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Laura Faelten’s Story

Quincy, MA

Laura's Story

As other have suggested I was a very healthily, active 39 year old woman; low blood pressure and cholesterol just above the normal range. Unfortunately my GYN did not inform me of the risk associated with going back and the birth control and its effect on my thyroid medication. Unfortunately I’ve had thyroid cancer too. As a result my thyroid level became severely out of whack and my cholesterol was elevated to an extent I’ve never experienced. FYI there is a direct correlation between hypothyroidism and high cholesterol. Regardless my levels were finally regulated and my cholesterol dropped to within 10 points of normal range. Nothing the docs were concerned about.
However, my doctors did not attribute my stroke to the slightly evaluated cholesterol but to the birth control pill. Also, an echocardiogram revealed a small hole in my heart. The doctors at Mass General did not seem to be concerned but I have a followed with a cardiologist in a few weeks. I was lucky in that my stroke was mild and I should remain a low re-risk for reoccurrence should I avoid any and all hormonal BC medications.
The day of my stroke was a day I’ll never forget. My stroke was in the language center. Not being able to talk and/or write was so scary. I also had some clumsiness on the right side of my body. At this point my biggest difficulty is typing and remembering numbers. Thank goodness for spell check! Each day I continue to improve (with the help of speech therapy) and will start back work part time next week.
However, this has forever changed my life. I have always had healthy habits; but that is not to stay I cannot find ways to improve. I also want women to know of the REAL and scary risks associated with the birth control pill. In addition I highly recommend each one of us utilize websites to understand the risk associated with medications prescribed by our doctors. Do not count on the medical professionals to do that for you.

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