Tag Archives: Birth control

One Year After Mirena

I’ve noticed this summer that when I log onto my WordPress site, previous posts about my experience with the Mirena IUD receive more traffic than most of my other posts.  Actually, to be honest, there doesn’t seem to be any other interest in my other topics, but people are concerned about the Mirena, and some readers have reached out to me.  It occurred to me that I haven’t written a follow-up describing how my health has changed in the year since having my Mirena removed.  I’ve put it off long enough, and now it’s time to share.

This sculpture reminds me of the struggle I've overcome. Sometimes we just have pick up the pieces.

This sculpture reminds me of the struggle I’ve overcome. Sometimes we just have to pick up the pieces.

Last March I had my IUD removed after using it the full five years prescribed. By that time, I had all the symptoms of what is referred to as the ‘Mirena Crash’: persistent fatigue, bloating, abdominal cramps, headaches, confusion, irritability, limb numbness, back pain, and more, all to the extreme.  At that time, I didn’t know anything about Mirena’s side effects, but suspected it was the culprit.  When I reached out to my doctor at the VA, I did not receive the kind of help that I expected or believed that I deserved.  Instead of being supported by the medical community, I was left to my own devices, and I became very scared and angry.  I had to figure out how to heal on my own, and it has taken me the at least a year to heal not only physically but mentally as well.  The trauma caused by getting “sick” from the Mirena left me feeling isolated, crazy, untrustworthy, and unable to trust medical professionals.

My emotions, however justified, were part of the myriad of symptoms from my reaction to the IUD.  Even after the device’s removal, toxins from the Mirena continued to circulate through my system, and my hormones could be best described as defunct.  I was a mess!  I felt as though I had been poisoned, and in a sense, I had. It was extremely difficult to drudge through the day pretending to be a “normal” person while my body purged the bad hormones and toxic build up.  I felt like I was on a bad drug trip for months, yet I was in for a much longer ride.

It has now been about eighteen months since my Mirena was removed, since I was very ill, and I am so happy to say that I am not the same person.  I am in extraordinary physical shape (comparatively), I feel confident about how I look, I have boundless energy, and I don’t suffer from as many aches and pains.  I love to wake up in the morning and be active all day, because I know I will not become exhausted like before.  I don’t feel emotionally sabotaged and my hormones are finally in balance for the first time since I started using the Mirena.  Best of all, I never have to go back to IUDs, because better options are at my disposal.

But you are probably wondering what exactly I did to take care of myself and conquer the nightmare that left me so miserable, right?  First, remember that there is no magical equation to follow in order to become well after the Mirena Crash.  Your personal definition of well is not going to be identical to mine, and your biology, cultural and familial background, lifestyle, preferences, and external influences are not the same as mine either.  So you must determine which plan is best on your road to recovery.

This is how I did it.

I. First I made a commitment — to myself.  I committed to follow a strict diet and exercise plan to get my health back on track.  I carefully considered how to reach my goals.  This commitment was important because it was an investment in myself.

2.  I took up an exercise routine (kickboxing) that helped me develop confidence as well as muscle tone.  My routine became a catalyst in ridding my body of toxins and excess body fat, both of which had accumulated while I was using the Mirena.  Bonus:  I made new friends at the kickboxing studio!

3.  I tweaked my diet as needed.  For example, when I realized I was not eating enough protein to support my newly active lifestyle, I changed the diet to reflect my needs.  This was critical in healing because the body has to be able to flush out toxins and regenerate new, healthy cells!

*I used the Standard Process products recommended by Dr. J (see the link to his site below) but only as long as I felt that I needed them.  I used an extremely healthy diet to clean out my system because I believe that food is medicine, not the other way around.

4. I made time for myself every day to pursue a hobby, something just for me, and I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt.   Sometimes I just took ten minutes to read a magazine and drink tea; other days I painted or caught up with a friend over coffee.  Very beneficial to my soul!

5. I talked to my friends and family about my struggle and listened to the wisdom that they had to share.  Their love and support helped me feel strong enough to move past my anger and frustration over the situation.

6. I let go.  I acknowledged that there was really no one to blame in this situation — not me, not any of the doctors, and no one else.  But I especially stopped blaming myself in hindsight.  It’s a waste of energy.

I like to think that the last year and a half is a chapter in my life that I can close, and now it is time to look forward, move forward, and anticipate what lies in the future.  I sometimes think that my Mirena robbed me of five years of good living, but that is not true.  It was a minor setback, and if anything, I learned to take better care of myself, to be more kind, and to forgive the faults that we all cannot help but possess.

Best of luck to those fighting their battles.

~G

 

 

The link to Dr. J’s site, where you can find his take on the Mirena Crash:

http://www.drjnutrition.com/

 

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My Mirena Tried to Kill Me!

English: Mirena IntraUterine System Deutsch: M...

English: Mirena IntraUterine System Deutsch: Mirena Hormonspirale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, apology disclaimer right off the bat for any reader — but especially to any males who may have stumbled across this post innocently.  Unless you really want to read about the horrors that I have endured because of an intrauterine contraceptive device that was eh, installed for medicinal purposes, then you may prefer to read something more benign from a happier time in my blogging days.

There is currently a class action lawsuit because the Mirena is a defective and extremely dangerous product.  The company that developed and marketed it allegedly did so knowing that the device would likely cause numerous side effects, many of which that would be detrimental, some that could be fatal.  If you  are using or have used a Mirena, then you very likely have experienced the same ‘illness’ that I am going through.

Now like most women, I trusted my healthcare professional, who probably had every good intentions.  My reason for getting the Mirena was not to prevent pregnancy but to “control my hormones” so that  my migraines would be kept in check for up to five years (since the IUD had to be taken out after five years’ time).  And like most women, for five years I really didn’t think about my IUD because it didn’t seem to be doing anything.  I wasn’t having very many periods, and when I did, they were lighter, less annoying, and more convenient.  Who wouldn’t want that?

20140317_155222

Me during one of my MANY visits to the doctor during my hellish Mirena Crash. It’s blurry, but that’s how I feel. Taken By Annie

I started to feel like something was wrong about six months ago, and although I wasn’t sure, I suspected that my hormones were to blame.  We women usually know, right?  I could feel that something was wrong and started to wonder if the Mirena was causing hormonal fluctuations.   Four months from my five-year removal date, I was climbing the walls with uncontrollable migraines and excruciating hormonal mood swings.  By that time I was certain that the Mirena had something to do with my very severe decline in health.  The VA clinic didn’t take me seriously when I called and requested an appointment to have the device removed, which destroyed my already shaky trust in the staff.  Luckily, my physician on the Army base saw me immediately and removed the device as an in-house procedure without giving me any grief.  You see why I left these details out of my previous posts about my migraines?  Too much information, and very traumatic!

I thought my problems were over and that I would start to feel much better in no time.  But I became more sick than I had ever felt in my entire life.   Oh yes, the Mirena Crash!  It is well documented and even has its own special name.  I started doing research online, and the more I discovered about the negative side effects of the device, the more betrayed and  I felt.  My Mirena had caused much more damage than initially realized!  The list of possible offenses to my body went on and on, everything from pseudo-hemorrhaging during periods, to anemia from blood loss, to early menopause, to depression, to liver failure, to various types of cancer.  The list went on, and if that wasn’t bad enough, apparently the Mirena had also leached silicone into my body, essentially poisoning me slowly over time.  SILICONE POISONING.  Are you fucking kidding me?

Angry doesn’t begin to describe my feelings.  At the time I made this unsettling discovery,  I didn’t have anyone to talk to because my healthcare providers either weren’t educated or just plain weren’t sympathetic to what was happening.  My husband has been out of town for several weeks — the worst part of this living hell — and in retrospect that may have been a blessing in disguise — for his safety.  With out of control hormones, I was definitely in a vulnerable state, just hanging on from day-to-day.  I would cry myself to sleep, begging God to make the headaches stop, just for one day, so that I could have some relief.  Then in the morning I would wake up with a worse headache, and cry again while making tea.  I could feel my body shutting down more each day, and it was terrifying.

I still don’t know if this story has a happy ending.  Luckily, through what I can only call Divine Providence combined with my Web surfing abilities (Divine Surfidence?), I found out that there is a nutritionist specializing in treating survivors of the Mirena Crash (the official name given to the specific yet numerous symptoms associated with use of the device) in Great Bend, Kansas, which is really just a two-hour drive from where I live.  I almost couldn’t believe it — maybe this is the real reason we have lived in Kansas all along!  I had been begging God to stop the pain for weeks now, so I took this as an omen that I MUST get in touch with the doctor, who is by happenstance a nutritionist and chiropractor.

Okay, so to wrap up this story, I will skip over our long phone conversation because it turns out I didn’t have to even drive the Great Bend.  He does phone consultations with women from all over the country who are suffering from the side effects of their Mirena IUDs, and are not getting adequate support from healthcare providers.  Hmmm.  Long story short, he recommended a whole foods based detox diet selected  by him, and tweaked over the years to heal the body as much as possible.  The detox is designed to flush five years of toxins out of my body and liver, and hopefully get the liver functioning at full capacity again.  The silicone may or may not flush out.  I am also going to be using a bio identical progesterone oil to ‘reactivate’ my natural progesterone since the Mirena stopped production of my natural hormone.  This should halt the pre-menopausal symptoms I am experiencing (hello, hot flashes!) and hopefully turn back the aging process (I already have a lot of gray hairs!).

It could take months or even years to undo the damage caused by the Mirena.  Right now I am looking at my entire summer as a recovery time, and I may not be able to go back to work at the school.  I am immensely saddened by this turn of events.  Summer was supposed to be fun time with my family, everyone happy while traveling and having adventures.  I am no longer the wife or mother I was six months ago, and it isn’t fair to my family.  I am very angry that a tiny device could make me so sick, and that in five years, NO ONE in my medical community raised a red flag about it.  It goes to show that you and only you must be diligent about your health, because doctors don’t know everything, and pharmaceutical companies don’t want to make you feel better.

On the bright side, today I started my detox.  I took my pills (all food based, no chemicals or toxins) and made my smoothie with the special food powder blend.  It tasted disgusting!  I like my homemade smoothies better, but it is important to follow the plan.  I have to do something, be proactive.  This is the way to get it done.  I feel optimistic knowing that I am using food to heal my body.   And maybe soon I will be who I  used to be.

— G

 

 

Another blogger whose life was affected substantially by Mirena, and who refers to the same nutritionist from Great Bend in her posts:

http://mylifeaftermirena.blogspot.com/

 

Another survivor of the Mirena:

http://mirenaandra.blogspot.com/2013/03/mirena-iud-is-poisonous-hashimoto.html

 

 

 

 

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