Blossom Ball 2018 - Lena Dunham

Blossom Ball 2018 - Lena Dunham

- I was twelve, hadn't yet gotten my period. I was starting to experience some of the symptoms of puberty. I was at a state fair with my best friend, we were getting matching friendship necklaces, we were eating cotton candy and suddenly, I experienced the most searing pain and I literally just fell to he ground. My parents took me to the local emergency room where there made sure I didn't have appendicitis and sent me home and said "we think she has food poisoning". I just, I had been taught to trust doctors and I thought, you know I won't go to the state fair again. Now I understand that that was the first time I had a severe endometriosis flare up. I think the hardest part about the fact that one in ten women have endometriosis and yet so few people know what it is, is that you don't know that you have a community. There are other women who can speak to your symptoms, who can offer advice, who can share their own experience. I didn't have any of those voices for many, many, many years and I didn't have a diagnosis for many, many, many years because I didn't know anyone else who had a diagnosis. When I tell people that I had a hysterectomy for endometriosis I say to them, it's a painful choice but if I wanted to be a mother, which I do, there was no way that I was going to be able to be a parent with the level of pain that endometriosis was causing, and that hysterectomy, in many ways, freed me. We all understood that there was no way that I was going to achieve the things that I wanted to achieve or was meant to achieve if that hysterectomy didn't happen, and I hope that for so many women that they get an early enough diagnosis that they never even have to ask themself that question. You shouldn't be thirty-one years old and wondering if you should be keeping your uterus in your body. You should be thirty-one years old just starting to think about the journey of what your life is gonna look like. For young girls who are having their first experience of flare up, you may not understand what's going on. You may think that this is what a period feels like, and nobody properly warned you, your friends may treat you like you're overreacting. I wish that I could be there advocating for you. The fact is, that you have to keep talking until somebody hears you. If your doctor is not listening, you go to a different doctor. And you can actually ask for what you need and you can tell the doctor, "I don't feel like you understand what's wrong with me, I do not feel heard, I do no feel properly treated, and it is your job as my doctor to give me that".