Les Fleurs des Maladies
Waking up in a cold, dark hospital room, tubes coming out of every orifice, blood seeping out, opioids going in, and searing pain like never before. This is what millions of women worldwide experience at some point in their lives. Others are even less fortunate – girls being held down and “cut” by female elders, often without anesthesia, for completely non-medical reasons. So often depicted in art and media as a thing of beauty, a woman’s reproductive organs are so much more than a site of sexuality or reproduction; they are also often a site of trauma. This is a result of the violent acts they evoke (rape), their natural processes, both acute and chronic pain, and through surgery. These taboo traumas are discussed ad infinitum in private chat groups across social media bearing witness to their devastating effects: agonizing pain, disbelief by friends, family, colleagues and even doctors initially, countless medical appointments, secondary diseases, damage to multiple organs and systems, repeated surgeries, loss of employment, challenges to career and educational advancement, financial devastation, damage to relationships, physical debilitation, intolerable side effects from pharmaceutical treatments, the careful balancing between pain control and overdose or addiction, infertility, fear, social isolation and alienation, loss of hope due to years of suffering, suicide and natural death. Endometriosis, adenomyosis, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), cervical cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, cysts, fibroids, pelvic inflammatorydisease, CPP (Chronic Pelvic Pain), FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)...many withno cure. The women of the world deserve better.