Heather’s Story

I had dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) for a few years. Clinically, my doctor told me I was fine. My blood work always came back within normal limits, which was her justification that I was “fine.” I thought that soaking through 2 super plus tampons within an hour, and having to carry changes of clothing with me (I am a nurse) because of soaking through my pants was anything but “fine.”

I finally convinced my gyn to do an ablation. I figured since I was 50 years old, done with childbearing, and no partner, it would be the best decision. I was otherwise healthy, no reason for a hysterectomy. I had suffered through 30+ years of endometriosis, and was in perimenopause, so why take out the whole bit?

She told me I could have an office procedure for the ablation, and I had to agree to permanent birth control (PBC). Later, I realized she is catholic, and her decision to force sterilization on me was probably related to her religious viewpoint, which I do not share. I told her I wasn’t interested in the PBC, but I wanted the bleeding to stop, so I would do anything to make it stop. Since I could have an office procedure (less cost, less down time) I agreed to Essure coils with the ablation. 

It came time to schedule my appointment, and was told that due to the thickness of my endometrium (according to her, “size of a 5 month pregnant uterus”) I had to do an outpatient in the hospital, under general anesthesia. I was shocked, but again, trying to work and bleeding through my clothes on a daily basis, I agreed to her terms. I was too tired and embarassed to fight with her.

That was in 2011. Since then, I have gained weight, my BMI is 24, which is still within a healthy range, but is heavier than I should be. I have suffered with chronic abdominal pain (cramps on my right side – feels like ovulation, even though now I am 56 years old). I have had serious depression, for which I was medicated for years. Double vision started 3 years ago. And now, I have erosive osteoarthritis – an uncommon auto-immune disorder which is crippling my hands. I have continual brain fog, forgetting things I just read. My work as a nurse and massage therapist is a joke – I have to write everything down, can’t remember what medications are for, don’t remember names with faces. I cannot work many massages, because my hands are always on fire. I am now insulin resistant, despite not being obese nor eating poorly. My blood pressure is high, again for no good reason. And, I can no longer ride my bike – 4 years ago, I was riding over 100 miles/week. Now, it’s too painful.

When I went to my gyn to see about getting these coils removed, I was patted on the head and told that I was being dramatic. When I asked if they were still inserting these coils, he shook his head, and sadly told me it was because of Erin Brockovich. I’m sure he has no reality that women, like me, are suffering with things they told us were perfectly safe. I have since discovered many people connecting Essure with autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, and the like. And, of course, there is nobody in my “network” who is qualified to remove these without causing more damage.

Of course, now I find out that they are not innocuous. They should not be placed comcommitantly with thermal balloon ablation. That I will probably end up losing my uterus as well my tubes. Hopefully, though, removal will bring me back my life.

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