March 2009 – Jeanne from Chronic Healing and myself banded together to increase endometriosis awareness. My contribution that month included posts such as:
A media awareness campaign began: My letter to Noah Kotch @ The Today Show
And Jeanne created a petition to increase awareness that continues to be signed. If you have not, please do sign this petition. If you are a blogger, please consider adding the petition to your site. Please spread of the news of this post, all endometriosis awareness posts, and the petition through Facebook and Twitter.
Why do I point out what we did 2 years ago?
Despite our petitions and posts, incorrect information about how endometriosis is diagnosed and treated continue to be disseminated in the media. An appallingly dismal amount of research is being done into the cause of this disease. And women continue to be misdiagnosed by their doctors.
Search terms such as “endometriosis suicide” increase in frequency with little recognition from the health care establishment regarding the impact chronic pain can have on an individual. Chronic pain patients presenting with depression are sometimes treated for the depression and not the pain. This can create a vicious cycle in which the pain never ceases, goes severely under-treated, and the depression fails to respond to treatment and can worsen. This is when search terms linking endometriosis and suicide occur.
I should not have to use one hand, let alone two, to count how many people reach my blog every month using the search term “endometriosis suicide”. I should not have to read heartbreaking e-mails from women who are at the breaking point. Women who are turned away because of their pain, because of their need for answers. These women are fed up and tired of the “take this pill, give it 6 months, and call me if you’re still in pain” regimen. These women are tired of their bodies being cut on and disfigured because there is no final solution for this disease.
Their hearts break because of infertility. Their bank accounts run negative because of costly treatments and surgeries. There are stories of lost wages and termination because of excess time off.
But above all, the most common complaint I have found… “no one understands what I’m going through”.
All of that – that is why we need awareness. And we need it now more than ever.