Last night when I got home from work I pulled a large white envelope out of my mailbox. I didn’t give it much thought, I let the muppet like dog out to pee, and when we came in I tossed the envelope on the table. I went about my routine, bracelet in the clam shell, sweats replaced my dress pants, and I fed the dog. Mundane I know, yet as I kneelt down to grab the muppet’s bowel the large envelope caught my eye.
It’s a logo that I’ve seen dozens of times, normally it rested on smaller envelopes, never a large one. I quickly dumped food in the muppet’s bowel and grabbed the envelope. I ripped it open and read “After more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck/Organon USA Inc. has agreed to a Settlement Program to resolve the NuvaRing claims. I read that sentence a dozen times, it didn’t sink in, so I took to Google. The NY Times, The Huffington Post, and so many other media outlets validated what my letter said. I needed validation even thou the settlement was laid out in black and white before me, I needed someone else to tell me that I wasn’t dreaming.
To be honest I never thought I would see this day. I never thought Merck would ever come to the table. Yet they have, Merck, maker of the NuvaRing, says it will pay out $100 million to settle thousands of liability lawsuits from women who say they were harmed by using the product. The settlement was offered to about 3,800 women who have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts. In a statement Friday, the company said: “We stand behind the research that supported the approval of NuvaRing, and our continued work to monitor the safety of the medicine.” The above statement falls on deaf ears, I am 1 out of 3,800 I will go to my grave claiming that the NuvaRing turned my world upside down and injured me. I know in my heart that the NuvaRing is bad news bears, however in the eyes of Merck I am just a casualty, I am the collateral damage they planned for, and I will be nothing more to them.
Tears are still falling even as I write this. Sure I am angry just like everyone else, however I know it makes no sense to beat a dead horse. We wore the white hat, we fought the good fight, yet in the end it wasn’t enough. $100 million seems like pennies compared to the amount Merck’s pockets hold. However this is the only offer and if 95% of women do not opt in, we risk losing it all. I never went into this to become rich, I wanted to stand up for myself and to prevent other women from enduring my fate.
I never had a number in mind, because Merck can never give me back what I want. No one has the power to turn back time and undo the wrongs. Then again on the same coin, I wouldn’t trade what happened to me. The NuvaRing was my sling shot, in a moment of sheer disaster my passion was born. I could have been just another cup of ashes in an urn, instead of an urn I got to see my 27th themed Halloween birthday cake. Almost dying 5 days before your birthday changes your perspective.
Merck brought the NuvaRing into my life, I chose to use it, but I did not chose to have it almost kill me. In all honesty I had no idea that the NuvaRing could cause thrombotic events. Hell I didn’t even know what a pulmonary embolism was until the exact moment I was diagnosed. In that moment my life was changed forever, I lost my sense of youth and was thrown in to survival mode. It looked bleak, my clot sat in a shitty spot and my lungs were dying, yet I pulled through. Because that is what I do. I operate best in a crisis, mainly because I just keep on keeping on and throw caution to the wind.
My lung has healed, my heart is strong, yet I am empty inside. Empty because of complications due to my pulmonary embolism I can never have children. To be honest I went on the NuvaRing in an attempt to regulate my cycle in hopes to get my hormones in order so that I could become pregnant. A lot of my friends went on it, they got babies and I got a blood clot. I got the shitty hand while they were dealt the motherhood card. I can never be on hormonal contraceptives or under go fertility treatments because I now have an increased risk of blood clots. If by the grace of God I were somehow able to conceive I would need to be put on blood thinners as soon as possible. This in its self is a risky decision, because I run the chance of giving birth to a child who is anticoagulant dependent. Like I said the risks are far to great and at the end of the day I must play the cards I have.
I want more than anything to have a child of my own. Merck will never be able to restore my ability to have children, they will never be able to make me whole. My heart aches when I hold a new born, I feel that tug, yet I know it was never meant to be. The NuvaRing crushed my dreams, I will never know what its like to carry a child and I will never get to hold a baby of my own. This, this is something Merck cannot put a price tag on. They just chalk it up to collateral damage and promise to monitor the product.
In there eyes I am nothing more than collateral damage, my quality of life means nothing to them, my struggles are mine and mine alone. The only thing they care about are the profits that the NuvaRing rakes in, so what if it damages a woman and crushes her dreams of motherhood. For every victim there is another woman to take her place in the pharmacy line.
If you would like to read more about the NuvaRing Settlement Please visit the following:
Birth Control And Blood Clots: Women Still Weighing The Risks http://n.pr/1dvY3OZ
Federal judge in St. Louis endorses $100 million settlement offer for NuvaRing cases : Business http://bit.ly/1h71yk2
Merck To Pay $100 Million In NuvaRing Settlement http://huff.to/1g2BAxr
Merck to pay $100 million in NuvaRing contraceptive settlement http://reut.rs/1jkdWAn