Someone I know tried to kill herself this morning. Thankfully, she hasn’t succeeded, yet, but we are not out of the woods. Her suffering, like so many of the women I work with is immense. She lost her daughter to a medication adverse event, a medication that was common and promoted as entirely safe, even necessary. It isn’t.
The pain of losing a child is unimaginable, but when it is compounded by the institutionalized medical malfeasance that plagues women’s healthcare, and more and more, general medicine, the loss is unbearable. How does one continue on knowing that the medication that killed your child is prescribed to millions of others, causing ‘rare’ adverse events, some of them deadly, many of them serious and chronic, in tens of thousands of young girls and women annually? How does one continue on knowing that other families will suffer just as immensely as you and yours are suffering now? How does one continue on knowing that your child’s death was entirely preventable?
As a mom, I do not know the answers to these questions. As a mom, to begin to contemplate the death of one of my children by any means puts a pit in my stomach so deep I want to vomit; but to contemplate a death by medication reaction, especially one that is so frequently forced upon women with such callous disregard for its effects, that must be a special kind of hell.
Few, except those who experience these events understand this hell. There are no support groups for these families. There is little cultural or national understanding of these deaths. There is very little recognition that these deaths occur, they are ‘rare’ after all, let alone that they are connected to a certain pharmaceutical. Indeed, if your family member is unfortunate enough to die from certain classes of medications or vaccines, those that are particularly entrenched in medical ideology, it is more likely that the product manufacturers, the physicians, and everyone involved, will attack the credibility of such an assertion and the person making it, than take any responsibility whatsoever – a more sinister version of the all-in-your-head gaslighting that modern medicine is so fond of evoking.
Who among us would survive such tragedy?
My friend has. Despite the hell of losing her daughter, she swore to not let her daughter’s death be in vain. Over the years, I have no doubt that her efforts have saved many lives. She is a force to be reckoned with, corralling researchers, advocates, families and survivors, all focused on bringing attention and much needed research to the dangers of this class of medications. What she has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable and we are just beginning. Five years from now there will be a sea change, a paradigm shift; one that she brought to bear. Only, I know she doesn’t see it this way. She doesn’t see how integral she is to these efforts. She doesn’t see how deeply her spirit affects those of us fortunate enough to be around her. She doesn’t recognize her strength. She is weary. And for that reason I am worried.
If you read this my friend, please let us help you.
Postscript: It gives us great sadness to report that our friend is no longer with us. We were too late. Our hearts go out to her family and everyone that was touched by the kindness of her spirit.
You will be missed my friend.
Thank you for posting this article. I am forwarding this to my mother-in-law. My sister-in-law passed away 3 years ago in her sleep from a known reaction common for someone taking the medications she was taking. (They were not compatible.) It was my understanding that pharmacists have extensive schooling to prevent this sort of thing from happening. My mother-in-law is barely functioning. Her alcoholism has declined to the worst levels. Working in healthcare myself, I am saddened by how much America has come to rely on pharmaceuticals.
This is utterly devastating. This is crime against humanity on a sinister scale.
I’m sorry, Karen.
Sometimes this world is too insane for the best of its residents.
Don’t know if this would comfort anyone, but I feel that humanity is on its last leg before a major change. And that the world after it will be led by women.
Thanks for sending out this note Chandler. Unfortunately, the world can become a very dark place for us parents that have lost a daughter due the side effects of a drug that the medical community at large says is safe without the important caveats. I can tell you first hand how depressing it can be to try do the right thing by attempting to educate the medical profession on the magnitude of the impact that hormonal contraception is having on unsuspecting women’s lives.
Over the last 3 years, I had a number of conversations with the person that wrote the suicide note you referenced regarding the emotional challenges we have faced with this journey we embarked upon when our daughters died.
The advocacy work we that we’ve been doing comes at a cost. Every day that we work to find ways to get people to listen to the truth we have to relive the deaths of our daughters. There are times which we can find a way to isolate our emotions from the work that we are trying to conduct, but all too often the details of our daughters deaths come to the surface and the pain is unavoidable. You simply can’t do this type of work without subjecting yourself to more pain. To make things worse, the harder we work, the more evil we uncover. Fighting Big Pharma and trying to undo the brainwashing that has taken place over the last 60 years is extremely difficult for professionals let alone a number of grieving parents.
Over time the emotional conflict and stress continues to build while it shreds your physical and mental health. Even with a strong foundation of support (family and friends) the toll becomes evident to those around you. Unfortunately for her, this process continued to take her to a place where she was unable to find a way to transition from simply surviving to actually living. All parents that loose a child are challenged with this transition and most of us make it through over time, but unfortunately some people are unable to find their way forward and experience the joy of life.
The person that you are referring to has become family to many of us and we will miss her tremendously. We will miss her loving heart, her compassion for all of our daughters, her friendship, her wisdom, her leadership, her never ending abundance of energy and her courage to take on “the man” at all cost. She is the bravest and most determined women that I have ever met.
Dana and I have been in contact with the other parents over the last few days and like you, we are all so deeply saddened by the amount of destruction that the pharmaceutical industry, our government/(FDA) and a segment of the medical industry has inflicted onto her family.
Inside of all of us there is the need and the desire to be heard, to have our innermost thoughts, feelings and desires expressed for others to hear, to see and to understand. We all want to matter to someone, to leave a mark. She did this better than anyone I have ever seen.
Joe, this is beautifully said. Thank you for putting this into words.
Joe, this is beautifully said. I think I told you that Karen was like a lighthouse to me and she took me into her safe harbor after my own daughter Julia’s died in 2013. I am so glad that I knew Karen and the wonderfully warm, kind but determined woman she was. She really was family and a friend.
People who hear about advocates working on issues don’t realize the emotional toll it takes, as you explained so well. We who have lost daughters do remember our child’s senseless death and vividly recall the devastation we felt. Some may think that this is too difficult for grieving parents, and in some way it truly is, but they also don’t know that we remember our daughter’s deaths over and over again, regardless of the advocacy work we do.
The pharmaceutical companies, the FDA or certain medical professionals have run us over and continue to dismiss the damage or lives lost due to products that do cause harm. As advocates we do need to embrace the life we are left with, even as we also know that not to stand up and speak out will doom others to what we and our daughter’s experienced. Like many of the other advocates we’ve met, we will not just sit on the sidelines, although there may be times when we need to slow down or rest.
I wish Karen had taken a rest. I will miss her so very much.
Thank you for sharing this. As mothers, we are so full of guilt over everything. We never know what we are doing is right or wrong. What makes it worse is knowing it’s not only you who has to live with these risks and often, there’s just no going back and un-doing them. I’m sorry for your friend, glad she’s still here. Let’s all keep fighting, keep growing in numbers. Our voices will rise and won’t be ignored anymore.
Sadly, she is no longer with us. We were too late.
To our Friend… Please stay! There is much to do! You are loved and have been given companions for the journey to make a difference for so many!
This kind of drug induced tragedy is far too common. Big Pharma has a blatant “profits over people” agenda that has damaged and destroyed many lives. In so many cases with drug sales, advertising trumps science. “Off label” uses are aggressively pushed when the data isn’t even good for the conditions for which the drugs are originally approved. SSRIs for menstrual cramps, really?? Adderall for ‘hyperactivity’ when so many little boys just need more exercise and an improved diet.
Selling pharmaceutically altered reproductive hormones that are known to cause cause heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolisms and cancers is obscene; especially because when you alter the size and shape of these powerful DNA programming hormones just so they can be patented, you create a monster molecule that the body can’t effectively eliminate via normal Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification pathways. Bio-identical hormones are safer and more easily utilized and excreted than patented ones. Plus they are much less expensive. No wonder Big Pharma is aggressively trying to halt compounding pharmacies from producing bio-identical hormones.
The FDA is merely a shill organization that fosters Big Pharma’s profits and attempted control of all Big Pharma’s competition including the whole nutriceutical industry. Plus many members of Congress go on to high paying jobs with Big Pharma companies after they legislatively block health care organizations from negotiating lower prices with other countries like Canada. Don’t be fooled by what seem like big fines. They are built into pharmaceutical company business plans as part of the cost of doing business.
Appalled by all the mass gun shootings? Did you know almost all of these shooters were taking one or more psychiatric medications and only became violent under the influence of these medications?
Unfortunately the fox are guarding the hen house and this kind of tragedy is the logical conclusion to the profoundly illogical policies presently in place.
So sorry for your friends loss. Hopefully she will rage at Big Pharma, ignorant doctors, and even God if she needs to…cry her deepest tears, grieve and come through her horrible ordeal even more hell bent on helping to change the system that took her daughter from her so that other mothers won’t have to suffer the same terrible loss.