Medical Error.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when they start puberty and will look into contraceptives to take not only for birth control but for controlling their hormones. I was in high school when I started my period and decided to look into a birth control contraceptive because my periods were heavy and irregular. I went with what every woman usually starts with, oral contraceptive. I was taking the lowest dosage which seemed to not change a thing for me so I went back to the doctors and got the next higher dosage up from my last. This dosage seemed to work a little better but caused my acne to increase (which I rarely had acne so to see it increase was very discouraging). So I went to the doctors again and got the next higher dosage from the last. For those who don’t know, there are so many different dosages out there I was still just skimming the surface of dosages. This third kind of birth control seemed to keep my periods more regular.

Years went by and I noticed I became really bad at taking my oral contraceptive regularly. The whole point of the oral contraceptive and the only way it can work effectively is if you take it regularly. I had these terrible cramping pains that would strap me in bed all day in agony causing me to miss classes. Because I didn’t take the pill regularly, it caused me to spot and have my periods sooner or later then they were suppose to as well.

I had a class sophomore year in college that talked about how oral contraceptives are not the best option because it can cause blood clotting, etc. I was talking to a friend who had tried the patches and she had them on her lower back. She would tell me how they would fall off and her period would just start suddenly. I knew that wasn’t going to work for me so we both looked into other ways to take birth control. She tried the implant in the arm and was raving about how she no longer had periods and how great it was working for her! So I figured I should try it out and went to an OB/GYN in Mt Pleasant. The man told me all the side effects and let me think it over while scheduling the day I would get the implant in my arm. I went in, had my arm numbed, and felt a pinch as he put this small device into my left arm. Of course, all of the side effects happened to me but worse. I gained weight quickly, I had a ridiculous amount of acne, and I never stopped bleeding…this went on for 3 months until I told him “this is enough, get this out of me.”

Fast forward a couple years with a new scar on my left arm, I was having troubles taking my oral contraceptive again. Being on third shift for 3-4 days out of the week and switching to day shift the rest of the week really made it difficult to have a daily oral medicine schedule. January 25, 2018, I went in to the OB/GYN at Sparrow Hospital in St. John’s and received my yearly checkup. I told her how I wanted to try the shot contraceptive. She told me all the negative reasons for getting the shot every 3 months and advised me to try the IUD. I was really skeptical about it and had my own negative thoughts about it. But she talked me into it and gave me the brochure to read over while grabbing the IUD, Skyla. Skyla is great because you never have to worry about doing anything with your birth control again and it lasts up to three years. Skyla is one of the few contraceptives that you can take out and try becoming pregnant right after if you wanted to (most you have to wait 6 months to a year before trying, and being almost 23, I would like to have that option available). After I signed a paper giving them permission to insert the IUD, I immediately felt this terrible cramping sensation, not once but twice. One of the worst pains I have felt in a long time. I went home and winced in pain even after taking Advil, as the cramping never went away. The very next day, I get a call from the Sparrow Hospital OB/GYN office saying “sorry but we inserted an expired IUD into you. Now this won’t cause any harm to your body but to follow FDA regulations, we would like you to come back in so we can put a new IUD in. We know that you had pain the last time you were here so just take some Motrin or Advil before this appointment next week.” I have never had a medical error happen to me before, but this is one I did not want to go back through the pain again.

Now being the third time driving to St. John’s from the Flint area (a total of 6 hours there and back) for this OB/GYN, I had to endure the pain of this IUD again. They joked with me saying “we hope this is the last time we see you again” and “SEE this IUD is not expired!” My awkward self joked back as they took out the IUD and put the new one in. Three weeks pass and I have to drive once again to St. John’s for them to check to see if the IUD is in correctly and the strings are in place. Thankfully they are.

I have called risk management and so has my mother, both of us leaving voicemails and getting no returned calls. After about four more times of calling the risk manager of Sparrow who seems to never pick up her phone, she told me to get in contact with the Sparrow OB/GYN as they are apparently not affiliated with them. So I call the office after receiving my bill in which they charged me for the insertion, removal, and second insertion ringing the bill up to thousands for my insurance to pay. Not okay. The nurse at OB/GYN said it was a mistake and will fix it right away. Long story short with contacting them, I only have to pay for the office visit of $25, but truthfully they have made mistake after mistake with me that I should be compensated whether it’s for the amount of gas and time I’ve had to get off work or just the emotional stress (which I will not be compensated for). Frustrated that there is nothing I could do to make them pay for what they have put me through, I can say if you are thinking of any contraceptive, an IUD is a great choice but check the date and ask questions before getting it. It is a lot easier and successful in my case compared to other contraceptives, but I just wish I had better care especially from a facility that I have trusted my life with many times before.