This week I watched the new documentary on endometriosis: Endo What? with my hubby.
Given the past decade together, he’s seen the impacts of life with endo, but I’m still not sure he completely understands exactly what endometriosis is.
This caused a recent scuffle. It’s difficult living with a condition that is misunderstood, especially by those the closest to us.
At 55 minutes, the film was a way for me to educate him.
I’m grateful that Endo What? came out with an accurate documentary aimed at educating on what endometriosis is, what the myths are, and ways of treating it.
I appreciated that there was a emphasis on diet, stress management and toxic load, and figuring out what’s best for YOUR body.
Awakening Medical Emotions
It didn’t take too long into the film for me to get chocked up.
I watched on screen a reminder of emotions that have continued to awaken inside of me. Emotions related to the experiences in doctor’s offices. Countless trips over the years to the gynecologist.
The stirrups, the paper gown, feeling vulnerable in a cold room. The tools. Scraping.
Even writing this, I can tap back into the sickness in my stomach these memories still hold. I don’t recall a positive experience in that very vulnerable position.
And the last memory was incredibly traumatizing.
The woman that I saw was cold, impatient and rough. I was in the middle of miscarrying and in a great amount of pain – especially after an excruciatingly long internal ultrasound.
“I have endometriosis,” I tried to explain to her. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. The woman didn’t even give me a moment to calm down.
I was literally crawling up that paper-lined bed, pleading with her – please I can’t do the clamps – and she forced them in anyways. As I was clenched and crying.
Wow. Deep breath. That memory lives in me.
I haven’t been back to the gynecologist since. It’s been three years. I haven’t had a pap smear in…. who knows how long. And I have NO desire to.
As I watched Endo What? this week, a lot of those emotions came back. Anger. Distrust. Pain.
Like I said, there hasn’t been a positive experience on that paper-lined table. I feel like it’s all very personal, yet the process of it all isn’t.
The Resistance Runs Deep
One issue brought up in the film was this underlying desire to want to be listened to.
The film explained how many times endometriosis can be detected via symptoms over a physical exam. And Lord knows, those exams HURT.
The procedures, the true vulgarity of spreading open to have metal clamps shoved in…. there I go again. It’s torturous in my mind.
I think there is a physical and emotional pain connected to the experience of visiting the gynecologist. It digs deep.
This resistance circles through me.
I know I’ve been needing to get my thyroid levels checked, for years now, but I haven’t. That would require me to see a new doctor. A new relationship. And for me, that starts with a step of distrust.
One of the last time I had my thyroid levels checked I asked my doctor if my Hashimoto’s diagnosis would impact my fertility and she said flat out, “No.”
That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Your thyroid plays a big role in fertility. Sigh.
I’ve had underlying authority issues through my life. I dislike the idea of someone being in a position to pressure choices that are only band-aids. Damaging drugs.
I suppose I’ve lost faith in receiving any sound advice outside of this. I am skeptical.
On the Positive Side?
A lot of this past medical trauma has come up subconsciously as I’ve been writing my next book based on a leading question: What am I Worth?
I think that writing is a ticket inside. It’s amazing what crops up.
I can tell that this one’s stimulating a bigger unraveling in my healing journey. The pain that’s buried inside needs to be acknowledged, felt and released.
What is it like to live with a condition like endometriosis? And how does that alter this question – What am I worth?
The experiences I’ve had in the doctor’s offices have shaped this. Unfortunately.
It took me 17 years to get a proper diagnosis, and that diagnosis came from my own research. After years of complaining of pain with my periods, not one doctor took the time to listen to that and dig deeper.
Years of not being listened to does impact your subconscious and puts a stamp on that question: What am I worth?
A life of pain? They say it’s normal.
I’m here to say…. it’s not. Thank you Endo What? for spreading that message. I hope you take the time to watch it and share it with as many as you can.
I hope that you too come away from it feeling empowered to take charge of your own health. And I hope that it gets in the hands of gynecologists too 🙂
Do you relate to the ideas of medical trauma living with endometriosis? How has this impacted you? What’s helped you through it?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.