Warning – this post is somewhat personal and about women’s health……
Yesterday I AGAIN found myself complaining to my friends about my birth control experience, and AGAIN feeling embarrassed that I was STILL complaining and upset about it. It’s a decision I made thinking of the short term and not knowing the breadth of the long term implications, but it’s in the past and I cannot change it – so why am I still frustrated? It’s true that after one year of stopping the depo shot, I am still experiencing the effects of having this drug in my system. Maybe I’m more of a delicate flower than most, but three rounds of depo shots led me to a year and a half of dramatic mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, infertility, and even at times, depression. Not to mention CONSTANT spotting while on the shot and very irregular cycles now coming every 12-14 days for the past four months. I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS as well and possibly endometriosis, though I do not have cysts on my ovaries. I’m no scientist, but it’s hard for me to believe that the depo and the side effects didn’t exacerbate the PCOS because honestly, I was in great health prior to getting married/starting depo.
This is my experience, yes. But I’ve learned it’s unfortunately, not uncommon. Of course if I had known what I know now back then, I would not have chosen this form of birth control – even though the doctor I saw at the time said it was my best option. I would have sought another opinion and natural methods. But as the cliche goes, hindsight is always 20/20.
I have a different practitioner now that I trust and believes in trying natural treatments as much as possible. I’m on a whole bunch of natural supplements to try to get my cycles and fertility back on track. I’m currently doing Whole Life Challenge and it’s been helping get my health back on track. But, lately I’ve been wondering – is my body even absorbing these supplements, because after 3 months of supplementing…nothing has yet changed with my cycles. Ever since first leaning about paleo three years ago, I heard that “everything starts in your gut”. My doctor who put me on the supplements reiterated this as well and “prescribed” an anti-infammatory real-food/paleo diet in addition to the supplements. My diet since marriage has not been perfect by any means, but did a year of too much cheese dip, sugar, pizza, and wine cause my gut to be so rotten that I have nutrient malabsorption? Or more likely, did eating that way the 25 years prior to going paleo cause me to have a permanent leaky gut that I have to monitor it…forever? I don’t know, and I will for sure bring this up with my doctor at my next appointment, but for now I feel compelled and motivated to step things up a notch as much as I can. I’m putting gut healing on the top of my priorities list. I have Diane Sanfilippo’s 4G’s guidelines up on my fridge and am going to work on removing the harmful stuff and repairing my gut. I’m going to incorporate probiotics, ACV, bone broth, and fermented foods daily and stick to as strict of a paleo diet as I can manage – lord help me! (Well, Lord help me starting Wednesday…because my husband’s bringing home a bottle of wine for Valentine’s Day :), and I’ve been looking forward to that).
BUT, as a person of faith, I also believe that God has me in this season for a reason. Lately though the sermons at our church and conversations with my small group – I’ve realized I have not spent much time asking what I’m supposed to be LEARNING right now. I’ve been praying for a way out. I’ve been trying to control and get out of this place through supplements, diet, time…and I fall short when I put all of it on my own shoulders. (Big surprise!) So even though I feel convicted to clean things up even more, I know I CANNOT do it without God’s help. I would like to be healthy and be blessed with children, and believe this is a passion he has put on my heart – but I can only do what I can do. And I have to trust him with ALL the rest. Which is why now – I’m letting this go. I’m not going to be frustrated and bitter and complain any more about my birth control experience. No more googling blogs hoping to find people putting together a class action lawsuit against the makers of the shot (cause you know, I’ve never done that……). I will do what I can, accept the depo was a mistake AND it still happened this way for a reason: to teach me patience, and to teach me that God really is in control.