Well that did, in fact, blow. I eventually was called back to an exam room where I was told to place a maxi pad in my underpants, undress below the waist, and get onto the examination table with the paper tablecloth over my waist. I expressed multiple times to Elena, the wonderful medical assistant I'm now in love with, that I was very, very scared. Scared shitless. Scared out of my mind. I had to pee about fifteen times. I explained that I was very nervous because they'd tried many times before, clamped repeatedly, given a go to two different nurses, and that I'd been bleeding for 10 days. I was tense with anticipation of the clamping, sounding (measuring the depth of the uterus), and prodding beginning all over again. This was particularly so because I'd been told they'd start all over the normal way before perhaps resorting to misoprostol, the drug that'd induced my very painful medical abortion and full day of vomiting over the summer. By the time the doctor came in, I was shaking.
I repeated myself about all of my fears as she read over the note from the nurses I saw a week and a half ago. She informed me she'd be going straight to lidocaine to numb me for the clamp, then do a cervical block and use dilators. She was NOT fucking around. I'd have been very happy if I weren't so frightened. I was tense from head to toe with anticipation of all of the pain and difficulty from before. Elena, to whom I now intend to build a shrine, asked me if I'd like to hold her hand. I did so, and immediately she had me fixate on her and begin breathing in through my nose, holding my breath four counts, then exhaling slowly through my mouth.
I was told my uterus was tilted slightly forward. This was perhaps why my attempts with the Nuvaring after the abortion had failed. The doctor said they'd begin with the lidocaine, and I squeezed Elena's hand when the needle began to pinch horribly in my cervix, followed by a cramp. She kept me focused on breathing. The clamp was a dull pain rather than the excruciating tearing sensation it had been many times before. The needle pinched as she stuck me a few more times to complete the block. She told me I would still have sensation but that it should take the edge off the pain. My legs were still completely tense, and I had to focus on the breathing; I was reflexively bracing for the pain of the sound and the IUD. But instead of acute pain I felt painful pressure. The doctor tried to distract me by informing me how deeply my uterus sounded, that I was in good company because so many other medical doctors had IUDs and she herself had one decades ago, and finally by telling me that it was in. "Did you hear me say, 'it's in?'" I had, but I was clenched, hurting, and beginning to feel the vasovagal effects. The pain was now accompanied by a curtain of nausea and dizziness that was falling over me, along with the feeling of moisture. I was bleeding everywhere.
They told me to get up when I could, to watch out for syncope later, and to wear pads for the bleeding. As soon as I could, I got up with Elena's assistance. She handed me moist towelettes to wipe the blood from my legs and my crotch. I apologized for being high maintenance and apologized that my blood was all over the table and had soaked through the paper sheets. I was still bleeding, more than I'd ever seen from a period. I wobbled my way back to the waiting room.
The pain was very, very bad for the first hour. I expected that, given my history of dysmenorrhea. It came in waves that had me hold my eyes tightly shut, gripping the edge of the bar at the Mexican restaurant my mom treated me to or digging my fingernails into the grip on the car door. I fully bled through a pad. I'm feeling worlds better and very glad to be through the worst of it. My mom told me I'm stronger than she is (doubtful), because she never would have gone back. I was frightened, and it was the fucking worst. But I did it. I DID IT!! And while I'm in a lot of pain, and I'd really like a glass of wine (no such luck; time to freak the deak out about my parents' move and the boxes everywhere), I'm so glad to have this over. :)
Thank you to everyone who was so supportive! Cheers!