Thursday, September 19, 2013

Betrayed by the System


As a child growing up, I was conditioned to trust in the 'system.' That system includes law enforcement, civil servants, health care professionals, religious leaders and our government. It’s just what you're supposed to do. Then, one day, you learn that not everyone in the system can be trusted and you feel an emotion that rattles you - betrayal.

So many of us have been let down in life by one event or another; it happens to all of us; but to be betrayed by those that we elevate on a pedestal? That brings out a completely new set of emotions that some of us have a hard time dealing with.

A few weeks ago, the realization hit me hard that my OB/GYN went into rock star mode for one reason and one alone, to SAVE his butt. I spent a few days in a complete funk. He wasn't treating me to help me; he was treating me to save himself because he should have never implanted me with Essure because of my known allergy and he did it again. He was and is directly responsible for my suffering.

I wish I was the only one in our Facebook group who had to deal with this emotion. Sadly, it’s very common. Women are suffering with real symptoms, experiencing real pain, and they are ignored or worse, they can't get help because so many medical professionals don't know what Essure is. This is very evident with our experiences in emergency rooms.

A woman is in real pain, and she goes to get help from her local emergency pain. She is met with blank stares when she says she has Essure. She gets a CT scan or an x-ray and the technician looks at her funny when she they see a foreign body in her lower abdomen. No one at the hospital is capable of reading the images to determining if the coils are in the proper place or if they are malformed. She's offered pain pills and sent back to her OB/GYN. At her OB/GYN, the treatment is not much better and these are from the physicians who are supposed to be the experts on the device.

How can a physician tell a woman she isn't feeling what she is really feeling?

Patient: I'm in pain
Doctor: No, you're not; it's in your head

Patient: I've been bleeding uncontrollably for months.
Doctor: That's normal. (ummmm - NO)

Patient: I wake up in the morning with a flat stomach. By the time I'm ready for bed, I look seven months pregnant
Doctor: You need to work on your diet (really)

Patient: I went to the ER and they took an x-ray because my pain. The coils don't look right; maybe they have moved
Doctor: No they haven't.
Patient: How do you know?
Doctor: Because I know they don't move. They just don't (Yes, they do)

Those are just a few of the real scenarios that women have faced with their doctors. All of these women had real symptoms of Essure ignored. To get help, we sadly have to suggest to them they don't even mention Essure. To say the word seems to be the kiss of death when it comes to being taken seriously.

When doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, they pledge to prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

My ire with the FDA continues to grow every day. Another day has passed, and it’s another day with no type of warning, no type of recall and no response to my FOIA. We've also learned how deceptive they are with their own budgeting and advisory committee meetings. This is the week I had planned to be in Washington DC prepping with the Center for American Justice for a meeting that was on the calendar with the FDA. It’s the advisory committee for OB/GYN devices. The meeting was calendared and the FDA was awarded budget for this. I learned from the FDA that even though it was budgeted and calendared, they don't confirm the meeting and the advisory committee hasn't met in years - and that's our tax dollars hard at work.

The system is a joke and it’s failed every single person impacted by Essure, everyone.

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