NO Money, mo problems
By: Fela M'tima
I'm adding up the numbers. I'm pensively waiting for one more call from the unfamiliar area code to give me more numbers to calculate. Currently, to save my life, (according to a calculator) will cost 19,500 dollars. At 24 years old, I don't have credit which real adults have told me is neither good or bad. I've never owned a credit card or car. The only responsible thing I've owned is my cat and it's a bit iffy on whether or not I'm doing it responsibly most days. I didn't go to college, I don't have loans. But by the time I'm 25 years old, I'll have more debt than an education would cost, the type of education that could excel a career. Instead of a career, I'll have a degree for monotonous surgeries, with a minor in "Why Endometriosis has destroyed my life".
I'm not looking for pity. Sadly, I'm only one out of thousands of women who are desperate to see specialists for Endometriosis and hardly any of them take insurance. Even worse, when you don't have money and can only qualify for Medicaid, you can't be covered out of state. Which would be fine if every state had an endo specialist but they don't. We have Obgyn's that are doing laps everyday and giving women Lupron and sending them on their way. These women will probably have five more surgeries before they finally are able to see a specialist. They say that it takes 7-10 years for a women to get diagnosed, but how many years after does a women go under the knife repeatedly until she has a surgery that puts her in remission? What's the point of pushing that the golden standard is "One Excision Surgery" if our fellow sisters cannot have that surgery.
The bigger issue is not what the proper treatment is, it's how do we get it.
How do I tell young women that have endo symptoms that they will get the treatment they deserve so they don't end up like me and be in a surgery fog through their 20's? Sometimes I wonder if I had been diagnosed at age 13, if I would be in this position now. Would I be trying to raise almost 20, 000 dollars in a desperate rush to save my own life? I'm saddened by the answer. Thanks to the huge lack of awareness, I would of still have had numerous surgeries, I would still have been dismissed in every ER visit I had. The only difference is the time in which it would have happened and for that, I am angry. I am angry that instead of using money to build a life for myself, I am using every penny to save it. I am angry because I am only one out of millions. I am angry because women are smarter than men and we are still being oppressed. The biggest reproductive and auto immune disease is being dismissed and causing women to not purse their full potential. I am angry because I have missed more life in my 20's, then lived.
Don't get me wrong I'll get this money, no matter how large, because that's how I fight. I'll fight to get what I deserve to survive, and then I'll fight for all of you. I'm completely exhausted being hopeful all the time that any of us will get the proper treatments. The time now is to be angry. Take your hormones, join mine, and let's break down the walls of a "woman's disease" and turn it into what it really is. The cancer that doesn't stop your heart from beating but can completely kill the function of every other organ in your body. A systemic disease. A debilitating disease in every aspect.
There should never be a price so large to save a young woman's life, not mine, not yours, not anyone.