March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Author and endometriosis patient Samantha Bowick has written articles revolving around important questions and information about endometriosis. Her new book Living with Endometriosis: The Complete Guide to Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatment Options is out on April 24, 2018.
Standard of Care for Endometriosis Patients
The standard of care for endometriosis patients is in need of drastic improvement. Patients go to emergency rooms because they are in so much pain, only to be turned away because emergency room doctors do not know enough about the disease or think patients are only there seeking drugs. Either way, this is awful; patients suffering with the debilitating pain of endometriosis need to be taken seriously by all medical professionals and receive the best possible care.
Many patients, when trying to get an emergency appointment with a gynecologist, are brushed off, told to call back the next business day to follow up because their disease is technically not life threatening. As a result, they are not given any form of treatment or have any tests done. Yet through it all, the pain of endometriosis remains excruciating, making it difficult to do the sorts of daily tasks that other people do without thinking. Taking a shower, cooking, and driving are just a few of the many tasks that women suffering with endometriosis may have to put on hold because of the amount of pain they are in.
Unfortunately, it can take women with the disease anywhere from seven to ten years to be properly diagnosed with endometriosis. They may also be misdiagnosed with different illnesses, when in reality, they are suffering from endometriosis. This is because, despite as many as 176 million women worldwide suffering with the disease, medical professionals are still not being taught about endometriosis during their college curriculum.
Women should not have to endure multiple surgeries or have drastic procedures, such as a hysterectomy, in hopes that their pain will diminish. Having one or more surgeries each year is invasive, costly, and can create more scar tissue for the patient. If more physicians were taught about endometriosis and how to excise the disease during surgery, these measures would not need to be taken and multiple surgeries and removal of organs would not have to take place. Even those women who are able to work with endometriosis are forced to take time off to recover from surgery, which can cost them their job, especially if they have to have multiple surgeries. And all of this is on top of the many risks that come with having anesthesia numerous times, as well as complications from multiple surgeries.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for so many patients who suffer with endometriosis: doctors dismiss their pain and symptoms, they are frequently misdiagnosed, and have to endure multiple surgeries and incisions, creating scar tissue, and removing multiple internal organs. It is time this stopped. Establishing an appropriate standard of care for endometriosis patients is crucial.
Living with Endometriosis includes expert advice drawn from doctors and researchers tackling this debilitative disease, along with tips for recognizing symptoms and getting the most effective help possible. Pre-order your copy now on Amazon and wherever books are sold. It is available on April 24, 2018.
Samantha Bowick has a Master of Public Health degree from Liberty University. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration at Columbia Southern University. She is devoted to using her education and experiences to advocate for women who suffer with endometriosis. She currently lives in Aiken, South Carolina.