Dear Men In Congress, I Have Endometriosis And Birth Control IS My Medicine

Dear Men In Congress, I Have Endometriosis And Birth Control IS My Medicine

And I, and many women, need it.
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As the fight to keep birth control accessible for women becomes more real, many people have emerged believing that you can solve your need for birth control by simply abstaining from sex. And I suppose in their tiny, uneducated brains they see "birth control" and see it as one thing: Controlling birth. But despite its misleading name, birth control serves as a medicine that some women truly could not live without... So don't make us.

I suffer from endometriosis, along with about 1 in every 10 women and girls in the US. Endometriosis comes along with painful intercourse, digestive issues, excruciating cramps, ovarian cysts and a wealth of other symptoms. There are women who may never know they have it, and women who are controlled by it every day of their lives. There is no cure for endometriosis, only maintenance. And that maintenance is, you guessed it: Birth control.

In June of 2016, I underwent surgery for my endometriosis. Immediately afterward, I was put on continuous birth control. The goal of this is to not give my body any time to allow the lesions to grow back. Untreated, it can grow back and require additional surgeries to continue removing it. With no cure, maintenance with birth control is a lot of endo patients' best bet.

There are days when, even treated, I get cramps so bad that I throw up. I've had to leave social gatherings to go home, curl up and cry. I've had an additional surgery that was a result of a complication from my endometriosis. I've been in the ER twice for debilitating pain from rupturing ovarian cysts. I've attended pelvic floor physical therapy for pain. I've had to sit through class and meetings in such severe pain I thought I was going to pass out.

These happen while I'm being using the best treatment modern medicine has to offer at this time, so I fear: What if this is taken away?

Sure, everything listed above is HARD. It makes life hard sometimes. But because of the medicine I take (yes, medicine), more of my life is pain-free than not. I am able to live a mostly normal life with this chronic illness. If my one source of treatment was taken away, what would that mean for me? More time holding in tears from cramps ripping through my body? Throwing up in more parking lots after crying the whole way home? More cysts and pain and complications? Why do I have to lose my access to what keeps me some semblance of healthy because another function of the drug is to prevent pregnancy?

And this does not even necessarily pertain to ME, as I believe without insurance covering my birth control myself and my family could and would still find a way to access it.

This is for the women who CAN'T, whose lives would quite seriously turn into a living hell of pain if their insurance no longer covered their medicine.

This is for all of the women living with endo or PCOS or any other debilitating disease that's primary source of treatment is with birth control.

The fact of the matter is, for some women, the insurance coverage of birth control will solely be to prevent pregnancy. But I beg of you not to be so thrown off by that truth that you would rather let millions of women live in excruciating pain.

Remaining abstinent and "not opening our knees" isn't going to solve this.

What is going to solve this, or at the very least assist in making life more tolerable, is birth control. And we are begging you to understand that.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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The Debate Over Legalizing Assisted Suicide

Do we as humans reserve the right to choose when we die, and if someone assists that, is it considered murder?
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The debate on whether we should legalize assisted-suicide or not has been a hot one for quite some time now. With people on both ends voicing quite convincing arguments, it becomes blurry on what I feel is the best option.

One of the arguments in favor of assisted suicide is that we have the right not to suffer. Essentially, if a patient has been diagnosed and the prognosis doesn’t seem to be good, they should be able to decide when they die rather than living out their life in pain.

Another argument is that a person should be able to decide what is best for themselves over a government official. Using the same scenario as before, if a person is near death as it is, how can someone else feel they know what is best for them when it isn't their body?

People in favor of this understand that death is a personal rather than social experience and needs to be treated as such.

Another aspect considered is the cost of "living". It has been shown that paying for the medication to assist in a suicide is far less expensive than it is to continue care. The money that is saved could be distributed out into programs that need better budgets.

While there are many arguments for it, there are just as many that are against. One of which is that making it legal could unwillingly cause a social divide between different economic areas, racial backgrounds, and other demographics. While this may seem irrelevant to the issue, it has shown areas in which this could be true.

Generally, a person from a much lower economic background will not have the same medical care as someone from a higher economic status. Two people could have had the same exact disease; however, one of them may have greater access to healthcare opportunities. Because of this, the individual of lower economic status faces the decision to live in pain or take themselves out of pain, while the other can live out life in comfort.

Another argument against assisted suicide is due to religion. Some feel that it is an act of trying to play "God". They say that if it is Gods will for someone to die, then they will. Otherwise, they will live no matter the circumstance.

After reading the arguments and seeing the different sides of the issue, I feel that it should be legalized under strict guidelines. If a person has been diagnosed with a fatal disease that causes them pain, in which they cannot be cured, they should be able to choose this after having gone through a psychological examination. I don’t believe that a person who has had a bad day should be able to choose this, but it shouldn’t be made illegal where those who truly need it cannot get it.

Cover Image Credit: freestocks.org

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