Ask any woman about her personal experience with pain and healthcare, and it is likely that you will hear stories like mine.
In my late teens/early 20s I dealt a lot of pelvic pain and chronic urinary tract infections. You can read more about my story, here. No matter how much I tried to prevent pain or infections from returning, I would still get them. I was constantly battling pelvic pain and the most my doctor did was give me refills on antibiotics and continuously gave me the talk about “proper hygiene”. Not ever, did they want to explore other possibilities to why I was so susceptible to infections and pain. The “wipe front to back” speech got old, really fast. A few years into this pattern, and I unfortunately had a reaction to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, so I finally had enough and asked that I see a urologist.
Chronic illness isn’t new to me. I grew up with an incredibly strong mother living with Lupus/Fibromyalgia/Arthritis. She even had both hips replaced at the same time! I know, what a badass right? One of the earliest memories I have, is trying to swing from my mom’s bed trapeze (the aid to help her sit up in bed). And quickly being told, sternly, that it was not a toy 😛. As a child, I saw glimpses of strength and resilience whenever my mom would walk without an aid, or walk instead of using a wheelchair at an amusement park. I saw my mom have good days and very bad days and because of that, I believe it contributed to developing the strong empathy I have towards others today.