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.