I never pictured myself as a lobbyist. To me a lobbyist was some old big money man making deals with congress in a back alley. That alley turns out does and doesn’t exist. Every day large companies pay top dollar for lobbyist to head to DC on their behalf. To lobby for things that will make it easier for their company, products, and procedures to succeed. Sometimes money is thrown into the ring to get people to turn a blind eye.
Blind eyes do not provide answers or keep people safe. They hinder our success and keep us from finding the so-called American Dream. I depended on the labeling of the pharmaceutical product I used. It told me only women over 35 were affected by blood clots and stroke. I did my research, the FDA said it was safe and touted it as the best invention in birth control since the pill.
Yea, that little thing called the pill. It was a big deal back in the 1960s and today a pack is found in almost every medicine cabinet. I was like you blind and unaware of how dangerous hormonal contraceptives actually are. It scares me to my core that girls as young as 11 are being prescribed birth control. None of the current studies out on the market look at or even tested the effects in girls that young. Its like driving in the dark without head lights. Labeling is starting to change. Change for the better.
Women like myself are taking DC by storm and demanding stronger warning labels, black boxes, and so forth on hormonal contraceptives. It still amazes me that some companies are still labeling the side effects for women “only over 35.” Come on now, it’s a thing and things do not know age. That magic age of 35 is crap. Tell it to me, wave 35 in front of me and I will tell you “Jesus, I was 26 you idiot. Your product almost killed me and I was under 35.”
After my pulmonary embolism the product I used changed their commercial and print ads to state “all women are it risk for blood clots/ stroke.” Jeeze thanks, that would have been nice to know before hand. This change was reactive and not proactive. We need to see more proactive measures from drug companies and not reactions based on their products failure.
Failures that happen all to often. The FDA has to many backhanded transactions occurring. What really stinks is this: The FDA knew the ring I used was deadly, yet they felt American women were ready for it. So against the warnings they approved it for US consumption. That approval was based on the $ and not on saving women’s lives. To many women have lost their lives because of the ring. To many woman have suffered blood clots, infections, and had their lives for ever changed by it.
My lung is permanently damaged. I will never run again. Trust me I try to it doesn’t work. An now my heart is wonky and it is most likely a result of the PE I suffered in 2009. Thank you big fat drug company, thank you for damaging my lung. I appreciate it. It truly is the best thing to ever happen to me. It was so much fun injecting myself with Lovenox and subjecting myself to twice weekly INR tests. CT scans are a great excuse to get out of work and wow that Angiogram was a blast. It truly was a blast.
A blast is what happens when I travel the country educating women about the dangers and side effects of hormonal contraceptives. Information is powerful and if they know the warning signs of blood clots it will keep them from enduring my fate. A fate that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Yup, it sucks that this happened to me, but now I am a lobbyist. An I will not rest until all hormonal contraceptives receive a black box warning label. I can’t change what happened to me. But I can prevent this from happening to my future daughter, to your daughter, mother, wife, sister, BFF, girlfriend, cousin, and neighbor. This is preventable. We can save lives through education and awareness.