For any woman who has experienced illness, chronic pain, or endometriosis comes an inspiring memoir advocating for recognition of women's health issues
In the fall of 2010, Abby Norman's strong dancer's body dropped 40 pounds, and gray hairs began to sprout from her temples. She was repeatedly hospitalized in excruciating pain, but the doctors insisted it was a urinary tract infection and sent her home with antibiotics. Unable to get out of bed, much less attend class, Norman dropped out of college and embarked on what would become a years-long journey to discover what was wrong with her. It wasn't until she took matters into her own hands - securing a job in a hospital and educating herself over lunchtime reading in the medical library - that she found an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.
In Ask Me About My Uterus, Norman describes what it was like to have her pain dismissed, to be told it was all in her head, only to be taken seriously when she was accompanied by a boyfriend who confirmed that her sexual performance was, indeed, compromised. Putting her own trials into a broader historical, sociocultural, and political context, Norman shows that women's bodies have long been the battleground of a never-ending war for power, control, medical knowledge, and truth. It's time to refute the belief that being a woman is a preexisting condition.
"Required reading for anyone who is a woman, or has ever met a woman. This means you." (Jenny Lawson, author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy)
"Compelling and impressively, Norman's narrative not only offers an unsparing look at the historically and culturally fraught relationship between women and their doctors, it also reveals how, in the quest for answers and good health, women must still fight a patriarchal medical establishment to be heard. Disturbing but important reading." (Kirkus Reviews)
"This book deals with such an important subject. Abby Norman's odyssey with her own health is sadly an all too common story to those of us who suffered in silence for so long. My hope is that anyone involved in women's health will read her story and revisit the way we treat women and their health concerns in our culture." (Padma Lakshmi, New York Times best-selling author and cofounder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America)
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- Hope Sneddon
Everyone, uterus-toting or otherwise, needs to read/listen to this book. It really speaks to the problems of research and medicine in relation to women and minorities. I hope there are follow ups to this one.