I mentioned that I borked up my back on Monday, right? The first day JB went back to work and I was alone with two small children in the house and about two hours into my morning I managed to render myself a complete invalid? I would tell you how much that sucked, except we definitely need a stronger word to better express the complete and utter thoroughness of the suckiness. It was like black-hole suckage. Dyson suction. Heidi-and-Spencer level sucktasticness. Worse than the initial C-section recovery, and of course I had run through all my good drugs, and I can tell you from experience that trying to get a refill on any decent — ie, abusable — pain medication is pretty much like asking for a brick of white China to be ferried to your house along with a bag of clean needles, which is to say your friendly neighborhood doctors would much rather suggest you use something else, like have you tried ibuprofen? (PS. SHOVE YOUR ADVIL UP YOUR CONSERVATIVE DOSE-HOLE, MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT.)

My back is almost completely better now but I feel like I am going through my activities in a tentative, suspicious manner, because I’m so paranoid it’s going to give out again. It’s like the time my toilet suddenly and inexplicably clogged and then, oh my god, overflowed — once a previously benign, utilitarian object has betrayed you in such a dramatic and unpleasant manner, it can never truly be trusted again.

In other physical-annoyance news that is surely more information than you ever wanted to hear from me, I had a Mirena IUD put in during my C-section and although my OB gave me lots of information ahead of time on possible side effects she neglected to mention the strings. The strings attach to the IUD and, you know, are there so that the device may be painfully yoinked from your lady parts when the time comes — but no one told me they would be, uh, clear and present and accounted for after the birth. Like, not demurely hidden away and only there in some theoretical but not obvious manner, but rather rudely INTRUSIVE, or perhaps I should say EXTRUSIVE. Apparently the strings need to be trimmed, which is . . . well. Perhaps you can imagine just how fun that sounds. I mean, what can I say, I’m sort of shy about people with sharp scissors rooting around in my nether-regions.

However, I’m ready to allow an entire pit crew in there if that’s what it takes, because as my friend Sarah perfectly described these goddamned strings, they are hostile. You may be thinking of a nice cotton string or maybe a soft grosgrain ribbon but you would be WRONG. No, it’s more like the sort of industrial fishing tackle you’d use to catch a 100-lb marlin, and I won’t get into any (further) details but I’ll just say this: AIIIEEEEE.

Well. Am I a sparkling conversationalist today or what? Good lord. Quick subject change: JB is off diving this morning, which as far as I’m concerned means I get the afternoon to do whatever in hell I want. Would you escape the house and children in order to go out and do something for yourself — buy some shoes or some shit — or would you take, like, a 4-hour nap?


78 Responses to “Sensitive subjects”

  1. austinite on February 23rd, 2008 3:39 pm

    holy jebus.

  2. Kim on February 23rd, 2008 3:45 pm

    I concur with Jean and Lisa B. All you have to do is say the word whenever you need serious pain relief! You have enough fans so the odds are pretty good for scoring. Ahem. I didn’t mean for that to sound so druggie. But I just turned 39 and now have an arsenal in my medicine cabinet. I’m not proud of this.
    I hope you had a great afternoon!

  3. Lesley on February 23rd, 2008 4:47 pm

    Re back pain. Whenever mine acts up I haul out these miracle balls. The exercises are quite effective and relaxing.

  4. mandy on February 23rd, 2008 5:36 pm

    Both. Nap and shop. Shop then nap actually.

  5. Mnerva on February 23rd, 2008 6:01 pm

    Another “Yay!” here for the IUD. I didn’t have the Mirena, but the one I did have worked great. Agree with others above that they probably had to leave your strings long in order to give your body time to get back to normal. (Or at least closer to it.) Once you get the strings trimmed you should have no problems. Those things work like a charm. Enjoy your day of me time, no matter how you spend it.

  6. StyckyWycket on February 23rd, 2008 6:12 pm

    They cut the strings of my IUD too short, so now whenever The Boy and I “have deep relations”, he says it pokes him.

    That said, I’m not going back to have a new one inserted; because I have not had children, insertion hurts like a son of a bitch, and all they suggest for me is ibuprofen. Which, yes Sundry, they can shove in their dose-holes.

  7. Kate on February 23rd, 2008 7:02 pm

    I can’t use hormonal birth control for medical reasons, so I have the copper IUD and I love love it, although I don’t exactly trust it. I think it’s like 98% effective, but after more than a decade on the pill, it still seems too good to be true. And while I trust that the string is there, I’ve never felt or seen it.

    And it’s instantly reversible! So if I ever recover from the trauma of having my first baby, I can easily decide to have a second.

  8. Super Sarah on February 24th, 2008 12:02 am

    I second what Erin said above, that the strings do soften after a few days or so and then kind of curl up round the cervix. I did have to go back to my local family planning nurse to have my strings trimmed after the first time I had my IUD inserted but after that, no problems at all. That was until I had my second one inserted 3 months post a vaginal birth… it only stayed put another 6 months (with not much sex to be honest! What? I had a new baby to take care of!) and then it dislodged during sex. Now that was a bugger. Anyway, it turns out having a baby did more than change my life, it changed my uterus too so now I am not such a good candidate for another IUD. I am gutted, its a fabulous form of contraceptive and being back on condoms is like being a teenager all over again!

  9. honeybecke on February 24th, 2008 12:11 am

    i chickened out on my scheduled iud insertion appointment. i googled my way into a real freak-out about it. pshaw. me stoopid.
    i wish i had one, but don’t know if i can ever do it. i had heard about the strings and their tendency to poke your partner’s one member boy band. poke poke. ouch.
    hope it all works out, oh brave one.
    also- alone time? COOL. hope you had fun!

    oh, and commenter sarah the italian up yonder? hilarious! so funny.

  10. Lindsay on February 24th, 2008 7:50 am

    Holy crap, am I ever glad my mom found this particular blog and told me about it. I’m going in tomorrow to get my Mirena put in and now I can drive my gp crazy with all sorts of annoying questions about string trimming, breaking out and boy bit poking. Evidently it shouldn’t hurt too much because I’m breastfeeding and it makes your cervix stretchier? And I thought this form of bc was only for people who had already had at least one baby??

  11. Imstell on February 24th, 2008 10:29 am

    IUD stuff = Yikes! & Monday morning OB call ASAP. Love the floppy uterus comment. Ha!

    As for today… I can never rest well with a husband taking care of an infant ALL WRONG within my range of hearing. So I say, make Daddy take small children AWAY for a few hours, pull up a lounge chair in your backyard to enjoy your wonderful weather and sleep in the sun like a cozy cat.

  12. Tracy on February 24th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Seriously, you have to ask? NAP! Nothing out by yourself with two children under the age of teenagers is fun!

  13. Kristi on February 24th, 2008 4:01 pm

    This post has all the elements of exactly why I love you and keep obsessively reading you Sundry. You said all the things I thought about daily when I had an infant and toddler – I just didn’t have anybody in my life who could understand! Thank God for all your incredible readers and commenters.

    I had to laugh at all the comments that sounded exactly like what I thought you should do too – shop then take a nap anywhere but at home! Hope you had a great time and regained a tiny bit of sanity in that insane world you’re living in right now.

    Come on over and visit my blog sometime and say hi. I’m not above shamelessly plugging myself and my giant readership of 2.

  14. beach on February 24th, 2008 4:17 pm

    a trip to a bookstore, where you can get something to drink or nibble on…..relax in comfy chair…..perhaps read a book….or just zen out and people watch

  15. Carrie on February 25th, 2008 7:03 am

    I suggest a nap in a nice, close, fresh-clean-sheeted bed at a hotel. It does cost a a few bucks, but you deserve it! Then there is no chance that you will get disturbed or hear cries that you feel you must check out. Top that nap off with room service and a nice, long, hot, undisturbed bath, and then head back home refreshed.

  16. Ann on February 25th, 2008 7:29 am

    Once they’re trimmed, the IUD is awesome. Totally unnoticable, and you really aren’t going to get pregnant again unless you want to. I’ve never had a baby, and while having it put in wasn’t a pleasant experience, it’s worth not having to deal with all that other preventative crap.

    I hope they had a reason for not trimming at the time. It sounds like that’s an exception to the norm.

    Enjoy your relaxation time! Hopefully time off will be a regular thing, so you don’t have to cram in every fun thing you want to do into these few hours.

  17. ang on February 25th, 2008 8:57 am

    Shoes first, OUT of the house. Not online. Then take a nap. That’s my personal choice.

    No comment on the IUD thing. My doc mentioned something about my previous ectopic pregnancy and an IUD might cause a repeat performance so…. I’ll opt for bc for now. Although I’d love a method of birth control that enhanced the libido and made you instantly lose ten pounds. I’d pay big bucks for that stuff!!!

  18. Sabrina on February 25th, 2008 9:19 am

    I went to the mall yesterday, for some Me time, and the whole time I was walking around thinking “I wish I was napping.” What did you wind up doing?

  19. Penny on February 25th, 2008 12:46 pm

    Thank goodness they can trim those things. I’ve never heard of an IUD “side effect” like that.

    And the visual imagery now stuck in my head: priceless. Thankyousomuch.

  20. Danielle on February 25th, 2008 2:53 pm

    Another no-child-havin’ Mirena person here. I’m 35 and a smoker with a family history of things that makes the pill not the best option.

    I love that little plastic do-hickey. LOVE. In there in less than a minute (the subsequent string trimming was an additional 30 seconds … don’t fear having that done, it’s easy!), and some spotting for a few weeks. Two years later, non-existent periods and no babies. Thumbs up!

    I will say that the first time I had to check that everything was still in place by feeling for the strings, it was … interesting. There were some acrobatics and yoga moves in the shower, but finally I found the stupid things. I will admit to a few moments of panic, as well as some cursing. I’ve never had a guy complain of being poked. I know about 10 people with it, and only one of them had string issues.

    Good luck, and also: Team NAP!!

  21. Stephanie on February 27th, 2008 1:36 pm

    Have them trimmed SHORT. I have the Paragard and it doesn’t bother me in the least, but my dear fiance would like to rip the pointy little mutherfockers right out of my nether regions. I said go for it, I’d love to have a baby. He is less comfortable with that than a few pokes in the tip.

  22. Josh on March 3rd, 2008 7:51 pm

    You see, people don’t understand that a plunger needs to be sitting directly next to every toilet in your home at all times. Women think it’s better to hide this device in some back closet, or at least under the sink, but I assure you, in the moment of panic you will need every second you have available to avoid a flood of fresh turds large enough to clog a toilet. I’m not joking, they’re important.

    Sorry about the godzilla tampon string thing. I don’t know what an IUD is, and honestly after the girly facts filled day I’ve had so far (thank you very much little ms UTI talker abouter) I don’t even care. But sorry you have some wretched medical device shoved up your baby hole for later painful removal.

    If I had a few hours to do whatever I want, I would spend it talking. I’ve got a person I wouldn’t mind talking to for a while. But alas, time does not permit. So I guess I’d take a nap. Or go burn some shit. Or blow something up. Or maybe shoot my gun. Or steal music off the old webz. I don’t know, I don’t have a few hours to spare so why do you tease me?

  23. CactusHeart on December 22nd, 2008 2:12 pm

    You’re greatly exaggerating the feel of the iud string. It feels like a soft thin plastic, yes, somewhat like a fishing line but not like some plastic cable massive enough to lasso Godzilla sticking out of you, like you seem to make it out to be. But then again, maybe your parts are more sensitive than average. Have you ever had those occasions where you had something stuck in your mouth or teeth and have it feel ridiculously larger than it actually is? Where a kernel of corn feels like a canonball or a single hair feels like a shipyard rope? *lol* As for me, compare feeling a soft thin plastic string than the diameter of a baby’s head ripping my parts in two and….I don’t know about you, but it’s all TOO EASY a choice for ME. I have Paragard as it’s a hormone-free alternative I only have to think about ONCE (unlike Depo shots, which is what I used before…which are also great, especially if you’ve had PCOS). I’ve been plagued with ovarian cysts before(of which having Mirena risks just such a thing) and I’m LESS than excited about taking the chance of getting MORE CYSTS!

  24. CactusHeart on December 22nd, 2008 2:34 pm

    And one more thing…if the strings are “poking” your partner, either they were cut too short, the ends of the strings weren’t tucked in behind the cervix (which you can ask your doctor to do when he/she “installs” the IUD or you can do it yourself) or both. Also note that the strings become more pliant over time. I keep my srings “tucked in” as much as possible…though the drawback to that is reaching in to FIND them when doing a self-check to make sure it’s still in place(the primary purpose of these strings as it seems there are a few here who don’t know what they’re for)…and for those who think IUD’s are removed with one grasp and a “yoink”??? OMG! What a misconception (no pun intended…heh). As a matter of fact, IUD REMOVAL is, on average, quicker and LESS painful than it’s placement. Yes, the strings are involved in it’s removal, but bear in mind the device’s ARMS FOLD UP going OUT JUST THE WAY the way they fold OUT after being placed!

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  26. Jefferson on March 8th, 2015 12:50 am

    Oh my goodness! I know all of your pains with the pill. I am cutlenrry on a low dose pill since I’m breastfeeding while we wait for my husband to get snipped in December. I did get pregnant with Rylie on the low dose pill while breastfeeding Sydney. I had never had a period and so I was totally surprised to find out I was pregnant. This also makes me super nervous now. I feel like I’m still going through everything you have mentioned even with the low dose pill. I guess my hormones are so out of wack though that I don’t know what normal is supposed to feel like. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for almost the last 6 years. Maybe it’s my pill causing a lot of the problems though.I used Ortho Tricyclen Lo when I was younger to also help regulate my periods, but I did gain weight and felt absolutely awful. I struggled with everything that you have mentioned. Most of my weight issues come from hormones and it’s awful. Thank you for posting this. It’s something that sooooooo many women go through and don’t realize, or just suffer alone. What had you been using before starting this pill? If you don’t mind me asking. I’m just curious since I’ve had so many of the same problems and my husband keeps putting off his surgery because he’s not sure he wants to be done having babies.

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