An endo, a gynecologist, and a patient walk into a bar …

Last Wednesday was that time again. Time for tapping my toe and biting my nails in the waiting room before my endo appointment.

And I had reason for concern this time. As I mentioned a while back, this new birth control pill has really thrown me for a loop. I was pretty sure that my A1c would be up from last time as a result of all of the daytime highs, overnight lows, and all-day cravings I’ve been experiencing.

But amazingly, my A1c was still 6.2. Absolutely no change.

Sidebar: How is that even possible? Sometimes I think these A1c’s are a joke. My prediction:  Someday we will find out that the A1c is just about as accurate as the BG readings we get from our meters. /Sidebar

But my endo was alarmed by the increase in my insulin needs after I started this new birth control pill. I think his concern is warranted given that I’ve jumped from somewhere around 35 units a day to an average of 45 units per day. And I’ve gained around seven pounds. In two months. Yikes.

I’d already called my gynecologist to ask for his advice, but the nurse, who did not believe me when I told her that the new pill was increasing my BGs, never called back. And this particular gynecologist was not exactly chomping at the bit to help solve my female troubles. In fact, he tried to encourage me to just keep with the status quo instead of trying to find something better. So my endo suggested a new gynecologist and recommended a “third generation or newer” birth control pill.

I have an appointment with this new gynecologist in a couple of weeks and in the meantime, I’ve gone back to my old pill. I can deal with the highs and the lows, but I can’t deal with the weight gain. And I can imagine my husband has had enough of my mood swings, too 🙂

Sigh. This is just another one of those things that we PWDs deal with that most people are blissfully ignorant of. All of our medications and therapies work together to make a semblance of a balanced system, but when we change just one aspect of the system, everything else starts to fall apart, too. And if you don’t have a good team of experts to support you, things can get out of control fast.

I imagine that this is why my gynecologist did not want to embark down this new pill road. He would rather not deal with the trial and error, the ups and downs, and the rebuilding that will come along with the journey. He would rather just do pap smears and write prescriptions. He does not want to be bothered with a “difficult” patient. Why can’t I just settle for “good enough?”

I’ve asked myself that same question many times. Why can’t I just be content with kidney-damaging highs the week before my period and debilitating lows the week of my period? Why can’t I just deal with the cramps, fatigue, moodiness, and bloating? The headaches and heavy bleeding? The backache and swelling?

And then I realize what a ridiculous idea that is. Why should anyone deal with this type of pain and suffering? I realize that this is not exactly a critical medical need. It’s more of a quality of life issue. But don’t I deserve to live the best life possible? I’ve lived with this mess for a long time because it was just too much work to try to fix it. The doctors were not exactly beating down my door to sign up for this challenge, and I didn’t really want to throw another variable into the mix when we were thinking about have a baby. But it’s been over a decade since I worked with a doctor to resolve my “female” troubles. A lot has changed since then. And I deserve better. I deserve more than two good weeks a month. I’m spending half of my life in discomfort or pain!

So I decided it was time to make a change. The trick now is to find a doctor who is willing to come along for the ride.

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2 Comments on “An endo, a gynecologist, and a patient walk into a bar …”

  1. Sweets Says:

    Yes you do! Good luck 🙂

    Which birth control pill were you on that was causing the issues? The one I have been on (Diane) did the same. I have been reluctant to change, and now have adjusted my insulin needs, added metformin which brought those down a tad :), and I no longer take the placebos as I would suffer lows for a few days. So now I continue with the active pills (no Af- big bonus for me :)), but have to “break” every three to four months…

    • nici Says:

      My old pill is Tri-spintec (not sure what they call it outside of the US), a pill that gives increasingly higher levels of progesterone each week until the final, placebo week (when you have a period). I asked if I could just skip the placebos like you, but I guess you can’t do that with these tri-phasic pills.

      So I tried Loestrin 24, which gives 24 days of “real” pills that all have the same amount of hormone and four days of placebos. This was supposed to help with heavy bleeding, cramping, etc. and my doctor said I could eventually skip the placebos.

      On the upside, the periods are much lighter and shorter and my bra size increased by a full cup size!

      Unfortunately, everything else is worse. So it’s on to the next one for me.


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