A long time ago, I heard a story about a pregnant woman who had a “funny” feeling about her baby. She was almost due to give birth, so she went to the hospital and pleaded the doctors to do a scan—you know, check her baby. Eventually they did, but they didn’t even study the scan properly because they all thought she was hormonal and overthinking. Sadly, by the time she went to the delivery room on her expected delivery date, her baby had died in her stomach. In fact, the baby had been dead for a week, the exact time she had gone to the hospital to ask for help. I know it’s a horrible story and every time I think about it, my heart breaks a little
Now let me tell another story. It’s not that I’m trying to sound morbid o, but there’s an important point to be made. Recently, I heard a story of a girl who had a severe stomachache—she could barely eat without throwing up. Each time she went to a doctor, it was a male doctor who was quick to dismiss her pain. The doctor told her she was exaggerating the pain because she wanted pain killers to get high on. And, when she brought up her inability to eat, he said, well, if she can’t eat, it is a good thing since she’s on the fat side. Can you imagine? Fam! You hear some stories, and you feel like giving someone a dirty slap. Thankfully we are not violent on these streets.
Okay, back to the girl. She knew that something was wrong, so she kept trying different doctors, but they all said the same thing. Finally, (thank God o!) she found a woman doctor in another state who listened and found out she had stomach cancer. She was able to get treatment quickly and healed. Imagine if she had decided to manage her pain? Omo!
See, this article is not a crusade against doctors o. Doctors are great, I love them, especially the ones that are good looking and know what they are doing. Lol. But you have to love your neighbor as yourself, or in this case, your doctor as yourself. What I am saying is this: As a woman, you must shine your eye, medically speaking. We’ve heard too many stories of doctors that dismissed feminine concerns. It’s not just in the Boardroom or marketplace that you have to speak up for yourself. Yet, we know our bodies better than anybody. You have to trust your gut even in the face of experts, no matter how many degrees the person has. If something is wrong, there’s a way your body alerts you, and sometimes doctors dismiss those concerns because it’s not in the medical books or they think the woman is faking or exaggerating. For example, I know that I get really heavy bleeding when I take lots of sugary foods and drink before my period. Still, according to doctors, there’s no correlation between sugar and periods, but many women have the same experience. Too much sugar = excess bleeding.
Finally, by self-advocacy, I don’t mean Google o. I mean getting a second opinion, insisting on getting tested. And please, sisters, no more shying away from medical tests. They are painful and expensive, but with the kind of glorious future you have ahead of you, there is no better way to invest in yourself.
Cheers to a long and health life!