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.

Homemade Ice Cream

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the homemade popsicles we made for the kids to have on ice cream day at school. This week, I finally got around to posting the recipe on Living The Life Fantastic. You can read it here.

It’s so simple and delicious. You don’t even need an ice cream maker, but frankly, I enjoy the process and the grinding sound of the ice cream maker; brings back memories of summers while growing up.

For the popsicles, we make the base (the cream and sugar) and add sliced strawberries, bananas or cherries and simply poured them into popsicle molds and froze them.

Let me know if you try them!

Enjoy!

So much randomness, so little space

I’ve been accumulating a bunch of tidbits/links recently that I’ve been wanting to post about. None of them on their own seemed to warrant a post of it’s own. But I think I have accumulated enough now to get a post together.

Bear with me. It will be a rambling ride.

Before I get to all of my randomness, let me mention that it is my beloved’s birthday today. (yes, October is a busy month for us. And we still have one more after this) He is 37 today. I am so thankful he was born! I love him dearly and he keeps me sane and grounded. Happy Birthday, P!

*updated to add a request* please pray for him. He seems to have some sort of stomach issues going on. This time last year he ran into the same issues and the doctors couldn’t determine what it was. It went away on its own eventually. But it took awhile and was very uncomfortable in the meantime. Not only is his health a concern, but the fact that he is out of sick days at work (due to a severe flu episode 2 weeks ago and then Declan’s hospitalization last week). As it is, we are only receiving a paycheck this Friday for just 3 days of work. Please pray for Sean’s healing; specifically a touch from the Lord that will take away his stomach troubles. Also, please pray specifically for healing on our family. We have been very ill and used up our emergency funds on *emergencies*. Now we need to recover financially from that and I find myself worrying about something else happening in the meantime. I know the Lord is faithful and will provide. And thank you for your prayers.

Tidbit #1
I was reading WonderTime magazine Saturday and found an article on geocaching. I am hooked on the idea of it and have already told Sean that I must borrow his GPS this coming weekend. When Abbie found out that she could go digging for candy, she was ready to go NOW!

Geocaching is defined at Wikipedia as “an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little value. Today, well over 440,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the sport. Geocaches are currently placed in 222 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.”

Tell me that doesn’t sound like something the kids would absolutely love!! It’s like being a pirate – but without the ship and water.

There is a site – Geocaching.com – that you can visit for locations of caches, log your finds etc. I checked our zip code and there were over 200 caches buried within 50 miles of it.

There are rules to follow, such as: take something to replace anything you may take from the cache you find…

Let me know if you decide to do this and what you think.

Tidbit #2
Is he not the cutest thing?


(Thank you, BoutiqueMom for this link)
Click here for a Flickr tutorial on how to make this little guy (or some little monster your own child draws up.) The tutorial includes photos and written instructions.
If you make one, I’d love to see it!

 

Tidbit #3
I would love to see my little guys in this hat. Thanks to MomFinds.com, I came across these cute hats from Zooni.com. Handmade and adorable.



Tidbit #4
I came across this link via The MotherLoad. Gorgeous, cheery kitchen paint job.
Click here to see what Amy at DayLab DIY did to these cabinets.

Tidbit #5
Thanks to Toblerone, (at Better Things Ahead) I was able to completely verify that I am, indeed, totally right-brained. Come back and tell me what you are after you visit this link. I can only see her spin one way, which totally blows my mind to think that other people are seeing her spin the other way. The brain is amazing…

Tidbit #6
Check out this amazing wallpaper by Shiyuan. The flowers “grow” when heat hits it! (you’ll have to scroll down a bit)

To close, I’ll mention that Declan is doing very well. When he went to the doctor’s on friday, he weighed in at a respectable 8# 8oz! Amazing, considering that on the day he was taken to the ER (just 5 days earlier) he was 8# 2oz… And even more so considering he was 5# 11oz at birth, just 6 weeks before.

Hello all,

I am Sean, Karla’s husband. Karla asked that I post some information about what has been happening over the last few days. Sunday evening we discovered that Declan (our newborn) had a fever of 100.4 degrees. Most of you know that a baby less than 3 months old should not have a fever and if they do it is a cause for some concern. We decided that Karla should take the baby to the E.R. to be looked at.

The doctors at Skyline Medical Center decided that the baby’s color was concerning. Further, they felt that he was in respiratory distress and should be transferred to Vanderbilt Medical Center and proceeded to send them via ambulance. They hooked Decky up to an I.V. and started antibiotics. They did a spinal tap, took cultures and decided to keep him for 48 hours to be sure what the cultures were doing and to watch Decky’s fever to be sure it was going to go away.

After much prayer Declan’s fever went away and his color has improved. His respirations are sounding much better, but not completely clear yet. The doctor has said that they can come home either later tonight or tomorrow if all goes well. Karla has been at the hospital since Sunday night and her family is anxious to have her and the baby back home.

For all that are Christians, please keep us in your prayers. I have not been able to work during this time and I missed 4 days last week due to illness and a light surgical schedule. I do not have enough vacation to cover all of these days. I am confident that the Lord will provide. I say this in faith not by sight. Keep us in your prayers that we may all return to health (and stay healthy through this season of sickness) and that the Lord would continue to care for us financially.

God bless everyone.

Sean

http://www.karlaarcher.com/3865/

Baby update

so… I FINALLY went to the OBs office yesterday. Between being so stinkin’ ill since, well, forever, and issues we had with changes in our health insurance, it took that long just to get there.

I was beginning to wonder if I wasn’t going to have to go find a rice paddy one day, 6 months from now. Fortunately, I won’t.

I will have an ultrasound on the 9th, so at least then I will have some sort of idea how far I actually am. I’m guessing 12 weeks now. All of my morning sickness is gone. With the others that disappeared right as the first trimester was ending.

I was able to find out what I can take now for all of this crud… I took some generic claritin this afternoon – and I felt the heavens open up and sing when I was actually able to breathe through my nose and not feel all drippy.