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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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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Gambling Is Fun For The Adrenaline Rush It Gives You, But Be Careful Not To Become Addicted

Last week, I had the pleasure of feeding $500 into the greedy slot machines on the Vegas Strip. I now see why gambling is a sin.

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Last week, I had the pleasure of feeding $500 into the greedy slot machines on the Vegas Strip. I now see why gambling is a sin.

Surprisingly, my dignity is still intact and let me tell you why. Even though all my money quenched the thirst of the desperate machines, it was all in good fun. I can't deny that my days in Vegas were beyond amazing, so I don't regret my gambling defeat. But best of all, I got to see the insane nature of serious gamblers which was truly a breathtaking experience. Literally breathtaking... if you inhaled long enough you would be lungs deep in cigarette smoke.

The locals there genuinely believed that they would be paying next month's rent by gambling. My favorite experience had to be at the hotel which we stayed at, the Mirage. It was around midnight when we spotted a half dressed, drunk man in the lobby waiting for help because he lost everything he had in his wallet. Which, unfortunately, was thousands.

But hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And sadly, for many, the only thing that stayed was their money. Myself included.

I do praise the confidence of gamblers, since I too fell into the trap of thinking I was a millionaire after one slot spin. But luckily I had nothing to lose. My family collectively lost about $500, and fortunately, only $50 was mine. Meanwhile, we have people pouring a thousand dollars into those machines hoping for a nonexistent miracle. When in reality the slots are "rigged" to always eat up your money and sanity.

All losses aside, I now understand why people stay on the floor even after they go bankrupt. Gambling is all about the addictive adrenaline that rushes through you when you use those money hungry slot machines. Regardless of the ample losses I took on vacation, it was definitely worth the experience. Gambling on the Vegas Strip was one of the most insane experiences I've ever had, and I am glad I contributed to the Mirage's funds.

Till next time, Vegas... when I'm actually legal.

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