Endometriosis Awareness Month 2021

Endometriosis Awareness Month – March 2021

Ending the pain for millions of women and teens

Want respect? Speak up!

YOU hold the key to ending the scandalous treatment so many millions are subjected to worldwide.

Even if you are stuck at home during this pandemic you can take action against this disdainful treatment with a straightforward letter, as a former patient, to healthcare providers who were dismissive.  No anger please—it just makes people defensive.  Write something like, I came to you with these symptoms and you told me they were normal (or whatever).  Since then I was diagnosed with endometriosis—I lost a job because of it, husband or partner walked out due to pain with sex and/or constant sickness, have been unable to have a child, (or however it affected you).  Without anger, ask the physician(s) to please not tell girls and women what you were told.  They can learn more at the website of the Alliance for Endometriosis —allianceforendo.com.

And let those who listened and helped you know also.  Thank them and they’ll tune into endo even more.

Taking this action will be psychologically healing for you and that physician may become more attuned to endometriosis. Please share a copy of your letter with us (a cc on the bottom of the letter or email has even more impact).  Do NOT do this in person or on the phone – it doesn’t allow the recipient the opportunity to calmly consider the contents before reacting.

Your donations and voice make a difference—fighting back, asserting your dignity, validates to yourself and others that you do indeed deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  And you make a difference for others, too—you may save that frightened teen girl from being treated badly when she most needs help.  You may save a woman like our member N., who had been treated so badly by doctors that she refused to seek medical attention even as a cyst was enlarging inside her.  She died from the ovarian cancer.

Now is the time to stand up for ourselves! Write your letter today.

Example Letter #1

Dear Dr. N.:

You may not remember me, but my name is G.R. and I was your patient back in 2016.  At the time, I was experiencing excruciating pain in my pelvic area that was misdiagnosed as chronic constipation.  I came to you with these symptoms and you prescribed me medications based on your diagnosis of chronic constipation.  The medicine did not work and the last appointment I had with you, you stated you didn’t know what else it could be and would refer me to a surgeon.  I felt defeated after this appointment and felt like I would have to live with that pain for the rest of my life.

I didn’t hear back from you.  However, since then, I was diagnosed with endometriosis.  I had to have four surgeries that literally changed my life….  Please do not tell little girls and women that you do not know what else to do.  Please refer them to a Gynecologist or a specialist that is familiar with endometriosis.  You can also tell them to contact the Endometriosis Association at endo@EndometriosisAssn.org for more information.

Sincerely,

G.R.

cc:        Mary Lou Ballweg, President/Executive Director

Endometriosis Association International Headquarters

Example Letter #2

Dear Dr. Savior,

Thank you for greeting me with a non-judgmental approach that I will never forget. Thank you for greeting me with knowledge that others before you did not possess. Thank you for answering my call, thank you for giving me the tears that came out of relief; relief that I may finally be free from this pain.”

Kristen T.

 

Editor’s note: Kristin’s letter, along with letters to Dr. Dismissive, Dr. Uninformed, and Dr. Healer, appeared in “Tight Lipped Zine Vol. 1. Order the Tight Lipped Zine.

Example Letter #3

Dr. S.B.

I am writing to bring attention to the treatment I received from you when I was a patient of yours in 2016.

During the months that I sought your help, I suffered from an assortment of endometriosis symptoms that caused me great pain and mental anguish. My first appointment with you was on August 2, 2016. On September 28, after a variety of tests, we moved forward with a laparoscopic procedure. It was during that procedure when you found stage one endometriosis and removed it via ablation. From there, we began Zoladex injections. Soon thereafter, I started experiencing terrible side effects. I stayed bloated, constipated, tired, and suffered from severe depression, which are Zoladex side effects.

I was suffering so badly; my mom came to stay with me. In fact, she came with me to my February 3, 2017 appointment with you where I sobbed to you in your office as I described all the symptoms I was suffering from. You wrote me a prescription for water pills for the bloating and told me to look into seeing a psychiatrist. During another visit, you suggested I “go out there and get pregnant” to get rid of the symptoms. Mind you, I was single and that is not an endometriosis solution.

Anyway, I felt completely ignored, dismissed, and humiliated by your dismissive behavior toward my suffering and plight. So much so that I never came back to see you and began to give up. I thought if my own doctor isn’t going to listen, take me seriously, and really help me then no one will.

A few months went by and I was a complete mess. My endometriosis symptoms came right back – bleeding, cramping, bloating, migraines, backaches, spotting; the constipation, lack of energy and tiredness, and severe depression were still there, but much worse. Thankfully, I never gave up on myself and sought out someone with endometriosis experience. Dr. B. was thoughtful and professional toward me, listened to my symptoms and reviewed the medical records. We decided to move forward with another laparoscopic procedure. On August 16, 2017, almost a year since my surgery with you, my second laparoscopic procedure was performed. This time, Dr. B. found stage four endometriosis and removed it via excision. He also helped me with a post-surgery plan to help me keep the endometriosis at bay.

Since then, I have joined many endometriosis support groups, become an Ambassador for the Endometriosis Association, and become active in endometriosis education.

I had a hysterectomy in August 2020 and work with a holistic doctor to take vitamins and herbs to manage my symptoms, not hormones or other medicines because they mess with me mentally and physically. Regardless of the hysterectomy, endometriosis can come back.

The goal of my letter to you is to be heard and acknowledged, but my letter also coincides with March, which is Endometriosis Awareness Month. I wanted to use this month to make you aware of how you made me feel. I hope that since I saw you, you have softened and treated women with endometriosis better than you treated me. This illness is not a joke. It affects every aspect of our lives and we look to you for help. Please take it seriously.

Sincerely,

Lindsey

cc: Endometriosis Association International Headquarters

Editor’s note: Lindsey said writing this letter took a weight off her.

PROCLAMATION FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS AWARENESS MONTH

Whereas endometriosis is a complex hormonal and immune chronic disease causing multiple symptoms, including pain, which disrupt the lives of an estimated 89 million women and girls worldwide;

Whereas there is no known cure for endometriosis and treatments are often problematic;

Whereas lack of knowledge of the disease combined with stigma causes an average delay of ten years from onset of symptoms to diagnosis;

Whereas women, girls with endometriosis and their families have been shown to be at greater risk for 12 cancers, 7 autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases, and heart disease;

Whereas there is a great need for further awareness, education, and research on endometriosis and its related health disorders;

Whereas the Endometriosis Association is a nonprofit charity, founded in 1980, providing support for families affected by endometriosis, education about the disease, and research on the disease;

Whereas the Endometriosis Association began March, Endometriosis Awareness Month in 1993 and has seen it develop into a worldwide observance;

NOW THERFORE, we do hereby declare March, 2021, as Endometriosis Awareness Month.

WANT TO ADD SOMETHING BESIDES A MASK TO YOUR WARDROBE? HOW ABOUT A STATEMENT…

I have endo and it matters!
Wear the Endometriosis Awareness Month ribbon or sticker that says “Ask me about endo” during March.
Click here to order ribbons, stickers and yellow brochures.
Or
Call 1(800) 992-3636

Spread the word

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