Sunday, March 13, 2016

"The Most Common, Devastating Disease You've Never Heard of", by Shannon Cohn

Start here:

What a great article, finally.
Ah, yes, "It's normal." Or "some women just have bad cramps." We're definitely vomiting and crying to get out of class, that's for making me feel like a hypochondriac and a liar./heavy sarcasm
If your period makes you cancel your plans, miss school, etc, that's NOT F*CKING NORMAL. I don't care if 10 doctors have told you that it is, every single one of them is wrong, I promise. 

Endometriosis isn't rare. (Also, world, it's not a damn typo, so stop underlining it!) There is no cure. It doesn't necessarily damn you to a childless life, if it's caught and excised early. Pregnancy sure as hell doesn't cure it (did you forget the part where we said there was NO CURE?) It has nothing to do with sexual assault. It's frequently misdiagnosed as IBS, because it can have a lot of GI symptoms as well (want me to tell you how much fun it is to feel like there's a fire poker shoved up your rear? Spoiler alert: it's not, and it will more than likely make you cry in public places).

There is such a lack of understanding when it comes to endometriosis. It's not just "bad cramps", and please, for the love of god, do not compare yours to mine. Do not belittle my pain, do not try to make me feel like it's not as bad as it is. Do not make me too scared to tell employers or coworkers because I think they'll think I'm just exaggerating.
Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones. I had excision done 3 years ago by a specialist, and that is literally the only surgery I've ever had to have for it. BUT, I also most likely have adenomyosis (a lovely sister tag-along disease to endo), which means that I HAVE to be on continuous birth control, or else I literally cannot work full shifts when Aunt Flo is in town. I cannot function properly. The pain is mind blowing at times. You don't get used to it, no matter how many years you've been suffering.

The pain was so intense at times I would have hot flashes, then dissolve into a shivering, sweaty mess on my cold bathroom floor." This. Imagine the worst case of the shakes that you've ever had from a hangover, and add a razor-wielding octopus inside your abdomen who is desperately trying to escape.

We do not need pity. We need awareness. We need doctors that actually have a clue what they're talking about. We need parents that are educated. We need school nurses who know how to look for the signs. We need OBGYNs that know when to send you to a specialist instead of carelessly performing a useless surgery on you that does more harm than good. We need people to pay attention, and we need people to LEARN.

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