Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Womens Pain by Abby NormanFor any woman who has experienced illness, chronic pain, or endometriosis comes an inspiring memoir advocating for recognition of womens health issues
In the fall of 2010, Abby Normans strong dancers body dropped forty pounds and gray hairs began to sprout from her temples. She was repeatedly hospitalized in excruciating pain, but the doctors insisted it was a urinary tract infection and sent her home with antibiotics. Unable to get out of bed, much less attend class, Norman dropped out of college and embarked on what would become a years-long journey to discover what was wrong with her. It wasnt until she took matters into her own hands--securing a job in a hospital and educating herself over lunchtime reading in the medical library--that she found an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.
In Ask Me About My Uterus, Norman describes what it was like to have her pain dismissed, to be told it was all in her head, only to be taken seriously when she was accompanied by a boyfriend who confirmed that her sexual performance was, indeed, compromised. Putting her own trials into a broader historical, sociocultural, and political context, Norman shows that womens bodies have long been the battleground of a never-ending war for power, control, medical knowledge, and truth. Its time to refute the belief that being a woman is a preexisting condition.
Ask Me About My Uterus
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Nation Books. In the s, in their quest to devise an objective pain scale , Cornell University researchers poked an increasingly hot metal rod into the hands of 13 women in the throes of childbirth. The volunteers were supposed to express how each level of heat compared with the others. But as labor progressed and the rod got hotter, they were in too much distress and quite possibly distracted with other kinds of pain to grapple with adjectives. A 7 on a scale of 10? And therein lies the conundrum.
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Something I have a hard time thinking about and quantifying is how many times I will menstruate in my life. I got my first period when I was in eighth grade. I was late among most of the girls I knew. I would go on to have irregular and painful periods all throughout high school. When I started birth control around 18, they at least became predictable, but I was still in pain.