Should I trust in modern medicine? I have spoken to several doctors that I know personally and they all said there is no other vaccine that has been released this quickly.
Why do I keep hearing the news say the “so called Tuskegee experiment”, when we know the truth is it happened! Why do I have a problem with surgical and medical experimentation on black female slaves, mistreatment of black women in relation to us having a higher tolerance of pain, that we are drug addicts and are likely lying about our real level of pain, and the higher rate of death for black mothers during child birth to name a few more false opinions and facts.
My medical history and experience have caused me to be skeptical, fearful, and cautious. I pondered on releasing my medical accounts as a black female from age 13 to now. My black medical history may help someone else break their Silence. I thank God that I will no longer be a Silent Survivor!
My mom was given Diethylstilbestrol (DES) which is a synthetic form of the female hormone estrogen. It was prescribed to countless pregnant women between 1940 and 1973 to prevent miscarriages, premature labor, and related to other pregnancy complications. At one point it was given to woman with no signs of problems because they thought it created healthier babies. It was used around the world. They found that DES caused several conditions in female/ male offspring children such as: more likely to develop breast cancer after age forty, more prone to anatomical irregularities of the reproductive tract, including a T-shaped uterus, hyper-pigmentation of sex organs, intersexual gestation defects, hooded cervix, abnormal vaginal tissue, hypogonadism, rare vaginal tumors, infertility, menopause prior to age forty-five, fibroids, abnormalities of the fallopian tubes which contributed to pregnancy complications. Now I’m scarred inside and out from the many surgeries I have had due to the growth of polyps over and over again, ruptured ovarian cysts, periods of constant menstruation for weeks/months at a time, menopause symptoms in my early thirties, a t-shaped uterus, being told I couldn’t get pregnant, having five fibroids during my only pregnancy that caused me to have complications, a hysterectomy at thirty-five, and triple negative breast cancer at forty-two. I have had more than ten surgeries were I was under anesthesia which can cause memory loss, by the way.
At the age of thirteen, I had my first gynecological visit performed by a white male doctor alone. During the exam he hurt me tremendously. It was like he wanted to see if he could make me cry. He asked me more than once, if I was still a virgin. I was! No exam has ever been that painful.
At fifteen, I had my first surgery due to growth of polyps and excessive menstrual bleeding. My pre-op was such a horrible experience that I didn’t want surgery or to ever go to a doctor again. The nurses had to get three tubes of blood from me. The white female nurses took turns sticking me nine times as I cried and shook. “What’s all the commotion in here”, the doctor exclaimed as he entered the tiny room filled with the four of us. It took so long he said, “if you don’t have enough blood by now to run the tests you don’t need it.” Bruising was already surfacing on both my arms. (After that I learned to ask for a butterfly needle and make sure I drank plenty of water before going in.)
Will I be okay after surgery, I thought? I was laying on the gurney and a young white handsome male nurse was pushing me into the operating room. He said, “I am going to take care of you and you’re going to be just fine.” I looked up in silent horror as I saw these two tall large metal stirrups on either side of the gurney. My last words were oh my God, as I drifted off to an induced surgical sleep. I woke up in recovery completely shaven with the male nurse saying, “I was going to be completely fine.” I cannot effectively describe the tremendous embarrassment I felt imagining I was stretched wide for all to see in that surgical room including my male nurse who shaved me after I was unconscious.
I was on birth control for years to stop the irregular bleeding. While away at college I had a visit with a white older male gynecologist who inappropriately discussed the beauty my skin while rubbing my thighs during an exam. At the age of twenty-seven my white male gynecologist suggested I get a full hysterectomy, due to my years of female issues. Several of my black female coworkers, who had the same doctor and he had suggested hysterectomies and tubal ligations for us all. That’s when I knew I had to change doctors, but finding an in network black doctor is/was so difficult.
MY new doctor was a BLACK Christian female who treated me well and explained things that could help with my conditions. Finally pregnant, I begin bleeding in my third month one day at work. I went to the bathroom and a piece of flesh the size of a chicken gizzard came out. I wrapped it in a napkin as I began to cry and pray to God!! “God you said I would have a son!” “My son will live and not die in Jesus name!” It was my bosses first day and she rushed me to hospital as I lay in the back seat of her car praying! All bleeding had stopped upon arrival to the hospital emergency room, however great pain set in. The sonogram showed a healthy baby. The doctor saw the tumor like flesh I held in my hand. She said she’s never seen or heard of anything like that before. Needless to say I was under strict partial bed rest orders for the duration of my pregnancy due to five fibroids growing in my womb along with my son. I had to have a C-Section because the fibroids were between my son and the birth canal. While in the hospital I had to argue with the white night nurse trying to give my breast feeding son bottles of formula. I kept him in my room as much as possible.
My hysterectomy came a few days after my son’s first birthday. I found a lump on Valentine’s Day 2009 and that began my walk through three more surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, ct scans, mammograms, bone density scans, colonoscopies, and radiation shot treatment directly in my breast without anesthesia. I worked with an amazing black breast surgeon and a female Asian doctor for my cancer treatment and her amazing majority minority staff. Now I mentioned the color of those who treated me because of the stereotypes that black patients have to endure in a systemic racist environment found in the medical field.
Will I take the vaccine because they are going to regulate travel or probably make me take it to work? Wearing a mask is not 100% effective, but neither is the vaccine! Why am I still here? It is by the grace of God! I am scarred, but healed! I will no longer be Silent Survivor! Breaking my silence healed me. No matter your age or obstacles you too can be a survivor.