Women With Endometriosis Deserve Better From Doctors
Anyone dealing with a chronic illness shouldn’t be afraid to go to the emergency room. We shouldn’t dread doctor appointments. We shouldn’t associate doctors under the category of “hopeless” in our lives. But we often do and it’s disheartening.
One in 10 women have endometriosis yet it is poorly understood by doctors. Often we are told endometriosis isn’t common, it’s not that bad, if we take this birth control we are cured, we are faking it, we aren’t dying so we must be fine, etc. Doctors often label us as drug-seekers and push us to the side. Too many doctors who aren’t educated in endometriosis will brush you off as “crazy” before they admit they aren’t familiar with this disease. When we go to the hospital because our pain is so debilitating, even though we have a diagnosis many doctors still look at us like we are overreacting or simply seeking drugs and they tend to treat us like we are less than human. They often don’t understand the severity of our condition and since we don’t always “look” sick, they think we must be OK and they don’t feel the need to treat us any further. How is that fair?
Isn’t a hospital supposed to be a safe haven for people who are dealing with chronic invisible illnesses? If the pain becomes so severe we can’t even move, shouldn’t we trust that we can go to a hospital? If we have new symptoms or our symptoms worsen, shouldn’t we be able to call our doctor? If we can’t rely on doctors to help us when we are at our worst, who can we rely on? Who can we trust with our lives? Who can we put our faith in?
Just because we have to take pain medicine to get through our days does not mean we are addicted to or seeking drugs. Just because we look OK on the outside does not mean we aren’t struggling. Imagine having to wake up every day knowing it’ll just be another day filled with pain. Imagine tossing and turning all night because your pain is making you so uncomfortable. Imagine feeling like your insides are fighting each other. Imagine bleeding internally whenever you’re on your cycle. Imagine bleeding so heavily you become anemic. Can you imagine that?
Now imagine living in a world where you have to be in pain every day but you’re not able to rely on doctors to help you. Imagine living in a world where most doctors are uneducated when it comes to your specific illness. Imagine feeling hopeless every day and imagine knowing no matter how bad your pain gets, you have nowhere to turn because doctors will look at you like you are a drug-seeker and turn you away. Imagine being so far in medical debt because of so many doctor visits that all ended with them not even trying to help you. Imagine being so furious because you have to pay all of these doctors for “the service they provided” when all they really did was judge you, make you feel awful and then send you on your way.
It isn’t pretty, is it? That’s how so many women with endometriosis feel. That’s how so many who are struggling with an invisible chronic illness feel.
We deserve more! We deserve doctors who are educated in endometriosis. We deserve to be treated like human beings. We deserve compassion and sympathy from doctors. Our pain is real and it’s not going anywhere. We deserve better treatment options! Birth control is not a long-lasting treatment option. What if we want to have kids? What if BC doesn’t stop or regulate our cycles? We deserve treatment options where the good outweighs the side effects! Laparoscopy and excision surgeries are so outrageously expensive because there are few doctors who actually specialize in this disease. We shouldn’t have to be in medical debt just to pay for one surgery that may or may not work out for us.
Some of us hardly feel any pain, some of us only feel pain when we are on or around our cycle and some of us feel pain 24/7. But we all feel pain! And there is nothing worse than being in excruciating pain and having to explain your illness to a doctor who doesn’t even want to listen to you to begin with.
We deserve more! By me writing these blogs and making YouTube videos, I am speaking out. I’m so tired of waiting and hoping that today might be the day someone presents us with a better treatment option. I am choosing to stand up and speak out! Instead of waiting, I am doing. My voice may be one but if I believe in myself, I know I can be heard. I know I can make an impact in someone’s life. Maybe by me speaking out, it’ll encourage others to do the same. I’m so tired of letting doctors walk all over me. No more!
If you’re dealing with endo or any chronic illness, speak up. Your voice deserves to be heard. You aren’t alone. If anything, you’ll get the weight off your shoulders. Make a video or a blog. Post it! It doesn’t matter how many people read or watch you, what matters is the fact you believed in yourself to take a stand. To realize your story was worth telling. I continue to rise up every day despite the obstacles I face. Yes, you may be in pain every day and yes, it may feel like everything is going against you, but you have a voice – use it. It’s not necessarily a bad day, maybe it’s just bad events happening on a good day! Take a deep breath, smile, conquer. You got this.
This post originally appeared on I’ll Rise Up.
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Thinkstock photo via Drawkman.