I want to start this off by saying #ThanksObama. Thank you for keeping coverage of birth control in the Affordable Care Act.
The first day I got my period, I genuinely thought I was dying. I was 10 years old, driving with my family to the beach and all of a sudden I was in intense pain and became feverish. That morning, I had tried a new lip gloss and my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario: “What if I had accidentally swallowed some lip gloss and it was poisonous?!” I never dreamed a period could be so painful. Sure, my elementary school health class had mentioned cramps might hurt a little, but not hurt so bad that they could cause vomiting on the side of the road.
Every month for the next 11 years my body began to play a game of Russian Roulette with my period. Is it going to be one of the milder periods? Or is this first day the one where I have to call my mom to get me from school because the intensity of the cramps and nausea (even after taking two Advils) is distracting me from the lecture?
Over the course of these years not only have I missed several classes, but I also had to take numerous tests while feeling as though I might throw up at any moment. You can’t make up a test just because you feel sick that day, and there’s usually no doctor note that comes with your period. Tests under normal circumstances can already be hard; taking them in such all-consuming pain can be nearly impossible.The pain from my period even affected some days of my internship with the House Democrats in the South Carolina State House because it caused me to be sluggish and drastically affected my productivity, which made even easy tasks hard to concentrate on.
However, this all changed in May of this year when I started taking a birth control pill for the first time. I had always avoided birth control due to a combination of fears surrounding altering my hormone levels and not wanting to ask my parents to pay for it. But after taking a Women’s Health course my junior year of college, I learned about the science behind how different types of birth control could help my body and soon I learned that my insurance covered birth control medication once the Affordable Care Act became effective. Both of my problems were soon resolved.
Thanks to the pill, the past 5 months have been much better. My periods are lighter and a lot less painful; even the first day can now be handled with just two Advil. I am now a fully functioning, productive member of society every day of the month – no period interference..
So, #ThanksObama for fighting to make sure women’s medical needs are covered under their health insurance and allowing me access to the medical care that allows me to fully participate in society all of the time.