Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Open for Business


I started taking birth control last week. And, of course, my nine-year-old discovered it yesterday when he came with me to my room to grab my new Glee CDs.

Sam*: (picks up my birth control) What's this medicine for?

Me: (trying not to panic visibly) Uhhh, it's something I have to take every day.

Sam: (puts it down without reading the label) Why do you have to take it every day?

Me: (looks wildly around) I take a lot of medicine every day. I take this, this, and this every day too. (points to Pentasa, calcium supplements, and Omega-3 capsules) This when I have a cold, and this when I have a headache. (points to Dayquil, Nyquil, and Tylenol)

Sam: Wow, you take a lot of medicine! How come?

Me: (relaxes) I have Crohn's Disease. I have to take medicine not to be sick.

This is why I shouldn't let my kids in my room. That, and the fact that I insist they keep their rooms clean while I have a pile of laundry in my desk chair, stacks of books on the floor, half-unpacked shopping bags on the floor, and seven pairs of shoes scattered about the room. Hypocritical much?

But, yeah, you're probably thinking that the real hypocrisy is the virgin on birth control. If I'm not planning on having sex, why do I need to be taking even more drugs?


This summer, I started having cramps that were so bad I was bedridden the first day of each cycle. Only once have they ever been this bad, and I was in high school then. Even worse, I couldn't take Aleve all summer, the only painkiller that helps me at all, because it can cause complications in Crohn's patients, and I needed my body in tip-top shape for my end-of-summer colonoscopy. (I know; my life is so glamorous).


So I finally gave in and talked to my doctor, who prescribed me birth control. I know I have a perfectly legitimate, unrelated-to-pregnancy need for it...

But it still freaks me out.

I was never super-into That 70s Show, but I did watch it occasionally. In one episode, Donna goes on the Pill, and suddenly, everyone treats her differently.

I sorta feel like that. Like suddenly, I have nothing stopping me from having sex except my own moral compass. I think I'm pretty good at sticking to my guns, but... what if I'm not? What if the overwhelming fear of pregnancy has played a larger role than I'd realized in my past abstinence? I've stripped that away. I've changed my attitude about other sexual behaviors. Who's to say the Pendulum of Purity might swing in the other direction?

On the bright side, I have no interest in dating or even hooking up with anyone because I'm completely smitten with man friend. Who lives in the Midwest. Whereas I am in the Northeast for a year. 500+ miles apart. So, for now, temptation is totally at bay.

Just don't talk to me about the next time I see him.

*Not his real name

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