Monday, January 9, 2012

The Side Effects of Marriage

Side effects are funny. Sometimes they are horrible, sometimes they are a wonderful surprise and sometimes they are a mixed blessing. I never imagined that my marriage would come with side effects, but in the last 4 months of marriage I have discovered two awesome side effects: quality health insurance and not having to take birth control.

For the past five years, my health has not been great. I am not dying or anything like that, but for a long time I have been feeling like crap. In fact, I forgot I felt like crap until recently, when I stopped feeling like well, crap. This feeling came from two main camps my physical health, in regards to both my CP and what appeared to be allergies to just about EVERYTHING; and my mental health, in regards to low self-esteem   and my seemingly out-of-wack emotions.

The CP was understandable. I had not had physical therapy in over 10 years, and was on no medication, because previously it had made me sick. Well, after being put on Tom’s insurance, I finally made an appointment about my hip pain with a CP specialist, who prescribed me therapy and baclofen, a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms.

After two months of physical therapy, the pain is not gone; but I can now manage it on my own. The baclofen is working miracles. I had to work through some horrible side effects, but it was worth it. I no longer drag my feet (cute, ridiculously expensive shoes, here I come!) and have experienced incredible increases in my range of motion. Many things that were painful or impossible before are now painless and doable.  The side effects are gone and I am hoping to be able to increase the dosage and get even more awesome results soon.

I am happy to say that I figured out the cause to many other things as well.

Five years ago, two things happened: I got a cat, and I began taking birth control pills for the first time. (I had previously been on Depo) I also began to have the following symptoms.
·         Severe mood swings (I switched to a generic form of Yaz and these improved but did not go away.)
·         Headaches
·         Headaches and nausea if I didn’t even every 2 hours
·         Severe Itching all over my body that wasn’t relieved by switching all bath and body products or my laundry detergent
·         General feeling of not wanting to do anything or go anywhere
·         Allergy attacks/cold symptoms  that would come year round and last about 24 hours at a time
·         Chronic Nose Bleeds
·         Asthma
·         Low Self Esteem

Well, after seeing the doctor several times and getting no real cause for any of these things, I attributed the physical symptoms to the cat(s) (even though I had never been allergic before and grew up with cats) and the rest of them to my chronic depression which I was diagnosed with in 2006. I resigned myself to feeling crappy because I didn’t want to give up my cats and I hated the side effects of my depression medications.

Then, in November, I told Tom I wanted to stop taking my birth control to see how I would feel, because several of my friends said getting off it helped them emotionally. I never tried this before because I didn’t want kids before we were married. And I don’t totally trust condoms. He agreed. I have been off it for 1 month and 2 weeks and have not experienced most of the above symptoms. The ones I do still have are markedly decreased. I have been doing a lot of googling and some of these are known side effects of birth control. Others are not listed officially but have been reported by lots of people on forums.

I am not a doctor and am not recommending baclofen or going of birth control to anyone, but man do I feel awesome! People keep telling me how great I look too. It’s funny how feeling great can make you look great too.

Marriage definitely agrees with me.


  1. So happy your doing better hun and you do glow!

    I knew a few of those issues were side effects o birth control, but I really had no clue about the depression part. That sucks, but it does explain a few things about my teen years!

  2. WOW - this is an awesome post. I am so happy for you and Tom.

  3. Sooooooo.. I can ask "How's married life" without getting something thrown at me? Lol. It is obviously good for you =)

  4. hello an congrats to the marriage. thankyou so much for posting this i belive Bigtime that this read can help soo many people reading it an to find out how there could be a good reason to how they feel when they wake up every morning knowing that nobody hurt them or mad them sad but still feel like the walls are caveing in on them that there is something they could be reacting to but clueless to the cause. of there exact problem. IDK but this post hit me an i thank you for shareing.

  5. I had a similar experience with the birth control pills. When I'm on them I get severe mood swings, depression, and I'm totally not myself. It took me months to realize that's what was causing it, but once I stopped taking them, I was back to normal.

  6. Melissa I am so Happy you feel better!!!!! I love you and miss you very much! And I am glad it wasn't your babies doing it to you cuz I know you wouldn't give any of them up!!

  7. Lots of women don't take well to bc - I know I was one. I tried several different ones and finally gave up with hormonal bc all together and feel like my old self again after years of problems. Glad you're finally feeling better, too.

  8. Hi! I just started reading your blog. I found it through a post on the Etsy blog. Anywho, I understand completely about the birth control. I had the same nausea and headaches problem after I got on birth control. If I didn't eat something more substantial than a granola bar before work I would end up getting sick and going home early after a couple hours. I just figured my body had changed and needed more nutrients. Then after I stopped taking BC that all stopped, then I made the connection to BC. I feel so much better not on BC then I do on it. I am glad to hear you feel better soon and I hope it stays that way for you! I agree, marriage is a wonderful thing! I love my hubby!