Last night I woke up to a horrible cramp in my left leg. As I tried to make it stop I reflected with severe negativity on the magnesium I recently started taking before bed as a part of my ongoing “I really hate the pill so let’s pretend we can fix everything with food even though food isn’t God” project. Because we all know that magnesium pills count as food rather than pills. Right?
Anyway, my thought was that the magnesium must have messed with my calcium : magnesium ratio and caused the cramping. Hey, I had just woken from a sound sleep to surprising pain, forgive me if my logic isn’t exactly sound.
But as I stood by the bed and the worst of the cramping stopped I realized that there was still a distinct very localized pain in my calf. The sort of pain that I have only heard about in association with blood clots. Death was my next thought, so I immediately prayed a “Jesus, I love you, I’m sorry” sort of prayer and sat down to try to determine the best course of action.
I thought about the fact that bed rest/lack of activity increases the chance of blood clots and how I had been especially sedentary yesterday, so presumably lying in bed was part of what had caused the clot to form. But I also remembered something about how blood clots in the legs are most dangerous because they break off, and wasn’t the best outcome for it to dissolve, and maybe that would be most likely to happen if I avoided much movement?
I was very tired and uncertain and not in the mood to turn on the computer since I was pretty sure that I’d researched all of this before, and if I couldn’t remember anything useful at a time like this, it was probably pointless to try to search for more information.
So I laid back down and told Josh that I might have a blood clot and that if I died or were mentally incapacitated that I loved him. Then I thought about how that was a silly thing to say since I loved him even if I was alive and well, but I was too tired to correct myself. Josh asked if we should call a doctor, and I told him that I didn’t think so. Either I was going to live or die and there was no way for a triage nurse to tell if it was really a blood clot over the phone, so we’d have to go to the emergency room, perhaps over nothing, or perhaps walking up the stairs to the car would cause the clot to break loose whereas I might be just fine in bed.
In any case, I would be well, so I fell asleep thinking about Josh and how I hoped that if there were an issue I would die rather than being incapacitated because I did not want him to have to deal with that.
The spot in my leg still hurt some this morning, but I wasn’t concerned since I felt rather alive. Josh asked again if we should seek something resembling professional medical help, but I am not a fan of wasting medical resources over potential neuroses. We reasoned that it could have just been a spasm that somehow hurt that one spot in my leg.
But of course I am still aware of the fact that I had been taking 3rd Gen progestin and this could be an indication of a problem. I have been needing to switch to different formulation anyway, so it seemed reasonable to discontinue use until I got a new prescription.
This sort of story would make me incredibly upset when I heard it in the context of a woman suppressing ovulation for the sake of contraception. How could they risk their lives for “consequence-free” sex? How could their husbands dare pretend to “love” them while asking them to risk their lives for the mere purpose of avoiding barrier methods or abstinence?
It still bothers me to think about women facing unnecessary risks for the purpose of suppressing their fertility. But I am much more relaxed about the absolute risks themselves.
I would never tell a woman that she should avoid pregnancy because pregnancy increases the risk of deadly blood clots. And I can’t tell myself that I should live in blurry pain because the thing that seems to help is to mimic pregnancy and thus risk blood clots, among other things.
I was raised in New Hampshire, where the state motto is “live free or die.” That just so happens to be the shortened version of “Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst of Evils.” I do not believe that artificial hormones used for contraception is freedom, quite the opposite, in fact. But I am still too much of a child of New Hampshire to live my life in fear of death.
I know that taking the pill increases my chances of dying from a blood clot, or cancer, or who knows what else. I also know that it increases my chances of living today.
I don’t want those who love me to lose me too soon, but the truth is that they have lost most of me already. So tomorrow I will call the doctor about starting yet another pill which will increase my chance of death, and hopefully, of life.
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