My Daughter's IUD Nightmare
The Horror of Birth Control gone bad...
Picture this... A delightful and happily married young couple with a 5 year old boy welcomes their brand new baby girl to complete their dreams of their complete family. Mom, 23 years old, chooses to use a IUD 4 months after their daughter's birth. Good for up to 5 years? GREAT! OK, maybe not so great...
This is a storyline of my eldest daughter's short, but negative, experience with a contraceptive IUD. I advise every woman to take care, choose best for their circumstance, and listen to their body's changes and physiological messages with any implanted or pharmacological contraception.
Feeling like the Flu...
Sunday, May 16
Feels like the flu? Nauseated, dizzy enough to pass out, and crampy. Bad enough to go to aftercare. Doctor suggested she go to regular doctor tomorrow.
Monday, May 17
Visited Doctor's office for exam and blood tests... "Go to Emergency". Went, treated for a 'bug" and released.
Tuesday, May 18 - Thursday, May 20
Trying to get over the "bug"...
Not the Flu!
Friday morning, May 21
Call from the Doctor's office revealed that the white blood count is unbelievably high. Go to emergency NOW!
Still not sure what's going on. Appendicitis?
Emergency Room and Surgery...
In the Hospital ~ Day 1
Friday, May 21:(continued) 11:30 pm...
After 13 hours in the emergency area and treated for severe dehydration while waiting for massive amounts of test results, emergency surgery revealed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease! WHAT?!?
The surgeon cleaned out massive infection and removed appendix just in case.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? - PID? Are you kidding?
This term is mostly used in regard to a sexually transmitted disease. Nope! Not this time. Maybe used like a catchall phrase like "virus" and "bug".
WebMD: What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Warning Signs You Might Have It
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) affects about 5% of women in the United States. Find out about the symptoms, how it is diagnosed and treated, and ways you can protect yourself.
In the Interim
Found out from testing that her IUD caused the infection. Recovering from surgery, Ouch. IUD will be removed Wednesday...
It's getting hard to breath. Wants to sleep in her own bed, or even on her side, but can't breath that way. Draining and airway tubes, IV's and monitoring wires get in the way, too. Cat naps seem to be the only option.
Her husband is trying to keep up with work, who can help take care of the kids, and trying to visit his wife in the hospital when he can. He sometimes works 10+ hours a day, and they live 30 minutes away from the city, so this is tough.
My daughter does not want to scare her kids by having them visit her yet. She feels horrible and doesn't look her best, either.
She's really not up to visitors at all.
Mirena Commercial - Popular IUD choice
I'm not saying Mirena was the culprit. I'm also not saying it wasn't.
What I will say is that my daughter was a prime candidate for IUD success, her doctor is well known in our area as dedicated and highly respected.
Not Getting Better yet
More Minor surgeries. Although she doesn't think they're minor.
Thursday, May 27
2 drains installed in the pelvic area to reduce the fluids building up. This really hurts since you are not sedated. Just something to take the edge off and a local anesthetic.
Some of the pressure is gone, but still can't breath well, and it's getting even harder. Oxygen level is very low so the telemetry monitor ringing is driving her, the nurse and med techs crazy. Her heart rate rises occasionally, too. Up goes the oxygen. AGAIN. And a bloody nose because of the constant flow of forced air. The nurse added moisture to be directed through her oxygen cannula to help.
Friday, May 28
She has fluid around her lungs. A drain was inserted into the lung lining using the same process as above and removed a liter of fluid, although they didn't leave the drain in place like the pelvic procedure. Should help almost immediately according to the surgeon. We really hope so. It's hard to see her struggle to breathe like an elderly emphysema patient.
Pleurisy?!? How the heck did this happen?
- Pleurisy: Causes, Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment of Pleurisy
Is this topic for you?This topic provides information about pleurisy, which usually results in chest pain. If you have chest pain that concerns you and that your doctor does not know about, see the topic Chest Pain.What is pleurisy?Pleurisy is swelli
The Hospital Angels - She Thanks the Nurses and Med Techs she sees on a daily basis
Countdown: 15 Days of the Human Pin Cushion...
and countless testing and costly procedues
* multiple IV sticks for medicines and fluids including Ringer's Lactate, Saline, Sodium Chloride, Potassium, sedatives, and antibiotics
* blood tests
* blood cultures
* 45+ shots including Heparin (blood anticoagulant) which is given 3 times a day. The Heparin goes in both her upper thighs, so she really does look like a pincushion. She also has veins that are hard to locate, so there might be a few attempts to get it right. The dedicated I.V. team is the BEST at this and gets it right the first time with the least pain. Always! She's since learned from experience to ask for this team for new IV's.
* at least 5 CT (a.k.a CAT) scans
* at a guess, 3 chest x-rays.
Not that she cares yet, but I can't imagine the total cost of all this. I'm hoping her health insurance will not have co-pays beyond the hospital stay.
Don't Get Me Wrong...
I'm not saying you shouldn't use an I.U.D...
Just pay attention to the what your body is telling you. Pelvic or abdominal pain and back ache are major indicators, but are not the only symptoms, or a guarantee, that your IUD is a problem.
Misses the hubby, the kids, and her regular bed! Since the hospitalization she hasn't seen her kids. First it might have been too scary to see mom so sick. Then it got to the point that mom would get sad, start crying and scare them, and bring on the ultimate of homesickness.
Feeling Better and Hoping to Go Home...soon!
Friday, May 28
The Doctor was right! She really can breath much better! And surprisingly, this didn't hurt as much as the other drains.
Saturday, May 29
She did have a little setback with her breathing and heart rate and probably has more fluid around her lungs. Her surgeon will make the determination Monday, May 31 if she'll need a draining again or if medication will resolve the problem. She really doesn't want to the procedure again, but it will get her home faster.Hopefully she'll be able to go home soon, She'll need some help from the visiting nurse service for a while in order to heal completely. She also has a lot of family to lend a hand. Some have left their lovely comments below.
Getting better, but THAT HURTS!
Saturday, May 29
Had a chest X-ray to see if there is more fluid buildup because of yesterday's breathing difficulties. The Doctor won't be in on Sunday so the results won't be available until Monday.
Sunday, May 30
She finally felt good, and yup, miserable enough to want to see her kids on day 9. So happy to see them, but sad not to be going home with them, too. Her son left a note on the patient info whiteboard..."I love you Mommy!". I think he may have had help. Did I mention he's 5?
Monday, May 31
OK, the hospital is like any big institution (I didn't say government, did I?) The Radiologist won't be in today, so the chest x-ray results will be available Tuesday. But her husband brought their son in for a visit again. Left the baby with his other loving grandma and grandpa.
Tuesday, June 1
No breakfast beyond one of yummy cocktails (um... not) because she needs a CT scan to check on the progress of her pelvic drains.
The options according to the Doctor are:
1. One or both might be removed since so little is draining now.
2. The reason they aren't draining is because they may need to be redone or repositioned. Oh no!
The end result... the one that hurts and bothers her so much is removed. YES!!! Oh, and she need to have the lining around her lungs drained again because of more fluid build-up... and AIR Pockets!?!
Even though she seems to be breathing better for the most part, regretfully she may be getting used to the lower lung capacity. She didn't mention it but I'm thinking this will mean a couple more days.
Wednesday, June 2
Scheduled for the lung draining... results to be updated when received.
UPDATE: Um, didn't happen. Delayed all day. At 7pm, the new was would happen in 1-2 hours. The response, put in more delicate terms was essentially, screw that! She was starving since she had NOTHING by mouth since midnight the night before.
Thursday, June 3 (DAY 14)
Nothing by mouth again after midnight last night. She was put on the fast track though and was taken to the CT Scan room to have a chest tube inserted. Sedated and very happy.
Went very well with no pain this time during the procedure. Mid afternoon she started to feel sore, then felt like someone punched her in the back. The reason? She hadn't been using the full capacity of her lungs for 2 weeks. Think aching muscles after a really hard work out.
Finally on the Mend?
Her blood white count is now about 15,000. Should be between 4000 and 10,000 to be infection free and able to leave the hospital. Much closer to going home if she can get off the supplemental oxygen and white count is within normal range. My husband is nervous about this, but she can go home with the chest tube drain. She will have a visiting nurse service for a while.
Friday, June 4 (DAY 15 morning)
Her oxygen levels are getting better, and she can breath on her own with less difficulty, although she still still feels really sore doing so. She's been slowly getting better at carrying the lung draining measuring box around when she needs to get UP. Not quite up to talking a walk around without a purpose beyond elimination, though, as she tires easily. The fluids draining from around her lungs are slowing. Good sign?
Friday, June 4 (continuation of DAY 15 late afternoon and evening):Lung checks by stethoscope are showing marked improvement. The lung and the remaining pelvic drains are removed! I forgot to ask her but her white blood count must have been discovered to be within normal range because...she's going HOME!
She is required to take an Oxygen machine and a spare tank system home to use when she sleeps and naps since breathing slows to unacceptable levels during these times. She will also start visiting nurse service starting tomorrow. She will also need to come back to the hospital to have a chest x-rays to make sure her the lining around lungs are not filling again. Does she care? Nope, cuz she's going HOME!
Home Sweet Home!
Friday night, June 4th... and beyond
After an extended release process (may not have been, but just felt like it) and truly, a really long wait for her prescriptions to be filled at a local pharmacy, she's home by 9:30 pm. Aaah, to see her husband all day when not at work and her kids ALL day! And she gets to sleep in her own bed, too. Although she can't leave the nightmare behind entirely at the hospital since she will be reminded with the need of the added oxygen, she is thrilled to be home at last.
She will need other help beyond the visiting nurse service since she's been ordered not pick up her 9 month old baby. That can get a little rough since it's usually a requirement to diaper and feed, so she'll need help when her husband is away for work.
Her husband is using yet another day of vacation on Monday so they can tie up any loose ends since the beginning of this episode.
Her mother-in-law and her mother are graciously hiring a babysitter to help out with the days when any of us can't step in and volunteer.
Cuddling the kids is a little tough, since she still hurts around the lungs, healing incisions, pin cushion thighs and numerous IV sites. Shes taken to getting her hug and cuddles from her son by sitting next to each other on the couch. For the baby she actually steps into and sits with her in the playpen fence which turned out to be a great investment for this and other uses.
But... it's not over yet until she gets the all clear from the hospital and her own doctors. I'd like to think the medical issues and trauma will be a faded, and not so painful, memory some day.
Keep your fingers crossed for them, won't you? They can use all the best wishes you might send their way, too.
4 months later, and still in recovery...
My daughter, after all this time is still feeling the effects of this horrendous trauma. She still has aches in her side, abdomen, and back, and...
Her hair is thinning. For a now 24 year old who for a time was studying to be a cosmetician, this symptom has been unnerving to say the least.
These side effects could be due to the IUD, the surgery, or the anesthetic.
What birth control method would you use after this story?
Which birth control option would you suggest for a commited (married) couple?
© 2010 Beth Webster-Duerr