Staring back at doctors who say the symptoms are normal, bleeding through clothes in public, losing big chunks of time to pain, and living with undiagnosed conditions for years–these are experiences I know well. Are they familiar to you?
These experiences are common for millions of people – some will endure life-altering complications because their conditions were not diagnosed quickly. Mental health suffers, relationships suffer, and they are left to battle against debilitating conditions while navigating misinformation and bias inside a stressed healthcare system.
We saw a way to help.
I didn’t hear the word ‘fibroid’ until I was 41 and finally pregnant…not once during the 40+ appointments scheduled to get help with my “horrible periods”. Despite having symptoms that lined up with the chronic conditions I have since learned about.
I had the same experience with undiagnosed celiac disease. For 20 years I rubbed steroid cream on my body. The itchy, symmetrical rash was biopsied and white-coat shoulders shrugged in too many consultations to count.
After diagnosing it myself through research and an elimination diet, and living rash-free for 5 years (there is no cure for celiac disease), my new primary care doctor rolled his eyes at me.
“You diagnosed it?”
He wasn’t really asking me as much as he was mocking me.
“Yep,” I said, fuming inside, showing nothing on the outside.
That was the last time I went to a primary care doctor. Not a good move on my part, but gaslighting leaves a mark. He is credited for inspiring me to learn about how my body works so I can be a better caretaker of it.
And I learned an important lesson about research: doctors can only do so much if there is little to no research to guide them.
It was clear that I had to take control of my healthcare experience. Be the steward of my body. Understand how it operates and direct its care. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) rely upon physicians to do it.
Throughout my career, I’ve found myself drawn to healthcare, with the last ten years spent focused on those seeking care for chronic conditions that impact women, trans and non-binary people. As the founder of Advocats Agency, a creative agency focused on healthcare, we worked for some of the best medical device manufacturers in the business creating educational content for patients and healthcare professionals.
But every time we interviewed patients (100s of patients), the problems they needed fixed remained. In January of 2022, we shifted our focus to solving those problems and created Uterinekind.
Our team is united behind our mission: improving uterine care for everyone.
If your quality of life is suffering because of symptoms that are not being adequately diagnosed and addressed, Uterinekind can help.
Listen to Carol & Mark here: