Friday, July 25, 2014

Open Letter to Senator John McCain

Senator McCain:

My name is Heather Pickens and I reside in Phoenix, AZ. I am 27 years old and am writing regarding my illness, Endometriosis and spreading awareness. 

On August 26, 2014, I will go in for my first excision to (hopefully) fully treat my disease. I am not writing this out of sympathy, those that truly know me understand that I am a strong woman. As an emotionally strong person, it is very difficult to speak of my weakness. However, being silent has not made any advancement in the treatment and cure of endometriosis. I am sharing my story for awareness. 

Endometriosis is a serious gynecological disorder that causes severe pain, bladder and bowel issues, painful intercourse and infertility. The only way to diagnose and treat the disease of endometriosis is by a surgical procedure. It is also a progressive disease. 

Since the age of 13, I have had symptoms of endometriosis. I ignored and pushed through my symptoms until I was 25 and hit a road block. I was bed ridden from the pain and almost lost my job due to the fact that I was off work for six months.

During those six months, I could not function. Showering resulted in me returning to bed with damp hair. I couldn’t keep up with my house work properly and took a huge hit financially. My husband helplessly watched over me during one of the darkest periods of my life. 

Since my diagnosis via laparoscopic surgery on November 7, 2012 I have had several painful treatments, physical therapy, four surgeries (one of which resulted in an overnight hospital stay, and another resulted in being sent home with a catheter). Although I was able to become pregnant, I had a very traumatic labor that resulted in a cesarean. Four surgeries in less than two years, and my excision on August 26, 2014 will be my fifth surgery. This is unacceptable. 

Young girls, teens, and women are suffering. It is time to break the silence.

My story is not uncommon, and is definitely not the most tragic. Many women are ignored, made to feel like drug seekers and are left infertile. Others have lost their babies after pre-mature labor due to the disease. It is the women that have suffered the most due to this God-awful disease that I will use the voice and experiences that God gave me to speak of this disease. I will never stop talking and raising awareness because I never, and I mean NEVER want my daughter to experience a single moment of physical or emotional pain that endometriosis can cause. 

Please support the women of Arizona and the 176 million women worldwide who suffer from endometriosis in declaring March as Endometriosis Awareness Month. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Heather Pickens thanks for sharing your experience. I am very sad to read your story that you are suffering from endometriosis.I only want to say you that you should refer good supportive doctors for your treatment as there are in pain clinic phoenixThanks.


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