(In)visible Scars

These scars are very real to me. They are one of the few physical reminders that I have been living with an “invisible disease." It’s a task I wouldn’t assign to anyone. It’s frustrating as it is painful – but it sure does build character.🙃 💪 As endometriosis is finally entering the ring of medical conversations, I’m hopeful that this disease will finally get the attention it deserves. Endometriosis (endo for short) is invisible in so many ways. Not only is it a disease that doesn’t disfigure its victims on the outside – there is no hair loss, discoloration, change in weight, or any other visible side effect, it’s invisible to medical equipment as well. It doesn’t show up on x-rays, CAT scans or MRI’s. The only way to discover endometriosis is through a laparoscopic, exploratory procedure. It must be physically seen to be diagnosed. But it’s not just invisible in the sense that it’s not easily detected - the most painful part about endo is that it can make those who are suffering feel invisible, too. I have been truly blessed on my journey, having found doctors who believed me (thank you, Dr. Camran Nezhat) when I talked about the excruciating pain I was in. Not only did they listen to me, they wanted to help me relieve my symptoms. I consider myself lucky, as not all women have had the same experience in their walk with endo as I have. They are ignored by their doctors, told that their pain is “normal” or “in their head” or that they’re just exaggerating. They are questioned by their bosses as to why they’re missing work each month. They’re not understood by their female peers. They’re left isolated, alone, helpless, confused… invisible. I want to thank everyone who donated to my birthday fundraiser this year. We were able to raise $200 for the Endometriosis Association (www.endometriosisassn.org). Your donation gives women like me resources. You’ve given us a voice. You’ve given us hope. And most importantly, you’ve made us feel that we’re not invisible. I’m so thankful that we’re continuing to acknowledge this disease and bring it to the forefront of the reproductive health discussion. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction. #invisiblenomore https://www.forbes.com/sites/helenthomson/2017/11/30/shocking-image-of-endometriosis-wins-international-portrait-prize/#72d555b042fb

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