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.

Merry Christmas

We’ve been trying to simplify this Christmas. Boil it down to what it’s really about. In searching for things to share with the kids, I’ve come across several interesting, well-done videos. I’ve passed these along on my Facebook page, but I know that not everyone enjoys going on there. So, I’m cross-posting here.

Enjoy. And Merry Christmas.

Retooning the Nativity (Igniter Media):

The Digital Story of the Nativity (Excentric Media):

A Social Network Christmas (Igniter Media):

Jesus and Santa (Igniter Media):

As you can tell, I like the work that IgniterMedia does. You’ve probably viewed some of their work at your church. If not, pass along their link to your pastor, or church media people.

Twitter Hit by Denial-of-Service Attack

twitterIn what appears to be a Denial-of-Service Attack against Twitter, even the infamous “Fail Whale” is not visible to users attempting to access the micro-blogging site.

According to wiki-pedia, a “denial of service attack” is when hackers saturate a site with traffic to the point that it either slows or crashes the system.

“One common method of attack involves saturating the target (victim) machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable. In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.”

Twitter is, obviously, looking for the source cause and is attempting to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

UPDATED: 12:24pm EST – Twitter is up and running again. Things appear to be a bit slow, so be patient, as they are “continuing to defend against and recover from this attack,” according to their latest status update.

Increase Efficiency by Using Social Media Apps

Social Media is fun. It’s a great way to socialize, stay informed, connect and share. But if you are wanting to limit your time on it and still keep your pulse on things,  and you aren’t using a social media application, you are going to spin your wheels and end up not getting much done.

In the last year, several applications have been released that allow you to keep track of Twitter, Facebook and other outlets all in one place, removing the need to visit many different sites. This increases your productivity by allowing you to search for specific topics and create specific groups that are most relevant to you.

Several to look at:

AlertThingy: Also allows you to integrate business social media sites, such as Yammer and Huddle.

Skimmer: a brand new (released 3/24) addition to the streaming social media sites, it also incorporates YouTube and flickr and Blogger.

If you are looking for a browser that incorporates social media, try Flock. Powered by Mozilla, it is a fantastic browser for anyone with a heavy social media life. All of your social media sites can be updated from within the browser sidebar. There are many extensions that make it even more useful.

If you want to be a part of helping develop the newest applications, SocialThing! is currently in private beta, so if you want to give it a try, shoot them a message.

What have you implemented to make social networking more efficient? Share your advice in comments.

(photo pilipala9)