back on Sunday now. I told her that I could be contagious for a few days so she will have more time away.
I do appreciate the soup but I don’t want to make you sick either. The flu could be really bad for your niece and nephew and also your mum if she’s on immunosuppressants.

You may remember back in August 2017, Karate Kid shared with me that his mother was fortunate enough to receive a kidney transplant years ago. Karate Kid took the phone call from a private number one night and was so glad that he did pick up the phone. If he hadn’t had answered, his mother would have missed out on the kidney transplant that night and would have been on dialysis for months to years longer. Some people remain on the transplant list until the end of their lives.

He didn’t reply to my message. I had a feeling that he was coming to visit anyway but would be careful not to kiss me.

I arrived at the contraceptive clinic early. They gowned me up, took a urine sample for a pregnancy test and then made me wait 1.5 hours before it was my turn. I read through the product information one last time and wasn’t sure if I was making the best choice – in reality no option was the best option. I figured that for me, dealing with heavier and more painful periods with the copper IUD would be better than dealing with breakthrough bleeding, weight gain, pimples and mood swings with the hormonal IUD (not all women get it but they also said that about the intramuscular depot….lies!).

The procedure was undignified in that the only way to insert it was via the vaginal passage. I opted for the local anaesthetic so that I could drive myself home afterwards. This didn’t do much as it was immensely painful as soon as the Doctor put the copper IUD in place. She told me that in order to insert the IUD she needed to touch the cervix which means touching a nerve which can cause you to have a vaso vagal response (to faint). After she placed the copper IUD I was nauseous, dry retching and experiencing bad cramping pains.

The Nurses were really kind and led me to a bathroom so that I could change into my clothes. I had blood everywhere which had dried and I couldn’t get off. I was so weak it took me forever to get my clothes and sanitary pad on. They then walked me to a recliner chair and offered me water, a fruit drink and biscuits. I wasn’t interested at all. I was in so much pain I wanted to cry. They gave me pain relief and said it’d take maybe 15 minutes to work. Thirty minutes later I was still in agony, clenching my teeth, grimacing and digging my nails into the chair arms trying to hold myself up to take pressure of my lower abdomen. I wanted the pain to stop but couldn’t do anything more about it.

The nurses kept taking my blood pressure and heart rate. They were sitting around 90/60mmHg and 48bpm (Standard targets are 120/80mmHg and 72bpm. My baseline at the clinic was 100/70mmHg and 66bpm). It was definitely a prolonged vaso vagal response. After an hour and a half of agony the waves of cramps gradually became less frequent. The Doctor came to visit and explained the my uterus was trying to push the IUD out, which was a normal response. I wished that someone would have told me beforehand that it would be so horrendous. The Nurses said that I should contact someone to drive me home as I wasn’t in a state to drive – drats.

During the short periods of no cramping I thought about who I could contact. Most people were ruled out because they lived in other cities, worked 9 to 5, were in professions were they couldn’t afford to catch the flu or I wasn’t comfortable explaining what procedure I just had….

I tried a girlfriend who does shift work, but she was unavailable. I then sent Karate Kid a message, I knew that he was planning on coming to see me anyway:

Raccoon 😦 my body reacted to the IUD. They aren’t letting me drive myself home.
I’ve just sent msg to XX to see if she is off work and able to pick me up. She can’t, would you be able to after work?
I’m in Salisbury. They are okay for me to stay until the clinic closes. Hopefully, I may even be able to convince them to let me go if the pain stops.

He sent back a message promptly:

Ok. I will pick you up. What is the address?

I felt bad interrupting his work day, but I was desperate. I didn’t want him to rush his work either. I was happy to wait until he finished his work for the day:

It’s called XX Day Surgery.
XXXXX St.
I’ll charge my phone now and try to have a snooze.
Xo

About an hour later a Nurse work me up. I was feeling so much better. Almost at the same time Karate Kid sent through a message:

Ok. How are you feeling now? Hopefully i didn’t wake you up. I will leave work early to pick you up.

He’s so sweet. I appreciated him offering to go out of his way to help, but I didn’t want to interrupt his work day. I was also feeling so much better and felt I could drive myself home (which would save driving across the city the next day to fetch my car).

Hello cuddly raccoon
I slept for over an hour with no pain!
They have said just now that I should be able to drive myself home.
Thank you so much for offering to be there for me xo

Soon after he sent a message:

Ok. You go home and rest. I’ll come over and bring some soups and tissues….. i won’t stay if you are worried about making me sick.

What a great guy. I had a face mask to wear that I got from the Doctor’s appointment earlier in the morning so was okay with him coming over.

Thank you so much xo you are so sweet xo

I managed to drive the 40 minutes home safely and without any pain. I tidied up the house and eventually Karate Kid arrived. When he was inside he gave me a big hug. As he gave me a long hug I said: “Thank you for coming. I’ve had the most horrible day ever.

He kept hugging me which made me feel better. I had been so distressed earlier and hadn’t realised how sooky I still was. Just seeing him made me feel better. He really was concerned about me and wanted to help me feel better in any way he could.

I showed him the information about the procedure so that he could understand what happened. As we laid together I wanted to tell him that I loved him. I knew that it was too soon and that he wouldn’t say it back just yet. Was it because I was feeling particularly vulnerable and he was comforting me? Was it the sweet messages that he’d sent that day? What he’d said earlier in the day in his messages had made me so happy. I couldn’t tell if it was him or if it was what he had learned from reading my book the other week.

We laid in silence for a long time. He stroked my arm and my hair. Eventually, I looked up at him and told him that he was the best medicine. Most of the evening I dozed whilst he laid beside me having little naps himself. At one point I woke up and he was at the kitchen table eating some of the soup (he brought four with him). I hadn’t even noticed him get up.

Later I woke up with him beside me again. I was feeling more awake and just wanted to let him know how much I cared about him. I didn’t want to scare him either. So I looked at him and said “I love every part of your body” pause and smile “because it’s part of you and makes you you.” We hugged for a bit and then I sat up, touched his body and said “I love your toes, feet, legs, knees, bottom, tummy, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, ears, cheeks, nose, mouth, eyes, eye brows and forehead.” I then gave him a big hug and snuggled in to his side.

He said something similar back, but more condensed and awkward. He is a man of little words and compliments certainly have never been his forte. I wanted to kiss him but couldn’t. I then rubbed his arm and said that I loved his skin and his colour. I meant every word, Diary. I’d grown to love every part of this man because it was him.

At midnight I woke up from another sleep. He was dressed and still laying next to me. I got up to get some pain tablets and he said that he’d go home seeing as I was okay. I thanked him for coming to keep me company.

I’d forgotten just how wonderful men could be, Diary. The next morning when I woke up I still felt overwhelmed by how lovely he had been that day. It really had been a horrible day and he helped to make it nicer. I still wanted to tell him that I love him, but felt that it wasn’t the right time and that via text wasn’t enough. He deserved to hear it in person at the right time. Also, part of me was worried that he wouldn’t say it back and that maybe it was just a temporary feeling because I had been vulnerable and he had been there for me. I sent him the following message:

Good morning loveliest, snuggliest, cuddliest raccoon.
Thank you for your lovely words, your support, your visit, your hugs and cuddles, the yummy soup, the tissues, your time and for caring about me and for me yesterday.
I really appreciate it so much and because of you my day was much brighter than it would have been.
Thank you so much. Words aren’t really sufficient to express how much it all means to me.
Xoxo


 

Shy Guy sent a message the day after we had the chat:

Hi I hope you’re feeling better but not so much that you have to work 🙂

I’d told him that I’d wanted the day off work but that it was so hard to do as we need to call my boss directly to do so. My boss can be very intimidating and that’s why I think our department doesn’t have many people take sick days.

Me: “Hello SG
Thank you haha. I actually got a lot worse overnight so am not working today.
The GP thinks that I may have a strain of the flu. If you start getting a fever in the next few days you may be sick too 😦 I’m sorry if I make you sick.”

SG: “Yay and Boo! I hope you’re better Asap. I feel fine ATM, and all good if I get sick anyway :-)”

When I was home after the procedure and waiting for Karate Kid to arrive, I sent:

Well I hope that you stay healthy.
I smell nice of strawberries. Thank you again for the gift 🙂

He replied:

Oh you tried it? I’m glad you like it! \o/ It’s hard to tell what’s good until you try it… like the fancy fries we had last night! :3 I’m in the city about to get comics and other goodies

I decided that this is where the conversation would stop. It was now clear that I was seeing Karate Kid and I was happy to still be friends with Shy Guy, but I wouldn’t be allowing him to get too close. This is just out of respect to Karate Kid.

The Spaniard sent me a video of parrots bouncing around saying “que vienen los Reyes” which means something like that they can’t wait for the gifts that they asked Santa for at Christmas. He then asked if I was coming back to Spain this year. I said I wasn’t sure and that it depended on when I found a new job. He didn’t reply.

 

Anastasia xo

 

IMAGE: [JANA GOUTHOVA] © 123RF.COM

2 thoughts on “Make Pain Your Friend – Entry 178

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