Doctors Repeatedly Fail Women in America

Doctors In America Fail Women, Consistently, Repeatedly — I've Been One Of Them

We can do so much better, America. We really can.

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I was born female. I regret that. I know many people who roll their eyes when I speak on my issue but as someone who has lived in a female body for about 19 years now (and would not if the choice had been given) I have learned one thing: doctors hate listening to women. The most frustrating thing I hear so often in doctor's offices when discussing my pain is to just wait it out. Give it a couple days or "get used to it."

I have gender dysphoria that I am in the midst of getting diagnosed and recognized. I went on birth control to stop my periods and since I saw spotting, I freaked out. I felt it was not working so I went to taking the pill twice a day for nearly a month, when my body reacted negatively and began spotting, I freaked out. I decided what I was doing was wrong and went to taking the pill once a day as I was supposed to. It was then that my body did a full 180 freak out. I began pouring blood, more than I ever had in my entire life. I called hospitals and asked if I would be able to come in, only for them to tell me I "already had to be a patient here" to enter. I called OBGYNs near me also being informed I "had to already be an existing patient."

I strongly considered walking into the hospital even though I was aware that the womens' ward on my nearest hospital mostly dealt with babies being born, prenatal care, and inducing labor. I was terrified of walking into the emergency room and being laughed at, having the whole thing chalked up to nothing more than a heavy period or period pains even though it was, in essence, a birth control overdose. I was terrified and receiving little to no help. The only place I was actually able to get an appointment to was Planned Parenthood.

I had never really thought much of the American healthcare system until this point. I mean, I was insured under my parents, I had a decent amount of money (although no care) and I did not see why a practice would not want to schedule patients, was that not... their job? It seemed to be like healthcare is a privilege in America, if you do not already have a regular OBGYN, primary care physician, lots of money, and an insurance that is willing to cover every single procedure you have then you can just bleed, you can just hurt, you can be ill, you can just die.

If it weren't for Planned Parenthood, an organization that the Trump administration is forever seeking to tear down, I do not know if I would ever have gotten any sort of appointment. I would be (and still am) left to wait it out and just hope my body heals itself. My university OBGYN and Planned Parenthood was my only hope.

It baffled me that I was actively turned away time and time again by the very people who were supposed to help me. I'm currently confused and bleeding and not a single person seems willing to help. It was during this time that I became truly horrified and saddened by the state of the American healthcare system. There is no real basis of understanding for people who just want care, just want to know what's going on with their bodies, or just want to get better.

I plan on posting an update soon to this article on how my OBGYN appointments went (if I can ever get one, a special thanks to Planned Parenthood for being the only organization to come through) and if my ailments are ever to stop. We can do so much better, America. We really can.

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An Open Letter From The Plus-Size Girl

It's OK not to be perfect. Life is more fun that way.

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To whoever is reading this,

My entire life has been a juggling match between my weight and the world. Since I was a young girl every single doctor my family took me to, told me I needed to lose weight. The searing pain of those words still stabs me in the side to this day. I have walked past stores like Hollister and American Eagle since I was 13.

Being plus-size means watching girls the same age as you or older walk into a store that sells the cutest, in style clothing and you having to walk into a store that sells clothes that are very out of style for a young girl. Being plus-size means being picked last in gym class, even if you love sports.

Being plus-size means feeling like you have to suck it in in pictures so you don't look as big next to your friends. Being plus-size means constantly thinking people are staring at you, even if they aren't.

The number on the scale haunts me. Every single time I think about the number I cringe.

Can I just say how going shopping is an absolute nightmare? If you haven't noticed, in almost every store (that even has plus sizes to begin with) plus-size clothing is closed off and secluded from the rest of the store. For example, Forever 21, There are walls around every side of the plus "department."

Macy's plus department is in the basement, all the way in the back corner. We get it that we are not what society wants us to look like but throwing us in a corner isn't going to change the statistics in America today. That being that 67% of American women are plus-size.

My life is a double-digit number being carved into my jiggly arms and thunder thighs. It is me constantly wanting to dress cute but turning to running shorts and a gigantic sweatshirt instead so that people don't judge me on my size.

It is time that the American society stops making plus size look like a curse. It will never be a curse. If every person was the same size, what would be the point of uniqueness? I will never despise who I am because while I was growing up multiple people told me that I needed to be a size 6 in order for a guy to fall in love with me. I will never hate myself for getting dressed up and being confident.

To all the girls reading this who may be plus-size,

It's OK! You're beautiful and lovable. If you want to buy that crop top, buy it. Life is too short to hide behind a baggy T-shirt. We are just as gorgeous as the girls that we envy. Be the one to change the opinion of the world. Fat rolls don't need to be embarrassing. Your stretch marks are beautiful. Don't ever let the world tell you not to eat that cheeseburger either.

In the end, this earthly life is temporary. We are on this earth for a blink of an eye. Don't let anything stand in your way. Wear the bikini, the crop top, and the short shorts. Post the sassy selfie you've had on your phone for 6 months and you won't post because you have a double chin or your head looks "too big." Who cares. BE YOU and love yourself while you're at it.

I'll start.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Hockmeyer

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Knowing

A wake-up call.

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"How they make you feel says a lot about them, and nothing about you.

Trust me when I say, someone who makes you question if you are worthy of being loved is not worthy of being loved by you."

- Bianca Sparacino

I saw the above quote in an Instagram post, and it really spoke volumes to me.

The importance of "knowing your worth" is something I always stress to people, but I've often found that I wasn't quite heeding my own advice. It often took a wake-up call for me to realize that. And that wake-up call would often lead to guilt. It would lead to staying up at an ungodly hour thinking things over, and about what I could have done differently. It would lead to constantly asking myself how I allowed things to continue the way I had. It would lead to self-blame, and I'd often start asking myself why I wasn't worth it.

But I am worth it.

And so are you.

And if that isn't being recognized, then it's time to pack up. Because you deserve better - whether that's increased effort, improved communication, whatever else you may (and damn well should) expect. And asking for any of that is not asking too much.

But this article isn't only about knowing your worth. It's about "knowing" in general. It's about anything in your life that needs to be figured out. There are going to be times in your life that you're stuck between two (or more) options, and you don't know which is the best one. Sometimes, weighing out the pros and the cons just doesn't cut it.

So, you may not know which way to go right now. And that's okay. You're not going to be 100% certain on everything right away. The important things take time. It's all in how you act once you figure things out for yourself. This goes for "knowing" anything. Knowing whether or not something should be pursued. Knowing when it's best to walk away. You name it.

But in figuring it out, don't make excuses for yourself and/or others. You don't know how anyone other than yourself is going to act/react in any scenario - nor will you ever. Assuming that you know everything about anyone/everyone involved is unfair and just overall wrong. So definitely keep that in mind before/while thinking out any potential outcomes.

If you're trying to reach a decision, do NOT simply choose the easy way out. How many times have you heard something along the lines of "the right choice isn't always the easy one?" News flash - it's not just a cheesy mantra. Almost nothing that's truly worth it is easy. If "I don't know" is looking to be a "no," that's okay. That's just how it is sometimes. But if that decision is being made purely because going the "yes" route would be more difficult, reevaluate.

And when you DO finally figure things out:

If you "know," do not proceed to act as if you don't. Don't let others continue to believe that you haven't reached a decision, especially those who are relevant to whatever you just figured out. And if you're asked about it, don't lie and say that you're still unsure. That could potentially be damaging to everyone involved, including yourself. Dishonesty is outright disrespectful, and it's unfair to you and those you are dishonest to. Think: how much do you really care if you're willing to lie? Did you ever really care at all?

When you figure out whatever you've been thinking over, be honest with yourself and all who are involved. Even if it's bad news. Yes, it will suck at first - but the truth always comes out one way or another, so it's best to acknowledge it early on. Especially if it's not an issue pertaining only to you. Dragging things out is the worst thing you could possibly do. You may be choosing to do so because you're worried about how the truth will impact him/her/them... well, I can guarantee you, based off personal experience, that every day you put it off will make your truth hurt a hundred times more. Please, give those who are involved in your particular situation the decency of honesty.

I don't know about you, but I hate uncertainty more than almost anything. It's scary, and often very frustrating. I avoid uncertainty at almost all costs, simply because I hate it so much. But I've put myself in situations of uncertainty if I truly saw potential. Has that come back to bite me in the ass? At times, absolutely. But each time, I learn a little more about myself. And I guess that's the point.

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