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Debby’s Story

I was rushed to A&E with such low blood pressure they couldn’t get a reading!

I had Essure fitted in September 2013.

I wanted to be sterilized as I felt my family was complete and any form of contraception did not agree with me, I had tried them all. When I went for my appointment I was told that because I have Crohns disease, no surgeon would operate on me to do a tubal (the traditional “tubes-tied” form of sterilization) – so Essure was my only option.

It was supposed to be a pain-free procedure which would take about 10 minutes, and I could have it done there and then. I was told there were no side effects, other than a bit of cramping afterwards. I was asked if I was allegic to nickel which I replied ‘i dont think so’ and that was that. I was given 1 co-codamol and left for 20 minutes.

I had the devices fitted which was extremely painful, I was sweating, my legs were uncontrollably shaking and it took about 40 minutes as the right one didn’t want to go in – but the female surgeon persevered with it until it did.

It took days for the cramps to subside but after that I felt fine.

A couple of weeks after I had Essure fitted I started to get headaches almost every day, and on Christmas eve I woke up and the right side of my face was numb.

I saw the GP and was referred to Neurology. I had brain scans, a lumbar puncture, and was given nerve blocking medication as the consultant feared I had Multiple Sclerosis. Thankfully the tests came back clear but I had brain lesions and inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, which was all put down to the medication I was on to treat my Crohns disease. So I stopped the medication.

As time went on, the pain in my lower right side progressively got worse. Again I was told “It’s your Crohns disease”. This went on for 3 years, and during that time my periods had gradually got worse. Every month I would bleed through my clothes. I’d lose massive clots and I was so tired all the time – something that was also put down to Crohns disease and I stupidly accepted that.

I saw the GP about my periods and had my hormone levels checked, and thyroid, both were normal. I had an ultrasound which showed a few small fibroids, but they weren’t big enough to be causing my problems.

I developed sepsis in July 2015 which was also put down to Crohns disease; but the CT scan could not find where it came from. There was no bowel perforation. I was getting rashes too for no apparent reason.

It all came to a head in December 2016 when the right sided pain became unbearable. I was rushed to A&E with such low blood pressure they couldn’t get a reading! I thought maybe my bowel had burst, but yet again no one could give me an answer of what was wrong.

So I saw my gastro consultant the following week, and by then my right leg had started to swell. He thought I may have an abscess, so I was sent for urgent scans and blood tests which were all clear.

When I was given my scan results the consultant said ‘your coils are in place’. This got me thinking, what if everything that had happened in the past 3 years was down to Essure? I started doing some research and came across the Essure Problems page on Facebook and suddenly everything made sense. I went back to the GP to be referred back the the hospital that I had them implanted at. The GP didn’t believe a word that came out of my mouth but I knew I was right.

A few days later I was rushed back to hospital again with the same low blood pressure and right sided pain – and suddenly realised that every time I was on my period was when my blood pressure would drop, and the pain would get worse, resulting in a trip to A&E.

I couldn’t take it anymore so I booked to see a private consultant gynaecologist. Mr Miligkos was amazing, he believed me, and told me he had seen women with similar symptoms to mine and he recommended a hysterectomy. I just wanted my tubes taken really, but he refused as he had women back for a hysterectomy after just having tubes out, and he felt the only way to make sure you remove all of Essure intact is hysterectomy.

I agreed and was booked in for 2nd March 2017 and I couldn’t wait, I felt like I was fading away slowly and painfully. I was taking dihydracodeine daily, amitriptyline and tramadol just to get through the day. Finally the day came and I wasn’t nervous – I knew it was the right thing.

I woke up from surgery and instantly felt different. I got up to walk and I didn’t have a limp anymore! My husband couldn’t believe it, I had been limping for 4 months with the pain.

Debby’s operation scars

My head was clear, I was smiling so much my face hurt (and trust me that hadn’t happened in a while!). Even through the pain of surgery I felt better, different. I did develop in infection in one of the surgical incisions, but I felt so much better that I didn’t really mind! As the days and weeks went on, it just got better and better.

I’m now 1 year post op and feel like me again. In the past year i have not had any rashes, my hair has stopped falling out, I have much more energy and can think clearly again and best of all I’m not in pain anymore. I know Essure caused all of my problems, not Crohns disease. It made it too easy for the doctors to palm me off, because I already have a condition they could blame my symptoms on. I am grateful for finding other women experiencing the same as me, and knowing I’m not alone.

If I can share my story and stop even one woman from suffering like I have, I will be happy. My husband has his wife back and my kids have their mummy. It’s been hard but I got there.