Kim’s Story – Vaginal Ring

September 30, 2013 is the day the doctor told me and my husband that I shouldn’t be sitting here listening to what happens next. My doctor looked me in the eyes, and said you should be dead……..He stated you must have a strong heart and God must really want you to live. He then explained to us, together, that the NuvaRing that I have had been on for 3 years now had cause me to have bilateral pulmonary embolism. Each one of the embolisms, that were the size of a baseball, went though my heart and landed in each of my lungs. The road to recovery was a long one.

I started taking the NuvaRing after my second child was born in 2010. I never was a fan of “the pill” and the NuvaRing sounded amazing. There was no worries about remembering to take each day at a certain time. All I have to do in insert this round ring inside of my “girl part” for 3 weeks and then take it out and leave it out for a week. That sounds easy and awesome, especially since I have a new born and my son and husband to take care of. Even my OB told me this was an amazing new product that she highly recommends and that it is the “new estrogen base” with little to no side effects. Wow Right sounds amazing!

At first there was no side effects that I noticed. Then suddenly I stated to get leg cramp. Holy smokes these charlie horses woke me up from a dead sleep. They would make me cry, and I have a pretty high pain tolerance (childbirth with no meds). I never thought to much about it. I just started eating more bananas, drank more water. It never did help, I just really never thought it could be a major issue. Plus I never have been a fan of going to the doctors.

Around September 20, 2013 I started having some issues breathing. Nothing major, just a bit shortness of breath but hey it was allergy season. I took some Benadryl and I put some Vicks on my chest and call it good for the day. My Husband and I went camping that weekend. Now it is getting worst but I am outside and the pollen is high. Monday, at work is when I told my husband, I think I am going to make an appointment to see what was going on. They are open late Monday to so I won’t have to miss any work. My Husband told me he would go with me. I said its really not necessary but he insisted and went with me. When we got to my primary care doctor, they ordered a chest xray put the pulse oximeter on my finger. The Doctor came in and said well it looks like maybe you have a bit of fluid on your lungs and your oxygen is good. I said ok But why does my collar bone hurt/ache? His eyes got really big and said oh that’s not good. He said you need to get blood work done ASAP (it is about 9pm now) I walked over to the lady that takes blood and she was done for the day. She said rudely can’t you come back tomorrow? I handed her the orders and she said give me a minute. I just sat there still not really sure what was happening. Well here to find out that she had to call a carrier to come pick my blood work and drive it to the lab so the doctor can have results in an hour. So she took a lot of blood and sent me on my way home. I got home still feeling like crap, I put my kids to bed and my phone rang. I answered it and it was my Doctor. Why is he calling me at 9:50 at night. He said that my blood work came back and shows that I have blood clots. If I feel fine now that I can stay home until tomorrow morning, he will schedule and emergency CT scan. At this time I didn’t feel too bad so I stayed home (Plus remember I don’t like to go to the doctors), I laid between my husbands legs all night because it was hard to breath laying flat. In the morning, I got our son off to school and took my daughter to the sitter. Then off to get the CT scan. They wouldn’t let my husband back with me so he had to sit in the waiting room. I had to lay flat which was awful because it hurt to breath laying flat. They took a few CT scans and then I had to just wait. They wouldn’t let me move, they wouldn’t let me do anything. I just had to lay there still and flat. I knew at this point something was wrong because they went and got my husband. They called my doctor to see what he wanted to do. I had to go the the ER at this point, where I was admitted for a few days. I had to get heparin shots in my belly, I was put on Blood clot meds, and of course I had to stop the NuvaRing.

Remembering how I felt up to this point is surreal. After all this happened I did go though a time period of depression, I believe with the combination hormones and also knowing how close I was to dying took a toll on my emotional state of mind. I now live a holistic life the best I can.