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In the U.S., Being a Woman Is a Pre-Existing Condition

As I, a 25-year-old woman, write this, I am finally making progress on a 14-year journey to an endometriosis diagnosis.

When I started menstruating at age 11, I knew something wasn’t right. I was bleeding heavily for weeks at a time and in excruciating pain every time I did so. My world felt like it was crashing down around me at the beginning of every period. My lower stomach would bloat to the point I looked several months pregnant. My gastrointestinal tract seemed to nearly stop working altogether.

For years, I would writhe on the floor in pain. At age 14, I had my first (diagnosed) ovarian cyst. It was about seven centimeters in diameter and only diagnosed after hours in the E.R., in a last-minute CT scan before I was supposed to be whisked into exploratory surgery. It was around this time that I started menstruating for 65 days at a time, with only a few days in between cycles.

No doctor could tell me why, nor did they really care. I became anemic and was just told to take iron supplements. No root cause was ever found. I was dismissed by gynecologists and pediatricians because they assumed I wasn’t tolerating my pain well and scolded for missing school due to my menstrual issues – after all, these were “just women’s issues,” and “constipation pain and cramps are not reasons to miss school.” Pill after pill, and even an IUD, couldn’t touch my problems, and only exacerbated my suffering. I wish I could say that my experience is unique. It most certainly is not, and that is unacceptable.

Not a single provider ever thought to ask why I was in such an inordinate amount of pain.

My gender is weaponized against me and used to dismiss me and deny me treatment.

I tried to accept that I wouldn’t have an answer. Then I

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As I, a 25-year-old woman, write this, I am finally making progress on a 14-year journey to an endometriosis diagnosis.
Clinics in Chest Medicine defines wheezing as a whistling or high-pitched, coarse sound when you breathe. It happens when your airway is inflamed or obstructed. As you inhale and exhale, the air vibrates on the swollen lining resulting in a raspy whistling sound, per the article.Usually, you will hear noisy breathing either when you inhale or exhale.

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