To give full credit to this book, the full title is “Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain.” The medical and community perceptions of women’s pain is a topic that has touched many women in my real life quite significantly. I am sure there are many readers that would see parts of their own experience with pain, and specifically endometriosis, within Abby Norman’s memoir.
An unexpectedly memorable part of this memoir for me was when Abby recounted her childhood, and her complex (for want of a better word!) relationship with her mother and grandmother particularly that culminated in her becoming legally emancipated as a teenager. I found this incredibly difficult to read and my heart broke for Abby multiple times as she struggled alone emotionally alongside her physical battle with her body as endometriosis took its hold.
I also loved the title of this book, and assume it is drawn from the online community of the same name that Abby has created for women to share their experiences with all manner of medical issues. The lifetime of research and continuous learning that Abby has invested into her understanding her own health and endometriosis more broadly is well documented in this, accompanied by historic and contemporaneous medical studies that are eye-opening to the lack of appreciation that still continues regarding women, their pain, and pain thresholds.
I hope this gets picked up by people universally – one thing I certainly did not know is that endometriosis is not a condition unique to women or to those with a uterus. There are cases of men having had endometriosis found on other organs, dispelling many myths that the medical profession had about the condition (including that it was “menstrual backwash”)! If you’ve read this book I’d love to know how you found it, or if there are any other non-fiction reads you’d suggest I pick up soon? Comment below!