Today we celebrate International Women’s Day.
I’ve got to confess that I went to bed last night so disgusted with all things that I wasn’t planning to write a post this morning.
But I woke up feeling good…and that got me thinking about the medical journey I took to get to feeling good…which made me wonder about some of the women I met along the way…and then I couldn’t stop thinking about the women I didn’t meet.
I spent over a decade under treatment for endometriosis and uterine fibroids…over ten years battling pain, exhaustion, anemia, and health insurance companies.
And I’m among the lucky few.
In 2001, I was able to opt for surgery to remove tumors because I was confident in my ability to maintain long-term treatment due to insurance coverage…even though four separate health insurance companies suffered from the same confusion over why a woman would ever want to treat endometriosis or fibroids for reasons other than fertility.
But I’m lucky to be able to bitch about that.
I met a lot of women in waiting rooms…women like me who wanted options beyond when to schedule their hysterectomy and other women who wanted to get pregnant despite the odds.
We were the lucky one’s…wrestling with doctors, insurance companies, pharmacies, and friends or family members oozing well meaning poorly timed advice.
When I had a hysterectomy a little over a year ago I had it on my terms, having run my course of treatment to that end. I had surgery after consulting with my doctor and (prepare to be shocked, y’all) without a single legislator in the room.
And I woke up today feeling good and knowing how damn lucky I am to feel this way.
This International Women’s Day I’m thinking about the women I didn’t meet in those many waiting rooms or at the pharmacy…women who didn’t have choices or treatment options because we’re still debating whether birth control is the tool of the devil when we should be celebrating increased access without co-pays and then pushing to expand access even more.
I know I am and I know that there isn’t a damn thing right about that.
Because there are empty seats in too many waiting rooms.
Feeling good shouldn’t be about luck.
Because there are women trying to work through the pain.
Being healthy isn’t a privilege.
Because birth control is health care.
And this struggle continues for the women I didn’t meet along the way.
Happy International Women’s Day.