It’s been a whole year since my IUD had to be surgically removed.
Pain had been brewing for about 24 hours. I honestly thought it was the worst gas I’d ever had. I even bought GasX. Big surprise, it wasn’t gas.
I finally called my doctor’s off hours line. She called me back, and after hearing my symptoms, she advised me to go directly to ER because it sounded like appendix or kidney stones.
On a pain scale of 1-10, I was a 15. All the pain was radiating from the front of my uterus to the back.
I didn’t have anyone to help me. Well, I didn’t really ask either. I thought maybe I was being dramatic, and that the pain was in my head. So I survived taking my kids to their schools and drove myself to the hospital.
I was in the ER waiting room for 6 hours. But in that time, they gave me an IV of fluids, pain meds, ultrasound, MRI, and nice warmed up blankets.
The nurses were ANGELS. One thing I learned, be genuinely nice to your nurses, and they will be so cool with you. I watched so many people yell and scream at nurses just doing their job. Let’s just say that they didn’t exactly get preferential treatment.
I finally got called back. More and more tests to figure out what was wrong with me. Most I don’t remember now. I was given morphine, and my heart rate dropped super low, so I had to get off it. My Mom finally got here at this point.
They started ruling things out. It’s not appendicitis, not kidney stones. We finally decided that it was probably my IUD. Nothing could be done that night so I was officially admitted. And I got a nice room on a different floor.
At this point, I had been at the hospital for nearly 9 hours. My vein blew so they had to search for another good vein. I have tiny baby veins, and at one point, I literally had three nurses intricately searching my arms and legs for a good vein. They kept sticking me and blowing veins. It was a very very low moment for me. Needles terrify me. And this was basically my worst nightmare. Tears well up even now as I think about it. But again, my nurses were so gentle and kind. I felt safe and taken care of.
Speeding up the story… next day, gynecologist came in and did a pelvic exam. He tried to pull the IUD strings for a solid 5 mins. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. While he was extremely kind, respectful and professional, I should have told him to stop. I endured it. But I didn’t need to. He was actually impressed by all the pain I had tolerated. The doctor ended up not being able to pull it out, so surgery would have to be done to remove it anyway.
This was midday, and I learned that he couldn’t do the surgery until the next day. Thank God that I brought my iPad! It was a lot of downtime.
Next morning at about 5:30am, I was actually having a pretty decent sleep, and the nurses came in and told me now was the time. In my medicated sleep fog, I literally asked if I could sleep longer! The answer was a resounding no, sweetie.
Ok I have never had surgery. This was a first for me. It was cold and lonely in the prep area. But again, everyone was so kind and patient. I had a nice dream about Spongebob when I was under. When I came to, it was about 45 mins until they could wheel me back to my room. I was slightly loopy. I remember laughing as the nurse helped transfer me from the moving bed to the room bed. I laughed, “well thank God I shaved my legs”! We all laughed.
After the surgery, all my pain was literally gone. That was it. It was the IUD. It turns out that it was likely infected upon insertion. And it was basically destroying me from the inside. Looking back, I had a ton of signs that it was infecting me. I won’t go in to the gory details.
My point is, DON’T IGNORE YOUR BODY WHEN IT IS CLEARLY TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. I did actually go to the doctor a few times over the years to get things treated. But the treatment for those was just a little bandaid for a larger problem. I’m upset with myself that I didn’t push for more answers when I kept getting infections.
I was deeply affected by this experience, emotionally speaking. That is for another day to explain. But I felt a deep need to share this part of the story in detail to give context to a greater issue- women’s reproductive health and rights.
Thank you so much for reading this deeply personal experience. I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.