In late January/ early February of 2011, I made the decision that I was done having children. You see, I have six sons, and I had found myself in the position of being a single mother. I decided to have Essure Permanent Birth Control implanted in me. It was totally sold as this non-invasive procedure, with very little recovery time. As a single mom, this appealed to me, because I wouldn’t have to miss a lot of work. The interesting part of this part of the story is that the guy that I had just begun dating begged me not to do it. He made it very clear that since he had had a vasectomy that it wasn’t necessary. But since I didnt know where the relationship was going, and I wanted to be sure I couldnt get pregnant so I went ahead with the procedure. Since I am somewhat stubborn, the day of the procedure I drove myself. This was something I needed to do for me. I took ibuprophen for the pain. It was an in-office procedure. It was suppose to take less than a half hour. I believe that it took around an hour or so, because they had trouble implanting one of the coils and ultimately had to open another set of them. That is why I have two lot numbers on my Essure card. It was actually pretty painful, but I’m tough so I handled it. When I left they had these superduper sized pads they have you wear in case of bleeding or fluid leakage. For some reason I have a ton of fluid… by the time I reached home 20 minutes later the pads were soaked, and so were my pants… all the way to my knees. I couldn’t believe it and neither could they when they called to check on me later that day. Other than that, everything seemed to go fine. I was in pain, but again, I’m pretty tough, and have always had cramps with my periods so I could handle it. I went back to work the next day. With my doctors permission, I had sex within a week. I later found out that that should have never happened… apparently there should be a much longer waiting period to allow for scar tissue development and to minimize movement of the coils. (This is one of the problems with this device. Doctors are all given different information.) I did go for a follow up where they did a quick ultrasound to check the placement of the coils. (I did not know at the time that it wouldn’t really show anything as the coils don’t show up well on ultrasound.) I did not choose to do the HSG follow up because my doctors office told me that my insurance would not cover it and it would cost me $3000.00. As a single mom that was not an option. I was barely hanging on as it was. Anyhow, regardless, I thought I was good.. the coils were in place and I could feel pain in my lower pelvic region that I attributed to scar tissue growth. The pain was there all the time so I pretty much got use to it. It increased positionally though… in which case I attributed it to the scar tissue tearing and having to regrow since it was new tissue. My periods also disappeared. This I really didn’t mind! Later that same year I got married to the very same guy I had been dating when I had Essure implanted. By this time, my periods started to come back… with a vengance… heavier than they have ever been and totally unpredictable. There were also times when I started randomly bleeding during and after intercourse. No rhyme or reason to it…. it just happened… and it wasnt a little. I still had the pelvic pain but pretty much ignored it. I also ignored the itching I kept having on some of my tattoos. And the rashes that would pop up from time to time. At first, I didnt notice that my migraines had increased or that I was having issues with my piercings. When I did notice that my migraines had increased I went to see my primary doctor, who referred me to a neurologist. I figured that I was just under a tremendous amount of stress at work and that was what was causing them. My neurologist ended up having me try five different classes of meds as a preventative, with me ultimately ending up on an anti-seizure med… I do not have seizures, but it was their last resort. I also managed to take a transfer at work in order to lower my stress levels. This is key, the reason being that I worked for Boeing… on the 787 line.. the composite plane… and I transferred to the 777 line… an aluminum clad plane that is made up of various metals. I was now in a lower stress level job, but my migraines were getting worse and worse, the rashes were coming more often, and my tattoos were raised and itchy, I was having more problems with my piercings, and little by little more symptoms came. I started having reactions to chemicals that I had never had a problem with before, I was having dizzy spells (not good when you work 20ft in the air!), I was having short term memory loss (I couldnt seem to remember simple things… things I had never had a problem with before.. I had to make lists constantly.. right down to remembering to brush my teeth..it was ridiculous). I started gaining weight… no matter what I did I couldnt lose it. My thyroid (which has been monitored every six months for 20 years) started fluxuating… my meds seemed to be slightly off. And I still had that lower back and pelvic pain… it seemed like it was getting worse. That’s when it dawned on me that it had been almost TWO YEARS since I had had Essure implanted… Shouldn’t the scar tissue have finished growing by now? Why hadn’t this occured to me before? I decided to google Essure Side Effects to see if anyone else had this pain… That’s when it all started coming together… all of these things that I thought were just individual issues could actually be related. I was in shock. I even questioned it.. How could this be true? Was I making all these connections up in my head? I started doing tons of research… I had to be sure. (I’m not one for doctors.. I really hate going to them and will put it off for forever if I can. And I don’t take pain meds.. I’d rather tough it out.) By the time I finally had surgery (2yrs and 2mos after implantation), I had extreme fatigue (to the point of barely being able to get myself out of the tub), I could barely climb the stairs the our second floor of our house (when I had previously been accustomed to climbing between 700-1000 stairs a day at work).. I had joint pain all over my body… lower back pain and pelvic pain (I burned through three heating pads in less than two years and was popping ibuprofen like it was candy… nothing helped.) And you know, thinking back to when I had my coils implanted they had asked me if I ‘had a known nickel allergy’… my reply was ‘not that i know of… I’ve never been tested..’ Had they said… ‘Can you wear cheap jewelry? (no) Do you get a rash from the button on your jeans? (yes) Do you get a rash from wearing a watch? (yes)’ Then they would have realized (as would I) that I had a nickel sensitivity… and that I should not have been implanted. Ironically, after having woke up from having my uterus, cervix, tubes, and coils removed I had no more pain. The rashes disappeared, I have had only four or five migraines in six months, my tattoos are no longer raised, my energy level is higher than its been in a long time. I am still not 100%, I now have GI pain/issues I never had.. and I have to be very careful when using chemicals due to reactions, but I am so much better than I was when I had the coils in. Honestly, looking back now, I realize just how sick I really was. I see pictures during that time and I look terrible… I now understand why my husband was so afraid of losing me. At the time, I just knew that I felt horrible, had missed 3 mos of work, I never saw my family, and I was letting everyone (including my kids) down. Ultimately, one of the things that I’ve discovered through all of the research that I have done is that I was most likely dealing with metal toxicity. You see, I had the perfect storm… The Essure coils leach a little bit of nickel into your system every day… my piercings were stainless steel (which has nickel).. the black ink in some of my tattoos most likely was made with nickel … and the airplane I was working on was metal.. I was exposed to a metal overload… and my body started to shut down. What gets me about this is that there are tons of research articles about the effects of nickel and even how it will affect certain people… yet the FDA chose to pull the warning and doctors are not required to either test for an allergy or inform you of the nickel content. This is yet another issue with Essure……. All the way around it is flawed and needs to be re-evaluated.