September 22nd, 2021

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A Favorite Author Shares Her Journey With (Rare-ish) Illness

Maggie Stiefvater wrote:

I had to delete so many chapters of the Dreamer Trilogy, right up to the last book, because I was too angry.
Angry that when I got sick, I realized that once I faded to invisibility, the world wouldn’t notice.
Angry that when I first began to explain my illness to the industry, trying to reduce my tour hours, a member of my publishing team replied by sending me an article about an author who’d faked cancer to get sympathy.
Angry that it wasn’t until I collapsed with sky-high potassium and a fading heart on tour that doctors stopped trying to diagnose me with panic disorder or depression...
More at link

Women poured their hearts out in the comments, many with varying forms of autoimmune disorders. Women are, in fact, more susceptible to autoimmune disorders: https://www.verywellhealth.com/why-autoimmune-diseases-affect-more-women-5095040

While I have been blessed to have some really great doctors...

...the not so great ones, the dismissive ones, the ones who are angry with me for being fat because they think that means I don't care about my health and never do anything positive to improve it (and therefore think of me like doctors have come to think of non-vaccinator and non-mask wearers presenting with Covid), the sexist ones who habitually dismiss women as too emotional or outright "hysterical," (no my womb isn't wandering, it's been removed)...all of THOSE doctors are sometimes worse than the effects of my actual illness. I have had suicidal feelings over the way I'm sometimes treated by medical professionals.

I've actually avoided mammograms for the past few years because the last two were made so unpleasant by women who made it obvious they hated having me as a patient and being forced to touch my body. Silent except for absolutely necessary communication, lips in a tight straight line, faces pinched, they made me want to leave before the test was even completed but I knew I'd be charged and my insurance wouldn't pay. I've had warm, delightful women assist me with my mammograms so I know the difference. The test is unpleasant enough, no need to make it worse!

Reading Maggie Stiefvater's thread today inspired me to open a dialog with my ob/gyn about the above mammograms and my fears as well as send an email to the HMO where I had those two mammogram experiences, excerpting the above account.

We need to start talking back instead of falling back on our training to always be nice to people in authority. I don't mean be abusive. I mean asserting ourselves, respectfully but firmly.

I want to be clear that I despise the increasing trend of physically or verbally attacking people in the health care field. The only place that would be appropriate is if you, yourself, are being physically attacked or molested.