Tag Archives: family

Symphysiotomy covered by Primetime finally.

It is on the real player on the rte.ie site this morning.
http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1066881

I knew about this, I knew about this long before Dr Neary’s scandal broke.

Growing up there was one of the local mammy’s who was on crutches all the time and this operation was the reason why. She had been an unmarried mother giving birth at the start of the 70s and this procedure was done to her. She lived her life in agony due to it being ‘done for her own good’.

The abuse of women when they are their most vulnerable was rife, esp those who were ‘fallen women’ with out a husband to ‘protect’ them.
http://emmarogan.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/symphysiotomy-the-story-of-a-cruel-childbirth-practice-in-ireland/

Symphysiotomy is a discredited childbirth operation severing the pelvis that persisted in Ireland until as recently as the 1980s. Hundreds of Irish women, who were unknowingly subjected to the surgery, say they were left with severe and life-long side-effects, including walking disabilities, chronic pain, incontinence and depression.

Their doctors chose to perform symphysiotomy instead of Caesarean section, a safer alternative. They saw Caesareans as leading women into temptation, the ‘temptation’ to practice birth control.

Yes, they sawed open the joint of the pubic bone under local anesthetic and ruin women’s lives.

http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?level=4&id=5009

Symphysiotomy survivors demand inquiry

[Posted: Tue 24/06/2003]

By Deborah Condon

Irish women who unknowingly underwent symphysiotomies, an operation performed during childbirth between the 1950s and 1980s, are demanding a public inquiry into the practise, which they say, has left them with severe side effects, including extreme pain, incontinence and depression.

A symphysiotomy is a surgical procedure which is carried out to permanently widen the pelvis of a woman who might normally require repeat Caesarean sections. The cartilage of the symphysis pubis, which is the point where the pubic bones come together, is surgically divided during the procedure.

According to support group, Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SOS), Irish obstetricians sought to establish this operation as an alternative to Caesarean sections because it was thought that women subjected to repeated Caesareans ‘might be tempted to use contraception’.

SOS is now demanding answers as to why women were subjected to this procedure without their consent and in many cases, without their knowledge.

Rose, now aged 57, was 17 and pregnant with her first child when she went into labour on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, a doctor told her that her baby would soon be delivered. She was given what she later learned was a local anaesthetic and was then unknowingly subjected to a symphysiotomy.

“The pain was excruciating. My arms were pinned down by nurses and my legs were held up, like the way you would hold a turkey”, she explained.

After the procedure, when Rose had woken up, she was obviously eager to see her baby, who was in a nursery next door to her ward. However when she tried to stand up, she fainted with the pain and was told not to attempt to get up again. Rose ended up crawling on her hands and knees that night in a desperate attempt to see her baby, before a doctor found her and told a nurse to get a wheelchair for her.

A couple of days later, two nurses came to ‘teach me how to walk again’. She was let out of hospital 10 days after the birth, while her baby remained there for a month. Rose, whose partner died nine years ago, did go on to have more children. However her life has been marked by chronic pain and anger at what has happened to her.

“I have spent 40 years locked up for having a baby. I kept having to give up jobs because of the pain. I have never been on a holiday and I never go out. I have to wear sanitary towels all the time because of bladder problems. I have been to a psychiatrist and I am eventually going to be left on my own in a wheelchair”, she said.

Another survivor, Claire who was 29 and pregnant with her fifth child, was initially told she needed a Caesarean section, but was later told this was not necessary. Referring to what happened in the delivery room, she said she felt as though a ‘red, hot poker’ had been passed through her, the pain was so excruciating. She passed out and when she awoke, she was told that there had been complications, her pelvis had been broken and she would be in bed for five days. She was also told she would have to learn how to walk again.

“I was never followed up. I was never told that I would not be able to hold or nurse my baby. That child was raised in a pram because I couldn’t hold him, the pain was so bad. I couldn’t even play with him. It is 31 years later and I want answers”, she said.

SOS has requested a meeting with Health Minister, Micheal Martin, to discuss the situation. However to date, Mr Martin has failed to agree to meet with the organisation. SOS believes a public inquiry is necessary in order to determine:

-Why symphysiotomies were carried out when alternatives were available.

-Why the procedure was carried out here so often, compared to other European countries.

-Why no-one has been held accountable for the suffering of the women involved.

-Why this procedure was carried out without these women’s consent.

Apart from the inquiry, SOS would also like to see the establishment of a counselling service and helpline. It also believes that those affected should be provided with home help and home modifications where necessary.

“There are a lot of women in wheelchairs and housebound because of this. Who is going to look after them?”, the organisation added.

Knowing about this and some of the other abuses of women’s reproductive rights in this country is why I am such a contraceptive and women’s health information advocate.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2003/1001/symphyisotomy.html

Martin promises Symphysiotomy review
Wednesday, 1 October 2003 18:32

The Minister for Health, Micheál Martin, has promised that his department will carry out an independent review of the procedure of Symphysiotomy in Irish hospitals in the 1940s and 1950s.

He has also promised counselling and free health services for the victims.

This follows a meeting with representatives of over 200 women who are suffering serious health problems from the procedure.

The review still has not happened…

Bespectacled

My daughter is now bespectacled.
She had been having some difficulties in school and I knew she has a slight turn in her left eye or stigma which mirrors my own esp when she is tired, so we had the dreaded chat and prepared her for going to the options and having to wear glasses.

She had a dentist appointment earlier in the day which was just a check up and cleaning and then on to the opticians. I found that I prepare her for such events in the same manner that I do her brother. The same running through what will happen, answering as many questions beforehand, explaining what will be acceptable behaviour and make the process easier for then they are in a place they have not been before.

All of which means they both thankfully tend to be cheery and confident and ask only a small amount of questions and focus on what they have to do, which makes things easier on the person examining them and the trip less stressful over all.

It is also fun as a parent to see thing from the point of view of the wonderment of your child as they have a new experience. I was also 9 when I first had to get glasses and I remember by parents doing their best to make sure it was a positive experience for me.
I wanted to do the same so that getting glasses wasn’t a negative thing but just a thing which some people have to do.

Yes, they are, Pink!. There was some difficulty with getting a pair in Pink to fit her as she has it seems a wide head which made finding a pair that fit properly and comfortable an issue to begin with never mind a pair which is Pink. But it was managed with the staff at Vision Express being very helpful and as she likes them and how they look on her, she has been told if they have to be replaced due to her breaking them or being lost then I get to pick the next pair for her.

So far she has had two days in school with them and they are making a difference and thankfully she only has had positive comments from classmates and teachers. Her Dad on discovering she is shortsighted like me did comment that it was my fault but bless her she was swift to correct him saying it wasn’t my fault it was just my and her genes and she may have gotten cool things from having my dna not just short sightedness. I do how ever hope that she will ‘grow out of it’, but the same was said of me and it didn’t happen, so we will see.