I was supposed to have written this post a few weeks ago (February 9th-15th oops). OK.
So here it goes; Pick one of the goals of the Million Women March and write about how it would change the lives of endo patients. These are the goals; EMPOWER, EDUCATE and EFFECT. I chose Educate.
During this first week of Endometriosis Awareness Month, I’ve been wearing yellow, in some way, every day(mainly, my nails are bright yellow, a real conversation piece). There were two women who admitted to me that they have endo too. Both seem to have no issues now. Both have children and both seem to be in or nearing menopause. This was the kind of woman I was hoping to be. I wanted so badly to have that baby, have the endo go away and then go through menopause and be done with it. Well, that wasn’t the plan for me, or for most of the brave women I now call my sisters. We’d still be in a world where no one talked about endometriosis and pregnancy and hysterectomy would still be considered proper treatment. Yeah, get your heads out of your behinds docs!!
I felt great telling people about endo this week. Of course not too many men asked about my nails, but the ones that did, learned the word endometriosis. One of them actually wanted to know more! The more we talk about it with regular folks, the better. Yes, I’ve gotten some looks and eye rolls, but I’m educating my community a little bit. I can’t do all that I want to at work, I have a dress code and have very little time with customers. Facebook and Twitter have been on fire with Endo posts. I’m sure I will lose a few “friends” over this that don’t want to know about it, but to each their own. I’m so proud of everyone. I’ve read some intense stories and symptoms on Facebook this week. There’s a 31 day endochallenge going on on Facebook as well. I thought about participating, but I knew I’d be slacking (kind of like I have with this here blog. There will be a post on that at another time).
Mostly, we need to educate the doctors and nurses! School nurses, most of whom usually sent us back to class after an aspirin because they thought we were faking it to get out of Gym class or Biology, they need a lesson in endometriosis. They need to be taught in Nursing school that painful periods are NOT normal! They just aren’t! As for the doctors, what can I say? They really do need continuing education requirements, maybe they can be regulated by the states? Just to learn the latest on diseases and treatments. Seriously, the way they used to treat certain cancers 5 years ago is different than the way the treat it now. If not different, they are now aware of which treatments work best, right? What about surgeries? Surgical techniques are constantly changing and evolving. What they did a few years ago, they can do so much quicker, cleaner and less invasive than they did. For example, one of the gynecologists I had surgery with, an old fashioned guy, cut me open, practically from hip to hip, to detach my organs from my uterus and take out the cyst that had wrapped around everything inside, causing me tremendous issues with eating. After seeking a new doctor, three surgeons all told me that was very unnecessary, it could’ve been done by laparoscopy. Yeah thanks for that extra scar tissue, which after a few years, still causes me pain.
We need these gynecologists to learn excision techniques. I’ve had 7 surgeries in a little over 3 years, there’s something very wrong with this!
Parents need to know so they can talk to their daughters about endometriosis. Families need to talk about it. Grandmothers should be able to tell their grandchildren about how they coped. Yes, I just found out my grandmother had endometriosis. There may be a blog about that one day soon. Oh and a few folks in my family had said it was all in her head! Not going to get started on that now.
Anyway, We are already Empowering ourselves and others to stand up and spread the word. Flash mobs are going on, you tube videos, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram too, we aren’t going away. We will be heard. In 5 days, we will be noticed in Washington DC and around the world. That will Effect us all!