I include this section here, even though my situation occured barely two weeks after daughter Joscelynne was born. Why? Because in those 2 1/2 years since this painful experience, I've learned that it may have an impact on my ability to conceive.
During the final month of my pregnancy (June, 1998) I began researching birth control at my husband's request. Based upon everything I read, I chose Depo-Provera.
The injection was administered June 30, 1998. But within 10 minutes I knew something was wrong. First side effect was vertigo so I chose not to attempt to drive home at that time, as I had my newborn with me. I asked for a cup of water and as I drank it noticed a very strong pressure on my chest as the vertigo worsened. The girls at the office doubted my insistence that I was reacting to the injection. Yet I recognized the symptoms as being a rare, but serious side-effect that affects roughly 1 in every 100,000 women. Lucky me!
I made arrangements to have my sister-in-law meet me at the house and one of the OB-GYN's nurses drove me home and helped me get into the house with Joscelynne. I managed to change from a Tshirt and shorts into sweatshirt and sweatpants (notice again the date. The end of June in PA is not cool by any standards!) but noticed increased weakness in my joints and shortness of breath. My father-in-law was summoned to transport me to ER as my husband's sister and her family remained behind to tend to my daughter.
He arrived about 25 minutes later, which is now about 90 minutes into the ordeal. I required assistance to get to the car as I could barely see. I now had a blanket wrapped around me and still was shivering. I barely stumbled into the ER.
By the time the triage nurse could see me I couldn't even hold my head up, so I just rested it on her desk as she checked my vital signs. I was too curious and had to know what my blood pressure was. She could barely detect the diastolic reading but finally determined it was 80/40. I was placed in a room for observation.
I remained covered under several blankets for about 90 minutes. The ER staff didn't do much, except leave a corpse outside my room for 10 minutes. After my pressure rebounded and my heart rate regulated, I was discharged and returned home to recuperate. But the worst was yet to come.
By mid-afternoon, it felt as if every joint in my body had stiffened. I can honestly say that the pain I endured for the next 72 hours is the worst I've ever felt, and remember, my memory of labor was still very fresh! I cried whenever I moved and walking was sheer torture. At night, the 12 foot trek from my bed to the baby's room every 2 hours took 11 minutes to complete. I remained still whenever possible to avoid the excruciating agony.
Fast forward to now, March, 2001. I've been holding within 15 pounds of the weight I was June 30, 1998. I had been losing my pregnancy weight for the two weeks between delivery and the injection. Since then I've been unable to gain or lose, except for a recent stomach flu where I lost 15 pounds in 48 hours. I have kept that off so far. Otherwise, there is no diet I have found which will help me shed the weight that has refused to come off since the depo provera incident.
Those three days seemed like an eternity, one I wished never to repeat, thus I didn't take the depo-provera injection again. However, the question remains as to whether that single injection will have any effects over my ability to conceive another child. Other sites in the depo-provera web ring illustrate the difficulties that long-term users face. There is no way of knowing at this point if that dilemma can affect a single-use woman. If this website expands, we'll know I came through with "just" a nightmarish three-day ordeal. But if that is the trade-off for being able to conceive again, I'll consider it a blessing. I'll also be grateful if, by sharing this story, I can unknowingly save another woman from the stresses and pains of using depo provera.