Denise, Montréal-Nord QC (3/4)
"I had asked my doctor to prescribe me the pill after my daughter was born. We were about to move to the US for two years because my husband was accepted as a Fellow at NIH and I really didn’t want to get pregnant while we were living there. Back then, contraceptive pills had a really high dose of hormones. And I was smoking. No one knew – or had told me – that it could be dangerous. The headaches I had were insane. But we drove 12 hours to Maryland anyway. The night we arrived I got so, so sick. And despite the symptoms, my husband didn’t realize what was happening. He only called 911 when I passed out. Firefighters came and transferred me to the hospital. I thought I was getting sick because of a gas leak, but they thought I had tried to commit suicide. I guess they did not get my symptoms either. I stayed a month at the hospital. When I was released, I had the most terrifying vertigoes. Being in a car or feeling the wind on my face made me want to cry. Two of my nieces flew down from Montreal to help with the kids. I couldn’t talk, so I whistled when I needed something. I eventually learned to talk again, without any help of speech rehabilitation. It took years."