An Open Letter To The Doctor Who Accused Me Of Being Emotional
You’re the fourth gynecologist I’ve seen in a year. The first couple told me my pain was normal. One even told me the pain was in my head. The pain that leaves me crumpled in bed unable to move, talk or do anything other than lay in a ball waiting for it to pass.
My pain started when I got my first period. I was too young to know that it wasn’t normal so I lived with it until I went on the pill. Then came the migraines with every period. This was the first time a doctor dismissed me. I was told to drink more water.... to deal with migraines. When I pushed enough the doctor told me to just skip my periods. So I took her advice and started skipping periods. Then my body got louder. It would not be silenced like that and after 6 months of skipping periods mine came back with a vengeance.
That’s when I stopped the pill. And magically the migraines stopped too. But that’s also when the pain started again. I still thought it was normal period pain until a year ago when I got an IUD. After which I couldn’t get out of bed for 6 weeks. After which I couldn’t have sex with my husband without pain. After which I would fall from dizzy spells.
You had me fooled at first. When you first used the E word. When you validated my years of pain. I thought I had found an ally. A doctor who believed me about my own body. I started to feel in control.
Then you started pushing the birth control. And acted like my questions were childish. I saw your condescension, you didn’t do much to hide it. Then you told me I was letting my emotions make the decision for me.
This was my final straw.
If you’d been through what I have you would be emotional, too. I know my body. I live in it every day. I apply the heating packs and make up excuses when I can’t get out of bed. I fight for answers and to be taken seriously by doctors. I experience the helpless feeling of chronic pain, extreme fatigue and dizziness after getting an IUD.
So yes, I am emotional in these decisions. But I am also strong, and I am smart. I am an advocate for myself. This is my experience and my body and my reproductive system. Your years of training do not give you the right to diminish my experience.
And no, I’m not going to get another IUD or go back on the pill. I’m not going to put a quick fix bandaid on this problem only to cause a list of other “minor side effects” (as you put it). I’m going to keep advocating for myself and healing my body.
I guess this means on to doctor #5. Thanks for the unconfirmed endometriosis diagnosis, my emotions and I will take it from here.