As soon as I got pregnant with my third child I knew I was done having children. I wanted to make sure I was fixed as soon as I could be after her birth. I consulted with an ob/gyn, I was the one to bring up essure. He assured me that it was permanent with a 99% effective rate, that there were NO side effects, and that there was practically no down time or pain. It sounded amazing, of course I was on board!
I had the procedure done in April of 2011, just weeks after having my daughter. Other than heavier periods I didn’t notice anything wrong right away. My husband deployed and I started to notice that I was more worn down than normal, but I attributed it to adhusting to raising three kids on my own. The fatigue increased, then I noticed my hair was falling out in handfuls, and my weight started increasing. I remember telling my husband something was wrong. I thought my thyroid was messing up, or maybe even my hormones. Never even thought about the essure coils. I went to the doctor, seeking relief from the never ending exhaustion. He ordered blood work, but it came back normal. Nothing was wrong, and after being treated like I was imagining or exaggerating a problem, I quit looking for answers.
The fatigue, hair loss, and weight gain never went away. I simply lost faith in finding a doctor to listen. Then, a few years later, we moved away from all our friends and family…I felt alone and miserable with the fatigue and ended up on depression medication. I didn’t notice an improvement though. When I started getting chest pains I quit taking the medication, thinking it was giving me anxiety attacks. Weeks went by and the chest pains continued. Again I went to the doctor. Blood work, x-rays, ekgs, stress test, and echocardiogram….all came back clear. I was left looking like a hypochondriac, and was told by the cardiologist that ‘Maybe it’s arthritis in your ribcage’. I was handed a prescription for ibuprofen, and dismissed. Left with a MAYBE?? So again, the pains continued and I quit seeking answers from doctors. Why try? They listened impatiently, and then fed me their diagnosis without so much as really hearing what I was saying.
I felt like I was going crazy. I felt like a hypochondriac. I think my husband even started doubting the credibility of my claims to pain. That was the worst part. Nobody believed me. Then one day I watched a interview with Erin about essure. I couldn’t believe my ears! I wasn’t alone? I wasn’t crazy? I joined the essure problems facebook page and I read stories for hours. I cried. It felt good just to know that I wasn’t a hypochondriac. There was a reason for what I am going through. It felt good to be surrounded by women that understood what I was going through, that wouldn’t shrug off how I felt.
I am currently in the process of trying to have the coils removed. Doctors still don’t want to listen. They’re demigods in their own minds I guess. It still astounds me that I could elect to have them put in, but not to have them taken out. I’ll keep on trying though, and I’ll update my story when something changes.