2018 & 2019
The 2 years I lost. The 2 years I worried my friends and family and the 2 years I sometimes thought not waking up wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
I was 40 years and had never had anxiety or depression in my life. I was known as the happy person, the girl who would go to every night out. The cheery, funny one in the group. That slowly began to change.
The anxiety was the 1st sign. What was happening to me? Racing thoughts, couldn’t breathe, paranoia. Then the panic attacks crept in. I went from the strong one to the person that couldn’t be alone in the house. The person who would randomly show up at people’s houses crying and struggling to breathe but who would want to go home as soon as they sat down.
Nothing made me happy. Nights outs, music, my grandchildren. If i won the lottery I’d probably not have reacted. Had I been told some had died, it would have washed over me. I couldn’t cope with silly little things. I’d be sitting in work, tears streaming down my face for no reason. On top of all these mental issues, I would wake up in a puddle of sweat. Itching and scratching my skin. We would use a monitor in the pub and laugh at my increased heart rate ‘you should be dead, this must be broken’. Acne covered my cheeks and forehead. My lovely hair went a strange dull colour. Went gray and thin at the sides. I bought a new bed to sort my back pain. It didn’t help.
I started to think….
It’s my age..I’m perimenopausal. Maybe mental illness runs in my family.
I googled like crazy and eventually linked my symptons to increased estrogen. This lead me to believe I had PMDD. A little more digging around and I struck gold…..a woman who posted on facebook listing almost every symptom I had and more. She said it was her copper coil. No, wait, it couldn’t be.
I stumbled across some support groups on Facebook. Women suffering in the same way that I was. Desperate, upset, worried that I would be like this forever, thinking if I crashed my car it wouldn’t be a bad thing, I took the decision to have my copper coil removed. This was December 2019.
The nurse at the clinic told me I was wrong. The copper coil doesnt cause any issues. She removed it and told me unapologetically that she scratched me as she pulled it out.
I cried all day.
I cried for the next week.
January 2020 I get up for work and get into the car. Put the radio on and start singing. WTF? I haven’t done this for years.
I walk the last 20 mins into work and I notice all sorts of buildings. The sky is a lovely shade of blue.
It’s raining at lunchtime. I’m walking in the rain smiling. This hasn’t happened naturally for ages.
As the week goes on I’m laughing at things.
I wake up one day and I cannot understand this weird feeling I have. Then I realise its positivity. I’m looking forward to the future.
My friends start to notice a difference. They notice the old Caroline is appearing.
My 1st period comes. It last 3 days, not 7. I am an emotional wreck but I am actually feeling emotions.
Over the next 6 months i have 1 panic attack (at the start of covid). I have some minor anxiety around my period. That is all.
I read every post on the facebook support groups and I am so thankful to find that the horrible feelings I am having around my period are related to copper dumping. Almost like a textbook case.
I am now 7 months post removal and I am back to the happy, cheerful, playful, silly person I was. I still have some remaining symptoms. Headaches, tiredness, nausea, shaking and itching. Mainly after my period but they are lessening as time goes on.
I am 100 % certain that the copper coil caused toxicity in my body.
I wake up in the morning extremely grateful that I am no longer the shell of a person that I was for those 2 years. I feel upset and angry for other girls who may be suffering and who may not have realised the correlation between their copper coil and any mental illness they may be experiencing.
I can see momentum in the support groups as more and more girls realise what is happening to them and I am also grateful for their openness, honesty and willingness to share their stories and hopefully help others to recognise the signs before they get to the frightening stage I found myself at.