When Birth Control May Do More Than Just That

Other than a couple of questions here and there on social media, I haven’t really mentioned the chronic pain that I have been experiencing for the last 2.5 years.

It started in the summer of 2010, and I originally thought that I had a herniated or slipped disc in my neck/back. By the time the cooler weather came around, the pain was not as bad, so I kind of wrote it off as changes in the weather, humidity, and in my body, as I approached 40.

The problem is, the pain never fully went away. It retreated occasionally, but never completely, and never for long.

During this time, there were also increases in other issues, such as skin, scalp and hair issues (eg: eczema, hair thinning) and slight weight gain. All of these have ‘normal’ reasons, such as approaching and passing 40, allergies, diet…

So:

I’ve spent many days and nights wearing hand and wrist braces, thinking it was just really bad carpal tunnel.

I’ve changed to a standing desk, thinking it might just be really bad tension in my muscles caused by how I sit at the computer.

I’ve upped my exercise, thinking it might be rheumatoid arthritis and that it was best to keep moving.

I’ve tried OTC pain relievers, thinking if I could just get some relief, my body might heal itself.

I’ve added various vitamins to my diet, thinking it might be perimenopause.

I’ve gone shampoo-free, hoping to alleviate scalp issues.

I’ve changed my diet, trying my best to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, thinking it might be a food allergy, issues with wheat/gluten…

Until two months ago, I didn’t have health insurance, so I’ve prayed daily for healing and (/or, at the very least) comfort. I’ve laid awake many nights worried about what was wrong. It’s become a part of my daily life.

Last year, at Randy’s prompting, I started keeping a journal – tracking the pain: the dates, levels, locations. We knew that when we saw a doctor, in order to have a good grasp on things, and help along a diagnosis, we needed to have a sense of when things were happening.

Eventually a pattern emerged.

Almost three years ago, I got a Mirena IUD. It basically stopped my periods, but in my journaling, I realized that the pain always increased around my usual cycle.

It didn’t make sense to me, at first, that they might be related, but I searched the internet for correlations, trying to figure out if the IUD created symptoms, or exacerbated symptoms that were created by other issues.

In other words: was I already struggling with health issues? Or was it possible that the IUD was creating them?

My searches didn’t turn up much. I still felt at a loss to explain what would have brought on such a sudden, chronic pain.

In the last few months, I’ve realized that my search terms were off. I changed my search from searching the internet for “IUD chronic pain”, (which brought up a bajillion posts on chronic pelvic pain) and changed my search to “IUD autoimmune issues”.

And I found that there are many women who have been dealing with the same types of pains and issues. Some of them found great relief upon the removal of the IUD, many, after having had testing (and even possible diagnoses) for RA, MS, and many other autoimmune diseases.

After a few months of a mild decrease in severity, my pain has been back in full-force for the last few weeks, and the last few days, it has been worse than I can remember in awhile.

I’m making an appointment with my doctor, and I’m planning on having my IUD removed. It may turn out not be the root cause of my pain, but it is the simplest test I can do at this time.

Honestly, I’m hoping that it really IS just the IUD.

Celebrating Every Day

AdvertisementThank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. Join us on Facebook for inspiration and recipes for everyday treats. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

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Most people would probably look at how we celebrate traditionally major events and holidays and think that we are ruining them for our children. We try not to overdo it, preferring to keep things low-key and simple, without minimizing it.

Instead, we try to celebrate the every day, every day. We celebrate the fact that we are together. That we had a good week. That some one was complimented for good manners. Or that Randy returned from being on the road.

Some may say this waters things down and trivializes what’s important.

On quite the contrary. I believe that it is teaching our children to see the joy and beauty in every moment, and not just the things that we are told are worthy of celebration. Or to only celebrate on particular occasions or events.

It’s not about elevating the children’s sense of self-importance. It’s about gratitude and attitude. Christmas is not just one day, in December. We can celebrate Jesus’ birth in May or July, over several days. At the beach! A birthday is not something we celebrate only once a year – we are happy every day that our family members were born!

Along with that, we like to enjoy our food and be creative with it. We have become very particular about how and what we eat. But one thing we are determined to do is keep it fun, pleasurable and enjoyable. Each meal is a mini-celebration – something that should be colorful and tasty.

We take a lot of photos of our food creations, and one thing that is obvious as you look through them is that we love sprinkles and COOL WHIP Whipped Topping. (It’s perfect frozen or thawed!)

Duckie-shaped sprinkles on green beans.
Sprinkles and COOL WHIP topping a bowl of chocolate peanut butter steel-cut oatmeal.

Microwave Martini glass cake, with sprinkles and COOL WHIP.

Strawberries dipped in COOL WHIP and sprinkled with… well, SPRINKLES, next to a taco.

There is never a shortage of things to celebrate when you stop and think about it. You don’t have to look far. And nothing lights up a face like celebrating those moments that so many others might have missed or overlooked.

Celebrating is not reserved for special occasions. It’s part of our daily lives.

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Site Highlight: Culinary Snapshot

culinary snapshot

Are you a foodie? A photographer? Or maybe you just like looking at photos of good food (raising my hand). Culinary Snapshot is a new site, founded by Kristen of Dine and Dish and its purpose is to highlight the work of others, who, like herself, love photographing food.

There is a form to use for submitting your photos, and once received they are reviewed for approval.

Truly, this is a unique and fabulous site to look over. The photos are fabulous and there are technical details for each, so anyone wanting to know “how’d they do that” can find out.

Just started is a segment called “Through My Lens”. Each person participating will prepare the same recipe and photograph it. Photos are to be submitted by a deadline and then posted to see how each photographer interpreted the recipe through their lens.

I’ve fallen in love with this site. I enjoy good photography and good food and Culinary Snapshot features both.

Open Source Food: A Social Network for Foodies

red-velvet-cupcakesphoto: chengaleng

I love to cook and bake. And one of the things that I have loved about having a laptop is the ability to follow recipes online, in my kitchen, right on my computer.

There are a lot of recipe/cooking sites online. But there aren’t any others quite like Open Source Food.

Not only can you find amazingly tempting recipes, such as the Red Velvet Cupcakes, pictured above, Thai Chicken Peanut Satay and Beer Beef Stew, but it also serves as a social network for foodies.

By following others, commenting and voting for your favorite recipes, you can socialize and learn from and share with others.

The three issues I found with the site are:

1. Right now, the steps for a lot of the recipes clump together. A form that makes the recipes show in an easier to read format – ie: step numbered and separated, would alleviate this problem.

2. Also, most of the recipes only show metric; us American are pretty metric-illiterate, in spite of it being taught in elementary school. A metric conversion capability would help this silly metrically-challenged American immensely.

3. There is no “print version” for the recipes. This isn’t an issue for me, but if you don’t have a laptop, it would be.

I’ve suggested changes to Yongfook, the developer, so I’m hopeful that they will be implemented.

I love that the recipes are international. And the pictures for the recipes are fabulous.

To become a member and become active:

Simply create an account.

Upload your favorite recipes.

Follow people, leave comments and vote for your favorite recipes.

Then be sure to grab a widget to paste on your blog to show off your recipes.

BOO-ya! Yet another time-suck for me

I’m unable to keep up with my laundry and house cleaning; showering daily has become optional, and meals are last minute.

So how does one deal with that?

Apparently, if you are me, you add to the chaos by deciding to host another food carnival.
I loved hosting “Goggle Gobble Some Good Stuff” and “Holiday Par-tay” last year (which I will be hosting again this year), so I am adding to my carnival repertoire with Boo-ya!

booya

On Monday, October 27th, I will be hosting a Halloween/Fall Festival carnival. Show us your best Halloween/Fall Festival crafts and treats.

Here are some of the details:

I’ll have a Mr. Linky in place on the 27th. On your blog, write a post with your Craft and Treats ideas. Include the instructions and/or recipe. Then come back over here and add your post to Mr. Linky. We are bound to find some good ideas to make Halloween a bit more fun and delightful.

Here is the code for the button above, if you’d like to add it to your blog to promote it. Obviously, it will be more fun if we have more than, oh… two recipes. So spread the word!

<href=”http://karlascrazylife.blogspot.com/2008/10/boo-ya-yet-another-time-suck-for-me.html” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3051/2935423867_90c39b0b89_m.jpg border=”0″ alt=”BOO-YA! Share your tricks and treats” /></a>