Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Houston, we may have lift off...

Middy Alert!!!


I have informed Ruf that I will be punching him very hard at the weekend - probably in the knackers. It seems only fair that he should share the discomfort...

Arriving at the Family Planning Clinic with period cramps plus that delightful griping sensation where you're clenching your butt cheeks because you think the world is about to fall out of your bottom since your nerves are in overdrive. You all know that feeling? Damn, only me again then...

They took some notes and told me to go sit in the waiting area. If you don't count the clinic I was in a few weeks ago where I wasn't really in a fit state to acknowledge my surroundings so closely, it is 30 years since I was last in a proper Family Planning Clinic with all the literature and safe sex warnings. Things haven't changed that much, although I think it was a lot more relaxed being in a dedicated centre, rather than one day a week at the local clinic where, at 16, you were always terrified that you would see someone that you knew. Or, worse still, the parent of someone you knew. These days, safe sex isn't solely focussed on unwanted pregnancy and gonorrhoea. Today's biggest problems are chlamydia and HIV. Infections that have no obvious symptoms. A sobering thought.

The television was on and at that time of the morning it was Jeremy Kyle. The headline was something about '8 possible dads - Have I been bonding with a baby that isn't mine?' There was a lot of shouting and people getting upset and then a DNA test result. No, he hadn't. It was his. Jeremy gave him a rocket and sent him off with a minder. It all seemed rather appropriate and yet surreal.

Having spent 30 minutes reading the wall in front of me, I have to tell you I was very taken with the Mates advertising campaign for the fact that they make condoms for all shapes and sizes. There were several coloured posters - one had a selection of about 30 different types of cockerel; the next had a similarly varied amount of door knobs; a third had a selection of hammers, screwdrivers and spanners, etc.; another had an array of head wear, mostly helmets and the last one was a collection of a type of shell all in different shapes and sizes but clearly of the same genus. I got the basic theme for the ad campaign - different names that we use for the penis: knobs, tools, helmets, cocks. But the shells really confused me. I sat wondering about it the entire time I was there, going through all the different types of shellfish/crustacean I could think of, even as the procedure was underway.

I saw a nurse, who took my history and was very keen that I should consider the Mirena coil - the one with the hormones - but my mother is very keen that I do not starting putting hormones into my body since she had a very distressing decade of allergies as a result of her exposure to one of the first generations of HRT that came on the market for menopause. She went on to run a helpline to assist women to deal with that part of their life without resorting to hormones. I know I don't have to tell her but at some point it might slip out, so best I don't go there if I don't have to.

There was another long wait to actually see the consultant for the procedure. He has been doing this for many years and indeed was the consultant responsible for the births of my teenagers so it was quite weird to meet up with him again so many years later. There were several cases ahead of me with ladies who had had similar installation problems - hence the wait.

One of them, around my age, actually struck up a conversation with me. It was quite bizarre because all around us there were young women avoiding eye contact under any circumstances and there we were gassing away. This lady had had a normal IUD (like the one I wanted to have fitted) previously. When it had reached the end of its life, she had been persuaded to try the Mirena and reassured that it would not make her put on weight. Her feeling was that it was responsible for a weight gain from a size 10 to a 12 in a very short period of time due to the fact that the Mirena stops you from having periods, although she still got the bloating, mood swings and sore boobs consistent with a period being due. She was quite convinced that, without her period, the bloating remained in her body adding to her weight. I would love to hear from people who have the Mirena (I think Vi is one) whether this is consistent with or contrary to their own experience. This lady was there to have the old style IUD fitted again.

For me, as a recovering anorexic, anything that could even possibly make me gain weight is not an option. So, when the consultant tried to push me down that road, even the prospect of the copper type giving me heavier periods could not sway me from my decision that, this time, the Mirena was not for me. He selected the smallest IUD that he had - the Flexi T and I got up on the couch. Just looking at the device in its packaging made me feel quite sick. I always said I would never be brave enough to have one of these inserted and yet here I was.

I guess I'm just getting used to the discomfort or he was particularly skilful (or maybe the Ibuprofen I had had three hours earlier was working) because the insertion of the speculum and him jiggling about down there didn't seem too bad. Even when he had to remove it and try again because it hadn't gone in far enough or possibly not in the right place the first time. I asked where else it could have gone? He said it is always possible for it to perforate the uterus and the bowel. Gulps. 'But Id have felt that wouldn't I?' 'Probably, but you seem to have quite a high pain threshold, especially since you were able to tolerate an abortion without any drugs.' He seemed particularly amazed by that fact and mentioned it a couple of times during the consultation. He had another go, using the dilator this time, and managed to get the device inserted to his satisfaction, although he was still a little uncertain as to whether it would stay put.

I have been told to use condoms for the next two weeks and to check the strings regularly to make sure it has not fallen out or disappeared into my pelvic cavity somewhere. You can probably understand if I'm looking a little worried at this point! I have been given my supply of free condoms and an appointment for a check up in six weeks.

I feel a bit numb down there from all the interference and my period cramps are a bit worse than they were before the visit. I've had some paracetamol and will not go to work this afternoon to give things a chance to settle.

Finally, when I left, I had to ask at Reception about those Mates ads and what on earth those shells were meant to signify...

I should have known, coming from Essex, where this particular shellfish is a delicacy.

The poster showed a selection of different sizes of winkle!!!!

Naturally, I left chuckling to myself.

14 comments:

Lady in red said...

I hope it all works out well for you.

lol at the winkles

Pixie said...

I have a mirena coil, best thing ever.
I've had the menapause cause of the cancer drugs, so don't need the coil anymore but they are not taking it away from me cause otherwise i'll be a dried up old prune and I sure as hell not that!!!!
pxx

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

When I had the mirena coil fitted, I didn't put on any weight, I actually lost it, so I think that lady is just using the coil as an excuse to her binging!

Gypsy said...

More slamming my legs together.... perforate your bowel and uterus....disappear into your pelvic cavity....no thank you very much. I'm a big wuss and I am happy to admit it.

Btw Cake, I've got something over at my blog for you.

George said...

I am so glad that I am male ... for a whole lot of reasons

Anonymous Boxer said...

You are one tough cookie, Missy.

That's all I have to say.

:-)

Juno said...

Winkle? Oh that's hilarious.

I was actually thinking "cockle". (Or muscle/mussel). Heh.

bittersweet me said...

It *is* possble to read something with my eyes mostly shut ... squirm.

why can't it be simpler???

ronjazz said...

It IS simpler...but a lot of men just don't want to consider it. Smartest thing I ever did.

Angela-la-la said...

I would send cyberhugs to your cervix or something but all I can think of is that we used to have to prise the winkles out of their shell with a needle before eating them for sunday tea...

If my mind is permanantly stuck on this pricking the winkle loop, I shall sue!

x

Sulpicia said...

I love the way you maintain the wit in your writing no matter what... Me? I've glad they went through the belly button while I was out cold -- for the tubal. I can tolerate pain but having my cervix artificially dilated the one time was, bar none, the worst physical experience of my life -- and I've had some bad ones. I hope it works out for you! Don't hurt him too badly...

Walker said...

Being carefull is a pain in the b... ummm the other end.
Beng safe is what matters but feel free to knock Ruf's knackers around

Isabella Snow said...

God.. Im considering one of these.. ok.. maybe not anymore.. hmmm..

Peach said...

I had the flexi T for a month and hated it. It's condoms forever for me (or him, rather) - HATE anything hormonal or alien in my body ! HATE IT!