Letter 10: From Sage
It’s hard to express the emotions I felt when I first read your story;
complete sadness that your life was taken away too soon, anger that
your parents have dealt with such frustrating circumstances after your
loss, and worriment for the women out there who could still be taking
these dangerous birth control pills and have no idea that it could one day cost them their life.
I also felt very connected to your story. I have had my own trouble with birth control but I always thought that I listened to my body well enough to know if something was wrong. After months of intense stomach pains every day and multiple tests and ultrasounds, my gynecologist finally suggested that taking the pill could have something to do with my problems -- something no one had ever suggested before and I never even thought of. Contraceptive methods seem to be such a taboo subject for women and doctors to discuss openly with each other. I think back to my time in sex-ed classes in high school and though condoms and the pill were discussed, there was no discussion about how some pills may be safer than others, and no other method of contraceptives were ever brought up, despite a lot of them being safer than some forms of the pill! It feels like young women are navigating this world by themselves, which is why sharing your story is so important. I can’t help but wonder if things might have turned out differently if the information about drospirenone had gotten to you sooner. Still, you were so attentive to your health and I am so frustrated to think about you trying to get to the bottom of the situation with no answers in sight.
When I first read your story, Annie, I wanted to do all I could to prevent this from happening to any other woman. I talked to all my friends and urged them to look up their birth control. I am so grateful to your family for fighting as long as they have, hopefully preventing this from happening ever again. Sometimes, especially in this day and age, it seems like big politicians and companies don’t care enough about the potential risks and harms that these drugs have. Learning all that I have from your story, I know just how important it is to continue learning and speaking out whenever I can, while keeping stories and people like you in mind to remind me that it is extremely worth it.