Thursday, March 22, 2012

I hate dieting. . .

Oh my Lord, I feel like crap. I am so tired and, uh, not clear-headed and shaky and headachy and just hungry. I hate dieting! But on the plus side, I saw my surgeon today to do a post-op check and while he was checking my incisions (on my stomach), he commented that I appeared to have lost weight. Woo hoo! FYI, I got my surgery less than 3 weeks ago and my Mirena out less than 2 weeks ago.

Everything else is blah. I'm just tired and feeling crappy. Hopefully that will get better. I just want all this damn weight off.

I went to a super cool indoor playground today with Lynette. Her new baby, Eric, is so stinking cute. I held him and rocked him all morning. Maggie had a blast too. She rode a train and a zebra (like a walking zebra but an electric (?) one; it was weird but cool); she played in the ball pits, attempted mini golf, played with other kids, jumped on giant trampoline. It was awesome. The only downside was it cost $12. But goodness she had fun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wow, also know as I hate Mirena

Ok, today was amazing. I felt amazing and had endless energy (well, maybe not endless). But seriously, I got more done today than. . . honestly, I don't even know when and I was happy to do it. No numbing out/hiding out in TV, internet or a book. I was up and doing things with Maggie or taking care of things all day. I did a big craft with her, made and played a game on the sidewalk, took a long walk, made three other DIY things for her, ran 2 errands, read to her, made her an actual lunch and dinner (and cleaned up), and more. I cannot believe the difference in how I feel. I took care of a ton of annoying phone calls that needed to be done; I scheduled stuff; I cleaned and organized; I did laundry and put it away. Amazing!

I also did my first day of the 30 day thing and it was awesome. I showered, brushed my teeth twice, put on full make-up, got dressed and did my hair (it was so cute; spiral bobby pins are awesome!).

I should also probably review my evil side effects from Mirena.

1. Weight loss: I just started this diet so we'll see. I hate dieting!
2. Depression: Definitely a huge difference: energy, wanting to engage in life rather than kinda check out. I feel great.
3. Hair loss: completely stopped.
4. Giant boobs: I'm going to measure them in the morning so I can keep up with that but I haven't noticed a difference.
5. Exhaustion: holy cow, is that gone. Thank you Lord.
6. Constipation: not a problem

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bad Habits: 30 days

So I was on Maggie's site and she linked up to Matt's site to talk about doing a project every 30 days. Having been severely depressed and overweight for most of the last 3 and 1/2 years, I've picked up some really bad habits. I love the idea of fixing them one at a time with this sort of project. I feel like I've let things slide in such a horrible way (just to survive being depressed) and I need to fix these things but the idea of taking on every habit at once is daunting, to say the least. So every 30 days I'll pick something new and commit to doing that one thing for 30 days.

I'm going to start with self-care. I've let this slide horribly. It just feels like such an effort to shower and brush my teeth and put on make up and actually put together an outfit and fix my hair but going without doing those things is hell on a person's self-esteem and self-worth. So for the next 30 days I am going to do all of those things every day. Nothing overly fancy but every day, no matter what, I'm going to get up and get completely dressed. No staying in pjs all day because I'm not going anywhere or not wearing make up because I'm only going to the grocery store. I'm going to take care of myself. I'll update here because I want to be accountable (even though I don't anyone reads this but Laurie :)) even if it's just to myself (or should that be me? damn you confusing grammar rules).

Mirena Update: March 17, 2012

I've now had the Mirena out a little over a week and I've lost at least 5 inches off my waist. Holy cowzer! That's doing absolutely nothing. I plan on starting a new diet to actually lose weight (I didn't weigh myself).

Another symptom I never knew I had has gone away. I've been battling ridiculous constipation for a long time. I never would have thought that was connected either but it's been night and day since I got the Mirena out.

Oh, Mirena, I hate you.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mirena Side Effects

I think I have another side effect from the Mirena. It's funny because this is something I wouldn't have even said was a problem but the difference is quite marked so it's hard to miss.

The past few days I've been eating less food than usual. I wasn't making an effort, it just happened. And I noticed I wasn't as "snacky" as usual. Then a couple of days ago, I was starving and decided to stop and Sonic and get the same thing I always get. I couldn't even eat half and even from that I was so full. So, I'm guessing the Mirena was causing me to have a bigger appetite, which makes sense, of course.

I plan on going on a diet soon. I kind of wanted to just eat and exercise the way I had been to see what kind of difference just taking the Mirena out made. But I'm so sick of being so overweight, I've got to do something. I think I'll be successful with weight loss this time. I've already seen a pretty strong correlation to getting the Mirena out and positive effects on me. I'll keep updating on the weight loss.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mirena Rant

I just read about Charlotte's problems with her anti-depressant. Basically her pharmacist just hands her a new bottle of her meds, saying hey, it's a new manufacturer, no problem, it won't have any effect at all. But she goes home and spends the next few weeks with all kinds of fun depression symptoms. LUCKILY, she makes the connection, calls her pharmacist, who says, "oh yeah, it can have that effect. Oops." Really? I can't even describe how angry this makes me. If he or she knew there was a possible effect, WHY wouldn't s/he warn her so if she noticed changes, she could switch immediately.

Why would you ever mess around with someone's mental health like that??? When I think of the nights I would rock my daughter and wish I could kill myself, it makes me sick. I used to think that she would be so much better off raised by my sister and her husband, that I was SELFISH to stay alive and keep her from them. But then I figured she'd be screwed up from having had a mom that committed suicide! Wow, what insight there. So, how many women don't find a way around it? How many do take their own lives because they think everything will be so much better without them around?

I've said this before but I'm saying it again. If I had ever seen the warning on the Canadian website about not taking Mirena if you suffer from depression or other mental illness, I NEVER would have put that damn thing in. I suffered for years with undiagnosed depression, I never would have risked going back there. Especially when my depression was so easily managed.

I'm so angry about this: I'm angry that no one warned me or my sister for that matter (she was trained on Mirena and told that it was wonderful--side effect wise pretty much no different that using condoms--ie, there are no side effects). I'm angry that it never occurred to me that the Mirena could be causing all my symptoms. I'm angry that I blindly put something in my body without doing research.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mirena Update

So there's been a huge change in one symptom: hair loss. It's stopped completely. Considering it's been less than a week, that's awesome. I've been trying to pay attention and it seemed like it wasn't as bad but today there was no question. My ponytail holders have been coming out with no hair on them (when I used to pull them out, they would be absolutely covered with hair) and there was very little hair in the shower. AND there were only maybe 15 hairs or so in my comb. I was getting a huge handful of hair so that's definitely different.

I'm really excited to start seeing some changes that for sure are caused my the Mirena.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mirena Crash, cont.

Ok, I feel much, much better today but still very tired. I don't feel foggy or drugged and I haven't passed out from exhaustion so I suppose much better from yesterday.

I wanted to kind of look over my symptoms from Mirena (I think) and try to gauge how things are.

Depression--I feel fine on this front but I'm on 3 anti-depressants. I don't think I'll know for sure on this one until I try to wean off being on so much medication. But there's no mood swings or anything.

Weight--I weighed and measured my stomach on Saturday so I'll check again this Saturday. I'm not sure if I feel any different or not. Of course I ended up having a huge fast food meal because I was in an unexpected 3 hour meeting (having only had a smoothie and coffee) that lasted until after 6pm (plus an hour drive there and then an hour home). Yikes! So that's not going to help things. I do plan on starting a diet soon so perhaps if it actually works, I'll know something on that front as well.

Exhaustion--Like I said, very tired, but I'm pretty sure that's the Mirena crash and not indicative of what I'll be like once that passes.

Hair Loss--Ok, I actually THINK this might be improving. There seemed to be less hair falling out in the shower and into the comb today. But, of course, it's very difficult to tell. Especially if it slowly gets better. But I'll keep paying attention.

Giant Boobs--Still giant. :(

Well, I guess that's still it. God, I so hope after this crash I'll go back to normal. It's scary to think that either the damage from the Mirena is done and irreversible or that all this crap really has nothing to do with the Mirena at all. It's scary to hope but here's to hoping.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Another Mirena update!

Ok, I crashed big time this evening. I had been doing great: I wasn't starving or feeling foggy or anything. But around 6.30pm, I crashed. Like I couldn't keep my eyes open at all. I fell deep asleep, on the couch, with everyone talking and playing around me, lights on, etc for almost 3 hours. Crazy.

I tried to go to bed but now I can't sleep even though I feel groggy and sleepy. Really ready to be back to normal.

Update: Mirena crash

Ok, it's about 3.15 pm now and I feel considerably better. My mind has cleared; I feel so much better. I'm not starving at all; I had my regular smoothie with coffee and I feel fine. I feel better than fine really great actually.

I should mention a couple of other things I think may or may not be connected to the Mirena.

One: last fall, I had a maybe-sort of seizure. I basically got out of bed and fell straight down. I didn't put my hands out to catch myself or anything. The first part of my body that hit the floor was my chest a little but mostly my chin (which is still scarred). And then I just started, I guess convulsing and then it was over. But I've read several stories online about women having seizures with the Mirena in and it stopping once it was removed.

Also, I've noticed several times my heart beating quite fast for no reason. And my resting heart beat is quite high.

Ok, I'll keep updating.

2 days after Mirena removal

I feel very drugged today so this post might be kinda weird. I'm guessing this is the Mirena crash. I was ravenous last night for yucky foods and ate all kinds of not healthy stuff. Then I went to bed early and slept for about 14 hours and still feel tired. I had all nightmares last night too. Today I feel drugged and sluggish. My head feels cloudy and everything feels off. I'm not sure what else to write; I'll try to keep this updated as I feel different.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Mirena is Out!

So I called my OB/GYN first thing this morning and she couldn't see me until Monday. So I called my former OB/GYN nurse practitioner and she couldn't see me so I told the scheduler that I needed her to look at every doctor and nurse practitioner in their group and find someone who could get me in to have this thing removed immediately. They got me in at 12.30pm.

I can't even tell you how huge this is for me. I can't stop thinking about all these links and how MAYBE all this is because of my Mirena. I'm trying really hard to not get my hopes up too much in case this has all been caused my pregnancy or is just a really weird coincidence and it's all random. But the thought, that I could go back to my old self is beyond exciting. That I could get off most of my anti-depressants, lose this weight, not be so damn tired all the time, stop losing all my hair; I can't even imagine how awesome that would be. So I'll be updating all these symptoms and anything else I notice.

I got to my appointment and a women (probably a medical assistant) took me back and asked what the problem was. I told her, "My sister is a nurse practitioner in women's health, and she used to work with this group at another location. She knew all my backstory and, on a whim, googled Mirena IUD and depression and found a ton of information about women having issues with depression when they got a Mirena put in." As I was talking she started laughing and said, "You know everything you read on the Internet isn't true." Wow, thanks, I guess I shouldn't have sent all my bank information to that Kenyan prince. I mean really???

And the thing is my sister is way more educated and has more experience that anyone I saw today and she recommended I get it out. What's the difference between her telling me and a different NP or doctor??? That was quite irritating. But I just blew it off; I was so happy to be getting it out.

The doctor came in and asked me the same questions and I told her the same thing (and about how I had been on 1 medication (low dosage) pre-Mirena and now was on 3--highest dosages). I also told her that Mirena's Canadian website warns that women who suffer from depression or mental illness should NOT have a Mirena. She laughed and said, "I wouldn't go that far." Well, lady I don't give a f**k what you would do; if a drug company says you shouldn't take this, you don't take it!!! But again, I was just wanting to get it out.

The removal seriously took less than 1 minute. I know some women described a lot of pain but they put the duck looking (speculum?) thing in and then just pulled it out. Bam! I barely felt anything. As she was leaving the doctor said, "You know, I've put in about 4 or 5 Mirenas and I've only had 1 woman get it removed because of side effects." And I thought that's 20-25% of your patients that made the connection with their symptoms and their Mirena and went through with getting it removed. How many more didn't connect the two and still are suffering?

After she left, the other woman (I'm guessing another medical assistant) asked me what had happened and I told her the same thing and she was shocked. She said even if I had come to them complaining of my symptoms, they would have just prescribed more anti-depressants; they never would have thought it was the Mirena. She then asked if I would update the office so they have the information for future patients. I can't believe she was the only one with any concern for other women in the same possible position. Although, she was probably just the only one who believed me at all. But whatever, it's out!!!!

I've been spotting a little today, nothing bad at all. I'll probably start a period pretty quickly. That's the only downside; I haven't had a period since I got pregnant in late December 2007 and I haven't missed them. But oh well, definitely worth it!

Mirena Side Effects: Depression, Weight Gain, Hair Loss

In the early summer of 2007, I was finally diagnosed with depression. I was put on Effexor 75 mg and immediately felt amazing. The difference was unbelievable; I felt like I'd spent my life with sunglasses on and was finally taking them off. I had no idea what normal felt like until then. Up until this point I had also had bulimia, which also immediately went away. I ended up losing about 10-15 lbs, completely effortlessly (just because I wasn't occasionally bingeing anymore). I felt better than I have ever felt in my life. I never needed additional medications or to up my dosage.

In very late December 2007, I got pregnant with my daughter. I had a pretty icky pregnancy; constantly sick/nauseous, exhausted, no sex drive AT ALL. I had my daughter in September 2008 and almost immediately got a Mirena put in. My sister, a nurse practitioner in women's health, told me it was amazing, effortless birth control with NO side effects. I had no trouble getting it inserted. I was exclusively breast feeding so I wasn't having a period anyway, but I never started one or have had any bleeding at all since getting it in.

In the past 3 1/2 years, I have been continuously plagued by worse and worse depression. I went from Effexor 75 to 150 to 300. Then added Prozac 20, 40, then 60. Then switched to Pristiq, full dosage, then back to Effexor, then added Abilify. Then off Effexor and Abilify and on to a cocktail of Cymbalta, Lamigtal, and Prozac--all highest dosage. So before Mirena, I was on one medication on almost the lowest dosage and as of today I'm on 3 medications, all on the highest dosages. Not to mention, I've been rotating and trying everything under the sun trying to get my depression under control.

I've also never been able to lose the "baby" weight. I've had success with weight loss twice since my daughter's birth. The first time was fairly early on and I had to diet like crazy (HCG, South Beach, hypnosis, Nutrisystem, etc.) and work out constantly (hot yoga for 1 1/2 hours and running and weights) and as soon as I slowed it down (I work and, obviously, have a daughter), it all came back and more.

The other time, I literally just starved myself. I would eat one meal a day and make it as small as possible. I lost about 30 pounds doing that but it's a struggle to maintain my weight and I'm 45 pounds above my healthy weight!!! And I'm not bingeing, eating fairly healthy, and working out. WTF???

My breasts also went from a C cup (since I was 12) to a DDD. They are huge. I know I'm fat but good Lord!

I've also been tired all the time. I feel like I would always rather be asleep. If I can nap, I DO. I want to go to bed as soon as I've put my daughter to bed (even at 6.30pm).

Then recently my hair started falling out in big clumps. I have really thick hair so it's not too noticeable, I guess but it's shocking. My ponytail holders will be covered in hair, I have to constantly clean out my shower drain and when I brush I get an entire handful of hair. It's crazy.

So honestly I had no idea what was causing any of this; or even that these things might be connected. For the most part, I really thought that pregnancy had destroyed my body and mind. The post before this one is me lamenting that I can't have another child biologically. That's because I thought all these things were caused by pregnancy; I thought I couldn't risk my anti-depressants not working again. I had never heard of anyone being so effed up from pregnancy but I couldn't figure out what else could be the culprit.

So yesterday, my sister on a whim decided to google (remember she's a nurse practitioner--that's a freaking master's degree!--specializing in women's health) Mirena IUD + depression. And bam!!! All these stories of women with my exact same symptoms. Most of them hadn't even suffered from depression before and now were taking meds. Furthermore on Mirena's Canadian website there is a warning that Mirena is not recommended for women who have depression or mental illness. That information is no where on the American website or in the literature given to patients.

Reading these stories, that are all so similar to each other and mine, was so shocking. I never, ever would have connected my issues with my Mirena. The thing that pisses me off is that healthcare workers don't even have the information. If I, or my sister, had seen the warning about women with depression, I never would have even tried the Mirena.

So all this is to say I am having this thing taken out. I will continue posting my progress because when I found all this, I wanted to know if things would get better. I am so angry that no one knew about these problems, that no one suggested my Mirena might be the problem.

I guess I just want to help any other women out there that might be in a similar situation.