Mirena, 1+ year in

**Disclosure: FAMILY – THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ>>> CLOSE THIS NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT T.M.I. ON MY PERSONAL LIFE!**

 

Last year, I made the decision to say, “Screw you!” to pills, Nuvaring (although I mostly loved it), and any other birth control method short of spaying myself.

I chose to drop a few $$ and insert Mirena. (You can read about the entry here).
It was a painful process. I spent nearly 40 days with spotting and dull cramps. Then one magical day… it stopped. The bleeding, the cramps, the discomfort, and then my life began.
I have been blessed with some good sex in my life. Apparently, this good sex was dulled by previous birth controls. Sex has never been so good. Like.. holy shit. Guys who were maybe average at best, were doing a pretty damn good job. Before Mirena, I was using mostly Nuvaring, occasionally a pill; and I was dull. Sex was just an act. If I got off, it was less often than Halley’s comet. But my sex drive didn’t exist. I seriously pondered my sexuality. Boyfriends and lovers knew I was lying and some thought I had been cheating on them.
Then Mirena happened.
.. as it turns out, I’m very straight. And I’m so much happier with Mirena. Sex. is. awesome. Like– wet, hot summer awesome.

Oh yea! And I lost a bunch of weight! When I had Mirena inserted, I was weighing in at ~73kg (about 160lbs). While I’m sure other factors were involved (leaving an unhappy job, moving up a hill, running to subways and buses for new jobs, etc), I am now at ~63 kg (138-140lb) today.

Menstrual cycles suck. Period. (hah. a favorite of mine) From 6th grade through recent years, my period has been a giant cluster-fuck. They were unpredictable. As Cher would say from Clueless “I was surfing the crimson wave!”… more like Crimson tidal wave. It was hell. I had special clothes to wear because I needed to change and clean them so often. My cramps had me in bed, crying like a child. Sometimes they would last longer than a week.. then reappear about 2 weeks later. Then other times they wouldn’t show for weeks (pregnancy scares what???). I got onto birth control and it helped a bit. But I still had shit strong periods.
Now a year after Mirena insertion, my periods are mostly non-existent. I might get ‘ghost cramps’ once a month and the occasional spotting every other month or less.

Overall, everything is awesome.
But let’s sum a few things up real quick:

Pros: 
1. 5 years of baby-free sexcapades
2. Little to no periods/minimal cramping
3. Higher sex drive
4. Weight lost (subjective)
5. Overall happier life.

Cons:
**denotes possible Pro rather than Con
1. 350,000won (KRW = USD ~275) ((((in the states they said it’d be ~600$USD without insurance)))**
2. PAINFUL AS FUCK DURING INSERTION!!!!! FFFUUUUCCCCCCCK.
3. Bodies may react differently
4. Gotta stock up on condoms for all that sex!**
5. I got nothin.. I can’t think of anything else.

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Weight a minute…

I came to Korea 2 years ago. I weighed about 140-145lbs (66-68kg). Prior to that I lived in Thailand and weighed about 135-140lbs (61-63kg)..

In Thailand I had Asian markets and cheap food in small portions. I cooked my own food or ate out but I definitely did my share of eating.. But I was also riding my bicycle around town in the sticky humid heat of Surat Thani. I had a dress and skirt custom made during my last week in that country.

I went back to the U.S. in mid April 2013. During my summer months at home I didn’t do much.. I had Publix around the corner and a large kitchen with ample counter space. I was no longer eating small portions, special spices, or riding my bike everywhere. I hadn’t realized I had gained weight until my friend’s wedding in August when I tried to put on my custom made dress and it was.. Snug to say the least.

I figured I was going back to Asia and would lose weight. My friend Ben tried to warn me that many people gained weight in Korea. I laughed and ignored him.

I moved to Korea in August 2013 weighing about 145lbs / 66 kg.. Ish?

I was gaining weight. I knew this because my pants were getting tighter and tighter.

About a year after living in Ulsan (July 2014) I went to a surgeon about my hernia and he said I’d need to lose weight after the surgery. I weighed in at 72kg..which I quickly converted – and to my shock and dismay – to 158lbs. I had gained more than 10lbs in that year alone.

(Quick backstory: I graduated high school at 120-125lbs. Over the course of 8 years I had barely gained 10lbs) so you can imagine the horror I felt.

I had been working out. I hadn’t been eating a lot of rice. Where did this come from??

I stopped taking pictures of myself and untagging them from Facebook because they were gross. I was gross.

A friend told me to get off birth control and see what happened. I happened to be running out of my prescription anyway so I decided to try it.

In December of 2014, I moved to Seoul. I joined a gym immediately and did my best to go a few times a week at least. I teetered between 71kg-73kg (156-160lbs). I lived in a super tiny apartment with a 2 min walk to work. This only made matters worse. I hate winter and stayed inside my tiny apartment too much..which meant I was eating a lot. I was stressed and unhappy…which meant I was eating a lot.

In April 2015 I went to another surgeon about a ganglion cyst in my wrist. I weighed in at 75kg. I didn’t believe the scale. I was afraid to convert it. I couldn’t even admit the number out loud. I literally would choke. So here goes: 165lbs.

In my highest weight, I was at my lowest point. What. The. Fuck. Was. Happening????

I went to an OBgyn about birth control because obviously that shit wasn’t working and my worst nightmare is becoming pregnant. I wanted an IUD.

(I was supposed to get para guard back in 2011 but chickened out when I saw the tools).

In May 2015 I received Mirena. I was also losing my job and therefore that tiny apartment.

In June 2015 I was having stomach issues. I thought the intense pain was caused by gallbladder problems. Turns out I was extremely backed up. So backed up that the doctor wondered how I was still functioning. Oh.. And I had a mild form of colitis. I took the medications prescribed.

I moved into my new larger apartment on June 22nd 2015. It was on a hill (well, still is).

I had a new schedule that required me to take a subway to work and walk to and from subways. (I’m switching to present tense because it applies to now). I work all over Seoul. I live in HBC, work in Mokdong, and tutor in Gangnam. It’s all over the place.

Somehow though the weight started to dissipate. I went to a gym and was 69kg, which I quickly converted to 152lbs. What???????

Then my student had a scale and we weighed ourselves. I was 67.6kg.. Which I quickly converted to 149lbs. I was below 150!!!!! Holy shit.

I bought my own scale and today I weighed in at 65kg. It was my 1st goal weight. I grabbed clothes that I haven’t been able to fit into since I moved to Korea. And here is the before and after…

February 2015

September 2015

The next goal is 61.5kg (135kg). Let’s see what happens by 2016 😉

Mirena Five Minutes of Pain for Five years of Wonder

Warning: This blog entry contains some explicit words and probably stuff my family does not care to read about. This is mostly geared toward women who have an interest in birth control –who may or may not be in Korea.

Size of Mirena (photo from Mirena.com)

In 2010 I went into my local Planned Parenthood and inquired about a new form of birth control. I had been on Nuvaring for about 6 years and was content, but it was getting expensive without insurance. So, a nurse-lady (Who was not my regular nurse) suggested an IUD. After a bit of research I decided to get Mirena. It was going to cost me about $700 not including the insertion. So I paid some monthly payments and I went in for my appointment. As I got onto the table, my regular nurse came in and did a quick consultation. “Shannon, this was a surprising move. You have always complained about heavy periods and cramps. Paraguard isn’t going to help it.” Paraguard? Noooo, I’ve been paying for Mirena. “Well, we have Paraguard here for you.” Noooooooo. I don’t want that one! So the appointment got cancelled and I got a refund. My nurse suggested Mirena, but by then I was dissuaded. I went back to Nuvaring at $30USD per month. I came to Korea in September 2013 with a year supply of Nuva ring. But somehow I ran short of that year and ended up getting convinced by a friend that I should ‘go natural.’ It wasn’t like I was having sex anyway. I may as well let my body do it’s thing.

P.A. (the friend) said that when she got off birth control, her skin cleared up, she lost weight, and she felt more alive then she ever did while on birth control. Her body was a bit whack at first, but everything went back to normal after a few months. So I decided to give it a try. I weighed in at about 145-150lbs at that time (June 2014). My body was not reacting the way it was supposed to. My skin was breaking out in places it should never break out. I gained another 10-15lbs. My period was showing up every 30-45 days. When you expect it on the 1st and it comes on the 7th, that is some seriously emotional freaking out. Now imagine that every month.. a week or so later than expected. It was heavy, it was light, it was starting, it was stopping. It was unpredictable and I do not approve of that.

I moved to Seoul late 2014, early 2015. I inquired about IUD and so many people had them!! I knew it was time. I needed to save some money and get my health insurance.

I got an appointment with MizMedi in Gangnam. I had a pap with Dr. Seo and discussed Mirena. He said, “Okay! No problem. After your next menstrual cycle, make an appointment immediately and we will have it done.”

So I did it on a Saturday. I waited in the waiting room for a few minutes and consulted with Dr. Seo one last time for about 3 minutes and went into the room. He said it would hurt a bit. I anticipated it…but I did NOT expect it to be THAT FUCKING PAINFUL. JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST ON HELL IN A BASKET OF CUNTBALLS!!!
“Four letter words are okay here, Shannon” OUCH!!! “yes that is a four letter word.” SON OF A BITCH. “That is about 10 letters, but still okay.”
They insert this thing into your uterus. You know that good feeling when you’re having sex? It’s not that. It’s the painful version of that. It was like a vampire dildo bit my insides. It was like having a piranha going at it on my uterus. It was like Satan himself unleashed Scylla and Charybdis into my precious parts and let them do their thing.

“Relax, Shannon. Five minutes of pain for five years of wonder.” “”WONDER??” “No, wrong word. Five years of no babies.”

……and then it was over. He used a magic sonogram wand to make sure it was in the right place and THEN it was over. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life. He said, “There maybe cramps and spotting in the next couple of days. See me when you are dressed.”
After he walked out, I got up to get dressed and saw a ghost. It was my face in the mirror. I was pale as I’ve ever been. I was surprised I hadn’t passed out. I saw Dr. Seo and he said to take some medicine, and if there were any problems, to come see him. They let me stay in a spare room for a bit while I rested. I don’t know if it was the alcohol the night before and not eating that morning, or if it was the extreme situation I had just gone through, but I sat on the toilet for about 30 minutes (sorry, graphic mental image, but I felt it was necessary).

Then I passed out on the bed for about an hour. I finally got up and paid for the appointment. The entire bill was just under 300,000won (~$275USD).

I went home around 2pm, showered and fell asleep. I felt like I was having a really really bad period day. A dull prolonged cramp and I was exhausted. I did go out the night before so I probably was a bit tired from that. I couldn’t stay awake though and ended up waking up and going back to sleep every hour or two until about 8:30pm. Then I treated myself to a bag of Mint Milano cookies and watched Scandal.

It is now 2 days later. I have been spotting lightly still and now and then feel a very very dull cramp – – as if I wasn’t sure if I were on my period or not.

But the doc is right. 5 minutes of pain for 5 years of birth control. I look forward to minimal to no periods, clearer skin, and losing a few pounds.

Update to come in a few months.

And for those who endured the entire entry:
Menstrual cycles suck. Period. (ha!!)

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