January 5, 2014

My Journey on Depo Provera, Part 1 of 3

It was the beginning of February, 2010, and I really wanted to have sex.

I didn't just want sex with anyone--I had a guy in my eye and knew I'd be getting him in my bed soon, too. He was down; of course he was down. I was 5'10" and 129 pounds, an extreme athlete, always on the move and ready for anything.

"You don't always have to be moving to experience the world, Cass," my ex had once told me, several months before our last kiss goodbye. "Sometimes you see more if you just keep still." (At the time, this was only one of many, many, many lifestyle, temperamental and ideological differences that we had. I needed to be on the move.) I had been single, on and off, for almost a year, and I was ready to take on a new challenge, and his name was Pete.

Pete was everything that I wasn't in February 2010. High income, big house in the suburbs, retirement funds and vacation homes. He was, in essence, stability. He was everything I thought I needed as I wrote through late nights in the attic of a house teeming with chirping mice and drunk 21 year old men.

He was a planner in every way, and that included families. "I don't do condoms," he'd told me. "You better get yourself to a Planned Parenthood if you want us to go any further." I did, and found myself with my buttcheek bared in a Planned Parenthood office several days later, a needle jabbed indelicately into my hip.

"You probably won't have a period," they'd said. "You may gain 5 pounds."

That's all? I was underweight and rarely had regular periods due to how much I ran. Baby vaccines every three months and I didn't have to have a period? I'll take it!

Oh, the world of mistakes I had just unleashed on my unsuspecting body.

Pete was the least of my mistakes -- We didn't get along and outside of a mutual passion for running, we had little in common, though I remain hopeful for his happiness. I moved to Seattle just a couple months later and thought that I'd left all of my mistakes behind me.

Except I kept on keeping on with the Depo.

The side effects were almost immediate, but due to a fractured rib and a cold, I wouldn't pin the side effects to the medication for several years.

It started, simply, with a cough.

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