Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Porcelain Bus

I have not slept since Monday night. During this time, however, I have learned the very interesting fact that birth control pills really do work! Unfortunately, for me they work by causing intense headaches, vomiting and insomnia, negating every sexual thought and impulse instead of, you know, doing that whole hormonal thing. Not that we were using them for their pregnancy prevention properties, but still it's nice to know they're effective if we ever don't want to have kids.

Night one, Tuesday, I took the pill, a little yellow one called Necon, with strawberry-rhubarb pie and tortilla chips a well-balanced dinner. We went to bed a couple of hours later and, just as I was finally drifting off in the earliest of early a.m.'s, I was jolted wide awake by a thudding abdominal pain and the desire to chuck. I woke J.--he loves it when I wake him up out of deepest sleep by asking if he's awake--and ascertained that he "s'fine, gobagdasleep." Which seemed to rule out food poisoning, as we'd eaten the same, um, dinner.

Through deep breathing, moaning and tossing enough to keep J. awake with me for the duration, I managed to avoid the actual vomiting. By noon, I was enfeebled but no longer nauseated, and proceeded to eat half a loaf of Trader Joe's whole wheat poppyseed bread, lightly toasted.

Night two, Wednesday, I valiantly tried again, this time swaddling the little yellow disc of evil in my first bite of bland pasta. I ate the whole plate, good girl that I am, and by the time we were ready for bed, I predicted, quite blithely, that I would sleep just fine, sweet dreams and see you in the morning, love. Yessiree, I was confident. So when I noticed the first niggling traces of nausea, I tried to tell myself that all was well and it was just in my head. And I drifted off.

For about ten minutes. Because, at 1:12 this morning, someone took a rod of aching pain and stabbed it into my forehead, just above the right eye. And, simultaneously, filled my stomach with burning, churning bile.

Again, I tried not to chuck. When I've been nauseated in the past, I've always made a concerted effort to get it out as quickly as possible, even occasionally hyperventilating over the toilet bowl as a means of hastening the inevitable. But those were the days when nausea was the result of a few too many greyhounds or kamikaze shots, a mild poison that really belonged in the toilet instead of in me. However, as the whole purpose of taking these pills is, I'm guessing, negated if they are thrown up half-digested, I concentrated my very best efforts on keeping it in.

All to no avail, naturally. No, I was a late-boarding passenger on the Porcelain Bus, a penitent at the proverbial White Altar. A puker-up-of-the-pill.

I am feeling marginally better now, twelve hours later, with the other half of the poppyseed bread lodged quite comfortably in my gullet and a can of diet ginger ale by my side. Dr. Meow was out of the office all day today but finally got back to me half an hour ago. After informing me in a very serious tone of voice that I had experienced a "very rare" (?) reaction, he phoned in a lower-dose prescription, which J. has just gone to the pharmacy to pick up.

I'm very much hoping that there will be no bus trip for me tonight, and that tomorrow I can ingest foodstuffs outside of the grain family. But if I have to take the ride again, at least I have my wonderful J. to annoy in those long, dark, nauseated hours.


Blogger Suz said...

I happen to be a habitual driver of the porcelain bus when it comes to birth control pills. I told my RE about this approximately 1,000 times, being very careful to annunciate the words "low dosage." I'm on one called Yasmin and it's been so far so good. I hope that the lower dosage ones work for you. The late-night throw-up scene is not a good one.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Cricket said...

I once went back on a pill that I'd been on previously. The second time, tho, it gave me nausea on Day 2, just Day 2. I realized the pattern after the 2nd month, then stopped it. Never had it with any other type since.

Hope this is temporary for you, too - that the new ones don't do the same.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Cass said...

So glad to hear that Dr. Meow has changed the prescription - I'll be thinking non-pukey thoughts for you. (Okay, that's a little like "Don't think of an elephant" - but I'll try!) I hope this is the night of the much needed sleep.

8:12 PM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

Ugh, I hate birth control pills. I used to be on them for pregnancy prevention (ha. ha. ha.), and would need to eat a fucking buffet before taking it or else I'd be throwing up constantly. I once had to run out of a philosophy class to vomit, which was followed by 20 lovely minutes of dry heaves. After class the professor lectured me on time-keeping and leaving in the middle of lectures. I told him I was on a medication that regularly made me sick and he had no sympathy, so I dropped that class that day. Bastard.

Anyway, best of luck that the lower dosage keeps your stomach contents intact and allows you to sleep.


2:59 AM  
Blogger Lala said...

Pru: you shoulda thrown up on HIM!

Crappy ride on the porcelain bus, Bugs, but I think this is your stop.

8:20 AM  
Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

Oh, oh, oh, I'm so sorry Bugs! ya know how some people are fine with a head cold but laid low by a cough or gamely trudge to work with the flu but immobilised by 'intestinal problems'? Well, I can be sick all day with anything and be fine, but NAUSEA? Fuck no!

I can't hardly make it out of the bathroom all day. No way. Fuck nausea.

And now the assvice: tried B6 and unisom? This combo actually worked for me.

Hope you feel better with the new lower dose


8:37 AM  
Blogger ThreeBees said...

Oh Bugs! What a terrible couple of days! Evil evil pill. . .

I hope you are feeling better and have a restful weekend.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Yay for Dr Meow and boo for those pesky hormones! Keep on trucking Bugs. Just think of it as practicing for that PG nausea ;D

9:54 AM  
Blogger Sheri said...

You poor thing! How terrible. I hope the new Rx is easier on you.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Ollie said...

Ewww, yuck. I hate birth control pills, no matter what pastel shade from hell they come in. I'm glad you don't have to take them for very long.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Emma Jane said...

Oh, man. That sucks.

I never had any trouble with BCPS when I took them as ordinarily intended, but, once, a very long time ago (I was a freshman!), I took 6 in one day. It was what my college health service handed out back then as a "morning after pill." Worst nausea I have ever experienced. Oh my god. 3 days in bed, utterly miserable. They sort of warned me, but not enough.

I think: I think, that, if there's a moral here, it's that dosage can matter, and I hope it does for you.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Day said...

As a girl who can't take a single BCP without getting a migraine, I'm feeling your pain.

Here's hoping the lower dose helps!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Sorry to hear about the bus ride. Hope the lower dosage helps.

4:52 PM  
Blogger amyesq said...

There is not much worse than talking to Ralph on the big white telephone. I really hope those lower dose pills do the trick.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous OvuOpt said...

You poor thing...miserable. Chalk it up to "yet another evil thing we are enduring in the quest to get knocked up". Ugh. Hope the new one works out better.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They used to make me feel ill too. I take triphasil for ovarian cysts. The cysts went away, and now I don't have to take advil for cramps either, and I don't bleed for two weeks anymore. I wanted to barf every night for hours, until I managed to force myself to sleep. I asked a friend who had the same problem with them, cause I couldnt take it anymore and it gave me anxiety, and problems eating. She said she took them right before going to sleep. I tried this, and they still make me sick if I take them at the wrong time of day, but not if I just take them right before I go to sleep, with just a swig of milk or water.
Twice I tried the morning after pill option. The first time I took some pills I got at a clinic, I had no nausea whatsoever. The next time, years later, I just took some old bcp, which is what these morning after pills consist of anyhow, and thought I would be ok, making it through the 1st round of pills, the next night I was awakened by horrible nausea, just horrible. I couldn't fight it off and got sick, dry heaving for a while. The weird thing about that particular nausea was it didn't let up aftyer I got it out. I spent like 6-8 hours constantly heaving every few minutes, begging to god for it to stop. Decided that next time I would just have the baby.

1:59 PM  

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