Today I got a tiny bottle of magic wands in the mail.  LOVE.

Implanon: 20 Days In

This post probably isn't for the boys.

I've had the Implanon birth control in my arm for 20 days now. After the first week, I stopped having pain at the insertion site, and wasn't experiencing any side effects. (Except possibly headaches, but I'm attributing those to stress and allergies.) I've been pretty happy with it so far.

Here's what's going on now: I have some nerve pain in my arm, but I can't tell if it's from the implant or from a pinched nerve. I fell last week, and nerves are tricky. It's about 3 inches below where the Implanon rests, and I've had some neuropathy in my left side before (meralgia paresthetica), so it's possible that it's more of the same, just in a different place. I'm going to go to the chiropractor this week and see if that helps. Even if it is a side effect of the Implanon, I assume that eventually that nerve will stop hurting, and it's not excruciating, or anything. I just have to be a little careful.

I'm also having some breakthrough bleeding (3 days now). This is pretty close to the time when I'd be having my period anyway, and it's much lighter than a regular period, so I'm not bothered. Plus, it's proof that, if nothing else, I'm not pregnant, so the implant is doing its job. I knew that in the first 2-3 months I should expect this, and it's not a big deal at all.

Overall: Still happy.

It's a Slow Night

Apparenlty no one was having any sex in June, because we're super slow. So, I stole this from Terroni.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sleeping late, having enough food, being able to do what I want to on any particular day without worrying about money.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing control.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I tend to identify with fictional characters much more than anyone who's ever actually existed.

Which living person do you most admire?

Which living person do you most despise?
Currently? Actually, I'm good.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have too many feelings most of the time. About pretty much everything. Also: Impatience

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of compassion.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Nice lingerie.

What is your favorite journey?
The walk from the airplane to wherever my actual destination is. I like that feeling of anticipation.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patience. (And definitely chastity.)

On what occasion do you lie?
To give comfort or spare feelings.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
The scars on my belly.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I find that in my current position, I say the words vagina, vaginal, and vag entirely more than I thought possible.

What is your greatest regret?
When I was 5, I said something really mean to my grandmother. Perhaps I'll post about it sometime.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Marlowe. (Just kidding. Mostly.)

When and where were you happiest?
I've had a lot of really happy moments, but right now, something about a swingset is lingering in the back of my mind. I can't quite wrap my mind aroud the specific memory though.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Lonliness, helplessness, hopelessness. All the nesses.

What is your current state of mind?
After a small rush, I'm trying to unwind.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I want to be psychic.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be more logical, and less emotional. Actually, that's a complete lie. Perhaps I should want to be more honest with myself.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
This is a risky little game...I do wish my dad and mom (in particular) were more tolerant of each other. I mean, it's been 15 years since they divorced. Get over it already. There's no reason to make it awkward for everyone else.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I don't think I've done it yet. I hope not.

What is your most treasured possession?
Right now: My magic wand.

What is it you most dislike?
Itchy scrubs. Insurance companies.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A banshee.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Something with a tail. Do banshees have tails?

Where would you like to live?
Sacramento, Nice, Seattle.

What is your favorite occupation?
I really love what I'm doing right now, but I think I want to be an OR tech. (Actually, I'd like to be a doctor or a nurse practicioner, but I'm scared of that much school.)

What is your most marked characteristic?
I'm a bit of an anger-ball.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
I like smart men and brave men and men with nice hands.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Compassion, cleverness and the ablilty to cook better than me. (Which is pretty much everybody.

What do you most value in your friends?
My friends are smart, funny, and kind. They're also clever, mean (in the best possible way), and snarky. What's not to love?
Who are your favorite writers?
David Sedaris, Virginia Woolf, Augusten Burroghs, Colette.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Who are your heroes in real life?
Margaret Thatcher, James D. Watson, my dad.

What are your favorite names?
Nora, Delia, Horatio, Tomas, Luc, Rachel, Declan.

How would you like to die?
With as little drama as possible.

What is your motto?
Just because you can reproduce, doesn't mean you should.

Implanon Day 2

So, after all the local anesthetic wore off last night, I had considerably more pain that I did when I wrote my previous post. The pain wasn't outrageous or anything, just occasionally sharp, like, whenever I moved. Or lifted anything. Or my arm brushed my body. So yeah, lots of ouches. Luckily I had some Darvocet leftover from my gall bladder surgery, so I took one of those, and it was fine after that (and I didn't have to take any more). I left the bandage on, as instructed, for 24 hours, and when I took it off, my arm looked like this:

It's a pretty big bruise, but not as bad as some of the ones I've seen. The yellow around the outside is betadine, not bruise, so it's not even as bad as it looks. See the teeny hole towards the top? That's where the implant went in. 

Without the pressure of the wrap, it's a little more tender, and at the far end (towards my armpit) it feels like the rod is too close to the surface, and it hurts like it's going to pop through the skin at any moment. I don't think there's any actual danger of that happening though. After a few days a little bit of a callous will develop in there and it will stop feeling like there's a piece of glass in my arm.

Here's where I'll share too much information, so if you're my dad, or some other guy who's uncomfortable with girly business, stop reading now.

Usually in the first 3 months of using Implanon, women have heavier periods, and lots of weird breakthrough bleeding and stuff, and so I was expecting that. The thing is though, I started my period on Wednesday (it has to be inserted during that time of the month), I got the implant yesterday, and today, my period is pretty much over, the same way it would have been had I inserted a new NuvaRing. I'm taking this as an excellent sign. There's still a chance that I'll have the ugliness, but since the hormone is the same as the primary hormone in my ring was, I think my transition will be easier than it is for people who were either not on any birth control at all or were using some other hormonal method when they switched. This is promising, and in spite of the pain, I'm still excited about this thing.

About That Huge Needle...

 I had my appointment today to get the Implanon put into my arm. I was super stressed out to begin with, and so I left the house a little (read: a lot) early. On the way there, the nurse called and told me that my insurance (Catholic, determined to provide the bare minimum birth control that they can get away with in the hopes that they can one day pay for a pregnancy/labor & delivery.) requires a note from my primary care physician saying that the implant is "medically necessary" which, of course, strictly speaking, it isn't. But I wanted it and I DO NOT want to get pregnant, ever, and so I headed over to my PCP. (I called first to tell them what I wanted, I'm not a rude patient.) My PCP doesn't specialize in contraception and so he wasn't really comfortable with the possible liability of suggesting the Implanon for me, so after some discussion, he wrote a prescription, essentially saying that he's leaving my contraceptive needs up to my OB/Gyn. After that, I was running late, which stressed me out even more than I was to begin with. I got up to the office, filled out some paperwork, waited for my aunt (who was coming to hold my hand) to get there and then it was *time.*

My pulse and blood pressure clearly showed my nerves, but I was determined. The nurse prepped me with betadine, and eventually, Dr. K came in. He asked me why this is what I wanted, and I told him my reasons, (ie: NO BABIES EVER) and he was all "oh, we'll have to get a baby out of you eventually!" Not exactly what I want to hear while someone is supposed to be doing a procedure to prevent just that, but whatever, I really like Dr.K and I'm pretty sure he was just kidding.

Time to get down to business. I was mostly scared of the lidocaine local anesthetic, since lidocaine tends to burn, and you know, needle in my tender spot,  but it didn't hurt at all. There was just a tiny pinch, even smaller than the prick you'd get from the flu shot, and then a slight burn, but nothing too serious, and then weird numb feeling. After that, I didn't feel anything. I saw the (giant) needle with the rod in it, but  I couldn't really see the procedure (and the nurse told me to look away, anyway). It felt, just for a minute while they were getting the rod settled a little...I don't know exactly, itchy maybe? I couldn't get anyone to take a picture, so sorry.

Anyway, it was totally not a big deal, and I'm not even having any real pain now, just a little bruising and tenderness. I think I'm going to love this thing. Yay!


Thursday I'm going to have Implanon inserted into my arm for birth control. It looks like this:

It has a super low failure rate, lasts for three years, and is considerably cheaper than my current method (Nuva Ring). Don't get me wrong, I've really loved the ring for the past 3 or 4 years, and I think it's an excellent method, but since I don't ever plan on having children, I want something long term, and more cost effective. I'm getting an excellent deal, because my OB/Gyn is only charging an office co-pay for the procedure, but usually the Implanon costs between $500 and $800. Most insurance (including mine) covers it at 80% so even at the high end that would just have been  $160. The cost of the Nuva Ring over 3 years (with insurance) would have been $1980. (Woah. That's the first time I've done the actual math for that.) At the end of three years (assuming that there's not some terrible side effect, and I have it removed before the time is up) I'll be over 30 and officially able to get a tubal ligation. Whee!

The thing is, it goes in like this:
Why yes, that is the most tender, untouched part of anyone's body, otherwise known as the upper, inner arm. And yes, that is a huge needle. Yikes, right? So, after a few dizzy spells and reassurances that there will be a local anesthetic (which will hurt just as much, I'm sure...not thinking about it), and after watching a fully non-traumatic video of someone else's insertion, I got comfortable with that. But -then- I watched a video of them taking one out, and that was, lets just say, far more traumatic. Go ahead, YouTube it, I'll wait.

Done...? Recovered? Good. Now I feel like I have too much information, and I'm freaking out a little. I still want the birth control though, so I'm putting it out of my mind. Three years is a long time from now...maybe I'll forget about the image of the guy digging around in the girl's tender inner-arm with a hemostat. Yeah...that.

I wanted Justin to go with me and take pictures, but he has class all day on Thursday, so I'm on my own. I'll take pics of the bruising (if there is any) and write a full report when it's over with. Wish me luck!

Plumbing Problems

Saturday night all the sinks, tubs and toilets in our house started filling up with sewage. In Justin's bathroom, the things actually overflowed onto the floor, and it was a horrible, horrible night. We had to go next door to my parents' house for everything water-related, and we're just lucky that they lived close enough for us to do that. The landlord sent a plumber out on Sunday, but they weren't able to finish, so they sent someone out again on Monday, and they left before I got up for work, so I'm assuming that they're done. I hope so. We've had plumbing problems in this house before, but never something so extreme. It was like being in one of those cheesy old horror movies in which the monster comes out of the toilet. I'm a bit wary, even now, going into the bathroom without turning on the light first. The good news is that I hadn't finished unpacking my suitcase from my recent trip to California, so it had not resumed it's normal place in my bathroom shower (which we use for storage). There would be no salvaging it had it been in there, soaking in sludge.

I just realized that this is a terrible post. Whatever, I'm posting it anyway.