Nope. Not even close.
For almost three and a half years I dealt with random health things, but chalked everything up to getting a little older. I had a hard time controlling my weight which had never been a problem before, but things are different after every baby right? I started to have weird intolerance to food and had strange rashes that would show up around my midsection or even down by my lady parts, but then they would lesson or go away. I was noticing my joints were hurting more and suddenly I would have more than the normal amount of days of absolutely unbearable tiredness. I mean fall asleep standing up kind of tiredness that I had never had before. I would get so severely bloated around the abdomen that people would actually ask me if I was pregnant. I couldn’t blame them or get mad because I really actually would look pregnant. The next day it would be back to regular size, but other than feeling bloated there was no other changes from one day to the next. Sometimes the bloating would happen in my face instead, and then just go back to normal. My teeth suddenly took a sudden swift downhill turn and I ended up pulling them left and right until I was staring at the man who had been my dentist my whole life, crying my eyes out because we were having to discuss implants versus dentures. I was 30. Prior to this, I had a normal amount of cavities. They seemed to pop up after every pregnancy but then would chill out until after the next pregnancy that I would have. I brushed normal, flossed normal, and went to routine checkups as recommended. I even started a different multivitamin that the dentist recommended.
I made a life altering choice to completely quit smoking one Christmas, and things suddenly got worse. That’s when I noticed my ankles swelling. I had recently started a different type of exercise so it was easy to blame that. I brought it up with my primary the next time I saw him (maybe three weeks later) and told him that sometimes it really made my joints hurt and had started to become daily. He advised me that my blood pressure was also elevated for me, so maybe they went hand in hand, so he wanted me to come back in a few weeks to see if it lessened the further along I got with quitting smoking. It was a side effect he explained, of your body resetting itself from the damage. Except it didn’t get any better. I was sent for test after test in the next year, in which the answer seemed to change with every one of them. Some of these diagnoses were things that I may never have known since most people don’t have any symptoms or side effects at my age. I had slight heart regurgitation, chronic gallstones that apparently do not cause too much pain to me, acid reflux that had been written off to all of my pregnancies, and a crazy brain disorder that I will talk about some other time. None of this explained my sudden onset of symptoms. At this point I was wearing compression socks daily, and still swelling. I was taking blood pressure medicine as well as a water pill, at varying doses through this since it never seemed to really change anything. The rashes got worse and I was bounced to a dermatologist as well as my gynecologist since it was in the region. I started getting panic attacks, and had grown to love my anxiety since it was peeking out more and more in life. My weight was at all all-time high and it fluctuated 20 pounds sometimes from one day to the next. The doctors continued to look at me as if I were nuts.
One hot July day I came home from work and complained to my husband that I was having severe abdomen discomfort. Seeing as he was used to hearing me complain a lot those days, he said something like oh I’m sorry and that was it. After uncomfortably sitting around for the next hour I decided it was time for the ER. My abdomen was distended and suddenly I couldn’t pee. It felt like something was blocking it. My best friend came and grabbed me and we camped out together at the local emergency room for the next few hours. And boy did we get some weird answers.
They pulled me in for a cat scan of my abdomen area, and after everything was set up and I was half in the machine I started chatting with the tech that was doing the scan. Friendly chitchat until he asked me what type of surgery I have had before and how many children I had. So I tell him I had my C-section with tubal ligation, along with how many children I have without a thought. He nonchalantly says oh ok that explains why you have so much scar tissue. I believe I asked if there was a lot of it, or something to that effect, and he told me that I had the most scarring that he had seen in his career. I told him that I had chronic gallstones as well, and he asked what birth control that I had inserted since I had told him the tubal ligation. I gave a bland answer about the Essure and what it was, in which he responded with “Well, that explains all of these coils I am seeing.”
The first doctor I saw after this was my primary, 3 days later who told me it just wasn’t possible. He gave me directions to get into my gynecologists office. That took two weeks. During this he had ordered an ultrasound and I got the same puzzled type of reaction from the lady who did that test as well. During this waiting period before next doctor appointment I started doing research. In the first few days I learned too much information that I was unaware of before. I even dug out an old pamphlet handed to me during my last pregnancy. The inconsistencies just made no sense.
Finally I got to the gynecologists office, who told me I was making a bigger deal out of this then I should. I handed her the research I had found. I told her that I had found multiple support groups thru social media, and I fully believed that I was having a severe allergic reaction to the nickel in my body. Nickel that I had been completely unaware of, seeing as the pamphlet never once said that there was nickel in the product. I even remember being asked the day of surgery about any allergies I had, in which I had responded with “Bee stings and nickel.”
The hoops they made jump through after this were borderline insane. Diet change, steroids, antibiotics, tons of blood work, a D&C to see if they could scrape these suckers out of my full of scar tissue uterus, taking Benadryl every 6 hours for a month, the list can go on. None of them fully believed that I was reacting to them. I finally put my foot down, said enough is enough. Give me a hysterectomy, if only as a means to disprove me.
I had my uterus removed almost 6 years after I had it inserted. They found it to be more than twice its size, with coils perforating thru in 4 other places, and scar damage covering one ovary and the side of my bladder. By the time we were done, they had found 9 coils in my body. That is 7 more than what was necessary. My doctor told me that she could understand there being an extra coil or two on each side, but never 9. Since my body was having such a huge allergic reaction I instantly started rejecting the stitched that she had used to close the inner layers. It kept ripping open my incision, for the next 12 months. In that time I lost 20 pounds, without being cleared to exercise seeing as any strain on the abdomen caused it open. The rashes went away. My anxiety lessened, and never once have I had a panic attack. My leg swelling is gone. My severe bloating went away. My blood pressure is normal. My energy level is back to where it was, and I no longer feel the crazy unstoppable tired that I had become accustomed to. This list could go on.
My kids have their mom back. My husband got his wife back. My friends have all made mention of how happy I am compared to the last few years, and I actually have begun to show up at work and family get together’s. I had stopped because the anxiety had gotten too bad. I had not realized how many things I withdrew from until I started returning to them.
Do you have the Essure? Check out this awesome symptom list that I found online to make sure that you are not experiencing any and convincing yourself that it is just in your head. DON’T BE A VICTIM!! TRUST YOUR BODY!!
P.S.- I have known women to have this form of birth control and have no current problems. It is possible that they will never have any, and they will luck out. To them, I wish the best of luck. Clearly there will always be that 1% in anything that get the raw end of the deal. However if I can draw awareness and even help one other person to realize that they are not alone, that these symptoms are real, then I have done what I set out to do.
**Essure was completely pulled off the market on in July 2018 thanks to very strong women standing up for themselves in the face of doubt. The very last country to stop allowing this device was America. Bayer still maintains that they beleive in the safety of their device, but had low sales so they would pull it off the market.
I consider this to be an amazing success from people who were directly affected from the miserable product that Bayer stood behind.
Did you miss part 1? Wondering where this story started? Click here to find out! My Essure Battle part 1