Tuesday, 9 August 2011

After tossing and turning  until just after 4 this morning, I fell asleep fitfully for a couple hours and then got up just after 6 for a quick shower and off to work.  I've always had problems when it comes to sleep...sometimes it can take me up to 2 hours to fall asleep and when I do eventually fall asleep, I'm often awoken by noises or stirring.  It's extremely frustrating to live with and usually after a couple days of getting few hours of sleep, I crash for a long period of time and sleep soundly for several hours.

Anyway, I've become used to falling asleep with a warm body beside me, hand draped over my hip, the sound of his breathing slowly lulling me to sleep.  Since January, I've had the most consistent sleep of my life; it no longer takes me hours to drift off, especially not when he most kindly tells me a story which causes me to fade away to dreamland.  The most frustrating thing is that he obviously can't be there every single night and those nights are usually the ones that are eves of early mornings at work.  I dragged myself to work today and am currently sitting at my desk, alternating between staring into space and trying to find small tasks to do in order to remain alert.

It's amazing how completely one's life can change.  The impact that we have on one another is so strong, especially in ways that one doesn't normally consider.  Of course you think about things that do change with relationships:  less time to spend with friends, arguing and disagreements, being accountable to someone else about various things.  The change in sleep pattern is never truly taken into account though and I can vouch for the fact that it is very disruptive.

What else is disruptive?  Alesse/Aviane.  I meant to write about this earlier but never found the proper time to discuss it.  No time like the present.
I've always been a little "ehhhh" and hesitant about birth controls because my mom didn't support them as a viable option of contraception.  She said that there is no telling what inducing fake hormones into one's system can do.  I started taking them because I was so inconsistent and irregular with my menstruation cycle.

The doctor began me on Tricyclen Lo, which is the standard beginner dose for birth control.  It worked well for the first couple months--I suffered from no blatant side effects, except eventually it wasn't strong enough and I began spotting through from cycle to cycle. I called the doctor and told him and for some reason, I still have no idea why, instead of bumping me up to regular Tricyclen, he completely switched me to Alesse (I took Aviane the no name brand of Alesse) thinking it would solve the spotting issues.

Well yes, it did solve the spotting issues, but it opened up a plethora of side effects, being:

-weight gain
-mood swings
-lack of motivation
-increase in appetite
-increased sensitivity to sunlight

Of all those things-they all suck, btw-the mood swings were the worst.  I have never experienced anything like those emotional ups and downs and I thought I was going crazy.  I cried almost every single day from mid-February to August.  Inititially I would find myself sitting home alone on the couch and randomly starting to cry.  I convinced myself that the hormones just needed time to adjust and eventually things would level out but that never happened.  I grew more sensitive to things people said, would overreact constantly and I felt like I was losing my mind.

One of my coworkers told me she went through a similar situation with Alesse and had to switch off. I tried to stick it out but it never got better and I called the doctor last week and asked for him to switch me back to Tricyclen, the regular dose.  Since calling and talking to him, coincidentally three other nurses have talked to me about their birth control, telling me that they were all on Alesse and experienced the same emotional distress and mood changes.  One of them even said that she had been off Alesse for 5 months and "still felt sad".

I fail to understand why this birth control is even on the market still.  I guess each body is different with regards to hormone levels and how they function, but it seems ridiculous that it's such a common side effect and we're expected as women to somehow find a way to deal with it.  The emotional rollercoaster was exhausting for me to deal with and certainly tiresome for people around me interacting with me on a daily basis.

I've been on the Tricyclen regular for two days now and so far, so good.  It's too soon to tell if it will work for me, but I hope it does because I'm running out of patience with this fine tuning of birth control.  I went for a long run yesterday with Licorice, something I very sporadically did when on Alesse because I never had any energy or motivation to do so.  Hopefully this is the turning of a corner, because frankly, I'm at my wits end when it comes to contraception.

Such is the life of a woman.
And I leave you with some more pictures:

Hamilton at night

The start of a beautiful summer sunset

Continuation of sunset

My handsome man

Happy thoughts to all of you!  And don't take Alesse!!!

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