I’ve been taking both medicines since I was 17 years old.
They’re the only pharmaceuticals I’ve ever consistently consumed, and it’s now been over 20 years on this streak.
Well, even though I started some form of medicinal birth control when I was 17, I actually didn’t solidly settle on the Yaz until 2016 or so at the age of 31.
ALL THE BIRTH CONTROL MEDS
As a young idiot high schooler, I tried a set of Depo-Provera injections that had terrible side effects and actually caused me to bleed non-stop for over 6 weeks, which is how my mom found out I had lost my virginity lol it was such a bummer
When my first real boyfriend and I started getting serious, I thought I was being sly by going to Planned Parenthood all by myself and the Depo shot seemed like the most low-maintenance option that I couldn’t mess up.
But since I had such a reaction, I had to tell my mom about it so I could see my actual gynecologist and get that sorted.
Anywayyyy once that was figured out, my dumb ass was like “what’s the next easiest option that I can’t mess up?”…So I started using a birth control patch.
I would stick it to my lower abdomen once a week, leave it there for the prescribed 7 days while it grew all cruddy around the edges and got caught on my pants and underwear all the time, and then dutifully changed it as needed.
However, it’s not so cute when you go to pool parties or wanted to wear super low-waisted things which was kind of the vibe in the early 2000’s.
So I FINALLY decided I was a big girl when I turned 21 and started taking daily oral contraceptives.
While I switched those around a bit as I moved states and doctors and insurance providers from my early 20’s to early 30’s, Yaz has been the one for me.
I can’t remember which pill I took before it, but somewhere around 2015 or 2016 I started getting some pretty aggressive hormonal acne on my cheeks and I had no idea why. The doctor suggested a birth control switch.
When I shifted from the old one to Yaz, it cleared everything up super quickly and made my periods extra light, so as you can imagine I was a big big fan!! And still am to this day.
Hashtag Team Yaz! 🥳
((DISCLAIMER!: Yaz has also been super problematic for a lot of other people, so for goodness sakes do your research and talk to your doctor. I am not qualified to tell you anything other than my personal experience. please be safe out there.))
And moving on to the other medication….
THYROID SENTENCING AND DEETS
After the birth control shot disaster was addressed, everything seemed chill with my health for a while.
But then towards the middle of my senior year of high school, I hit this period of time where I couldn’t leave my bed.
There was no real reason, I just didn’t feel like doing anything (even sports?!) which was kind of crazy for me. And I started to gain quite a bit of weight.
I think my parents thought I was just depressed. I didn’t think about anything. My brain was mush.
All around I was just happy to be totally still in life, which was unlike me.
I was coaching gymnastics at the time, and I was gearing up to go to Pennsylvania with the kids and some coworkers for a big week of training camp.
In order to go, you had to have a signed physical from the doctor as part of your admissions paperwork.
And at that physical, my doctor felt my throat and was like “yeah you have a huge goiter in there”.
I had no idea what that was, but my mom did, as she has had a more mild type of hypothyroidism for ages.
Apparently when your thyroid isn’t working well, it swells up all big and sometimes gets lumpy. And mine was chunky af.
So I saw an endocrinologist for the first time and they diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune type of hypothyroidism) and told me I was going to be on medication for the rest of my life, it was only going to get worse as time passes either way, and eventually my thyroid would have to be cut out.
I started taking Levothyroxine (synthetic thyroid hormones) the following day and have done so every day since.
My initial starter dose was almost double my mom’s and my grandma’s, both of whom have had regular hypothyroidism since before I was born.
However, even though my dose is super high, it hasn’t really changed too much in the 20+ years since I started taking it.
It actually decreased during my few years as a competitive bodybuilder, which I imagine is because I was a much smaller human when dieting for shows and would lose 20 lbs at a time.
But since I stopped competing and the dose was raised to pre-bodybuilding levels, it really hasn’t been tweaked much.
I still get my blood work done every 6 to 12 months and I’m squarely within normal thyroid hormone ranges with my medication year after year, despite my initial endocrinologist saying it would be progressively taking a nose dive throughout my lifetime.
Maybe that will still happen. Maybe it won’t. Who knows.
But that’s my story.
Thyroid medicine every morning. Birth control every evening.
Long as I keep those up, everything seems to be ticking along quite nicely 💃