by Libby Leonard
I will never forget the night my life changed forever. That night, I woke up with a deep stabbing pain in my chest. Each breath felt like a thin knife in my lungs. Even today, I cannot understand how a completely healthy 25-year-old woman could suffer the blow I discovered that night. This is my story.
When I was sixteen, I began having horrible cramps throughout my period. I would spend the day throwing up and passing out from the pain. My doctor told me that I had two options. I could take a pain pill a few days prior to starting my period or I could go on the Pill. Without regular cycles, I was unable to use pain pills successfully. So, as a young teen, my doctor put me on birth control pills.
I was on the Pill for ten years on and off. Each time that I tried to go off the Pill, I would have a few quiet months that would eventually culminate in debilitating pain and going back on the Pill. I couldn’t continue to live with the pain and passing out. Even after marrying my husband, I continued to take the Pill only for my pain. I would never have imagined that birth control pills would eventually cause me more pain than I had ever felt.
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