I gave birth to one live child, my daughter, on November 5, 2010. At my six-week postpartum follow-up appointment, I had the Mirena implant placed for birth control. I had frequent and non-manageable mood swings and depression while the Mirena was implanted, so I asked that it be removed. I went on the birth control pill after.
On March 7, 2014, I had a consultation appointment with the Surgical Coordinator at my OBGYN office to discuss the implantation of the Essure device. The implantation was scheduled for March 14, 2014 with my OBGYN and I was given a prescription for Diazepam 10 mg (3 count), Naproxen Sodium 550 mg (30 count), Promethazine 25 mg (20 count), and Oxycodone 5 mg (20 count). I was told to bring the Diazepam and Oxycodone to the procedure with me, as I would take them prior to the procedure, and to continue taking following the procedure.
The procedure took place as scheduled on March 14, 2014. However, after being prepped for the procedure, I was instructed that Dr. Fuson was in labor and delivery with one of her other patients, and Emily Cunningham, MD, would instead perform the procedure. I was told that after being prepped, the procedure itself would take ten to fifteen minutes, and then I would be required to stay up to forty five minutes to ensure that I was recovering appropriately. I had a friend prepared to drive me home. As the procedure began, I was instructed that a pharmaceutical representative for Essure was there and would be sitting in while the Essure was implanted. Dr. Cunningham began the procedure and placed one coil without difficulty. However, the second coil was very difficult to place and she tried numerous times. She stated that my fallopian tube was curved at the point where the Essure should be placed, and she was unsuccessful in placing it. She then traded places in labor and delivery with Dr. Fuson, so that she could attempt the implantation. Dr. Fuson was able to get the coil placed, but not after much difficulty as well. The pharmaceutical representative offered verbal advice to both doctors on how to attempt placement. I was in a severe amount of visible discomfort during the procedure, and threw up immediately following. The surgical coordinator instructed my friend to keep a close watch on me that night as I was feeling so sick. I received my Essure Identification card, with REF and LOT numbers: ESS305 / B66021. There hasn’t been anything filed with the FDA under this lot number, though the pharmaceutical representative witnessed the complications above.
Upon requesting a copy of my medical records May 8, 2015, I noted that the records stated that I had no complications and was comfortable during the procedure.
My HSG confirmation test was performed by Dr. Fuson in May 2014 and I was told that my tubes were obstructed and I was sterile.
I saw another doctor in the same practice for my annual gynecological exam in January 2015 and reported pain during sexual intercourse, pain when urinating, frequent abdominal pain, sore breasts and discharge from nipples, vaginal discharge, and itching and burning from the external vaginal area, and was simply instructed to use a fragrance-free detergent and body wash, and to replace pads with tampons for vaginal discharge. Essure was not brought up as a potential contributor to my symptoms.
When I contacted Dr. Fuson’s office on May 1, 2015, I was told that an X-ray would not be possible, and that we could meet to discuss my problems and try to find a cause. However, after viewing the inaccuracies in my medical records, I decided to seek treatment elsewhere.
In July 2014, I sought the advice of my PCP on overwhelming fatigue, frequent and cumbersome joint and muscle pain, and headaches. These progressively got worse through our course of treatment leading up to the present day. My blood work showed a positive ANA result; therefore, she recommended that I see a rheumatologist. While under her care, and now under the care of her supervisor as of January 2015, I have tried numerous different prescription medications (see medicine list) and even more over the counter supplements to address symptoms that onset after the placement of the Essure. My doctor diagnosed me with fibromyalgia though I do not have the pressure points often preferred in a diagnosis, as I had the other symptoms of constant and widespread joint pain, debilitating fatigue, and headaches. He has no explanation for my headaches and migraines, for which he recommended that I see a neurologist, as well as for frequent UTIs, pain during sexual intercourse, cramping and abdominal pain, inability to sleep, weight fluctuation, hot flashes, and night sweats. I am currently scheduled for follow-up visits every six months to determine ongoing course of treatment, as no treatments to this point have been successful.
Since the placement of the Essure 14 months ago, I have seen my PCP 11 times. I have been prescribed 13 medications, as well as recommending many over the counter supplements, exercise, stretching, etc.
I saw a rheumatologist the Arthritis Center of Lexington on November 12, 2014. I was recommended by my PCP due to blood work showing a positive ANA which could potentially indicate lupus. The doctor performed blood work and did not find any indications of lupus but did find a Vitamin D deficiency, which she treated with 50,000 IU of Vitamin D supplements weekly. I followed up with her on December 5, 2014, March 23, 2015, and I currently have a follow-up appointment scheduled with her for July 28, 2015. At each of these previous visits, she has been unable to confirm a diagnosis, stating that I am a “mystery” to her with all of my positive symptoms. Though I do not have blood work to support a lupus diagnosis, I have all of the symptoms of lupus. Because of this, she has started me on a Plaquenil trial (a DMARD that is used in the treatment of lupus or RA). Plaquenil takes months to build up in the patient’s blood and therefore I haven’t seen any positive changes yet, but Plaquenil also has dangerous side effects including vision loss, and I have to be consistently monitored by an ophthalmologist to ensure no changes to my field of vision. I am currently scheduled for follow-up visits every four months to determine ongoing course of treatment, as no treatments to this point have been successful.
Since treatment with the rheumatologist started, I have seen her 3 times, and she has prescribed 8 medications, as well as recommending many over the counter supplements.
I saw an urologist at University of Louisville Physicians in Kentucky on January 21, 2015, for recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI). Though I had UTIs before the placement of the Essure, their frequency and intensity grew after the placement of the Essure. I now have constant difficulty starting my urine stream even when I do not have a UTI. The doctor ordered a CT scan and a cystoscopy for March 25, 2015, to look for potential causes, but was unable to attribute the UTIs to anything found. She prescribed a long-term course of antibiotics to help lessen the frequency of my UTIs. I am currently scheduled for follow-up visits every six months to determine ongoing course of treatment, as no treatments to this point have been successful.
I saw a neurologist at Baptist Neurology Center in Lexington on April 20, 2015, at the recommendation of my PCP. I reported symptoms of headaches 3-4 times a week and migraines 1-2 times a week for the past year, with only relief coming from 100 mg of Tramadol. The doctor explained that, based on my symptoms, these were all migraines, though some were admittedly less severe. Prior to mid-2014, headaches were very infrequent, and I had less than five migraines in my entire life. He recommended a maintenance medication as well as a vitamin supplement to lessen the frequency of the symptoms, but did not have an explicit cause for migraines.
Because of the difficulties in living with chronic pain and fatigue, I sought mental health counseling from an MSN. Since the onset of treatment on March 2, 2015, we have met 7 times.
Because of the chronic pain and fatigue, I began seeing an LMT on January 16, 2015. I have had monthly massages to ease pressure on joints and muscles since.
Currently, I am taking the following medications (with total daily dosage listed), with corresponding symptoms following:
Amitriptyline/Elavil 10 mg :: migraines
Duloxetine/Cymbalta 60 mg :: joint pain/fibromyalgia
Hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil 400 mg :: joint pain/fatigue/lupus
Nambumetone/Relafen 1500 mg :: joint pain/inflammation
Nitrofurantoin/Macrobid 50 mg :: urinary tract infections
Tizanidine/Zanaflex 6 mg :: muscle pain/joint pain/insomnia
Tramadol/Ultram 100 mg :: prn muscle pain/joint pain/migraines
Super B Complex Vitamin :: energy/fatigue
Vitamin D3 2000 IU :: Vitamin D deficiency
Extra Strength Cranberry Supplement 504 mg :: urinary tract infections
Riboflavin B2 Vitamin 400 mg :: migraines
Symptoms currently experienced include:
Tingling in fingertips
Shooting pain from fingertips to shoulder (left side only)
Inability to sit, stand or lay in one position for length of time
Tossing and turning in sleep
Trouble staying asleep
Headaches/migraines (multiple times a week)
Lack of sexual desire
Pain during sexual intercourse
Itching/burning around genitalia
Difficult starting urine stream
Pain during urination
Discharge from nipples
Difficult breathing/feeling of not being able to get enough air
Inability to support hands or arms above head
Increased mood swings, anxiety, and depression
Skin rashes and bumps
Irregular/frequent periods (every 2-3 weeks)
Since the placement of the Essure in March 2014, my quality of life has decreased dramatically. My daughter and husband suffer greatly from the constant fatigue and pain in my life. I cannot even sit on the floor with my daughter and play a board game without being in excruciating pain. I had to quit a graduate program in which I was pursuing a Master’s degree in mental health counseling because I was unable to focus on my schoolwork and find the energy to finish the program. I have missed countless days of work bouncing from doctor to doctor, trying to find an answer to my pain. I’ve been told by numerous specialists that I am healthy, fine, and that I am young so I should enjoy my life. The joy is GONE from my life, and my family suffers along with me every day. I do not know if all of my problems are caused by Essure, but I am disgusted in the Bayer Corporation and that a company would so blatantly ignore its patients and put profits before patients on a daily basis. It’s time for some answers. It’s pathetic that I am considering a hysterectomy at age 24, but I am willing to do anything to get my old self, and my daughter’s mother, and my husband’s wife, back.