Breaking Down the Truths and Myths of Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Warning: This story contains spoilers for Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese looks a lot like a documentary. The film is ostensibly a 1975 tour diary, with grainy footage showing Dylan and his merry band of compatriotswhich includes Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Allen Ginsberg—performing at concerts, flirting backstage, eating at greasy-spoon joints and sniping at each other. There are solemn talking-head interviews, archival photographs and crackling voiceovers—all the trappings of nonfiction filmmaking.

But appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to Bob Dylan. In 1961, a 19-year-old named Bobby Zimmerman showed up in New York, gave himself a new name and told people he was a former teen vagabond who had joined the circus—excising his actual upbringing in a middle-class Jewish family in Minnesota.

Dylan has twisted fact and fiction around each other ever since, employing feints and double feints to obscure mundane truths in service of larger ones. And Rolling Thunder Revue is no exception. The Netflix film—which arrives June 12 alongside a 14-CD box set release of live recordings—is described on that website as an “alchemic mix of fact and fantasy”: It contains both spellbinding concert footage from the tour as well as false characters, made-up vignettes and hyperbolic intrigue.

“This is a very unfactual thing—and totally in keeping with Dylan’s oeuvre,” Rob Stoner, who was the tour’s music director, told TIME about the new film. “It’s full of metaphors and questions and leaves you wanting more.”

TIME talked to several people who were on the Rolling Thunder tour—two musicians, a manager and a journalist—to sort out the truths and myths in Scorsese’s film.

What was the Rolling Thunder Revue?

The Rolling Thunder Revue was a tour that Bob Dylan conceptualized as an alternative to the regimented big-budget tours that pervaded ’70s rock-star culture. More than a decade into his career, Dylan himself was a massive rock star at that point and had gone on such a tour the year before, flying on private jets and playing to large arenas. He told his longtime friend Louie Kemp that he wanted to model his new tour after the traveling carnivals they would see in their hometown of Duluth, Minnesota.

“They’d be in town for a few days and then they’re gone,” Kemp recalls. “They had their own mystique and excitement.” Dylan has also said that he was inspired by Italian commedia dell’arte troupes from centuries ago, in which a colorful cast would put on improvised shows while wearing masks and lavish costumes.

Dylan asked Kemp, who was the president of a fish company, to manage the sprawling tour. They would play at small venues in small towns and wait until the last minute to tell even the performers where they were headed; they would forgo large-scale promotion in favor of paper handbills passed out the week before.

“‘I want to do this one for people who wouldn’t ordinarily get a chance to have a good seat at my shows,’” Kemp paraphrases how he recalls Dylan explaining his rationale. “‘I want the people on the tour to have fun also: This should be a fun trip for everybody involved.’”

What was the tour like for those on it?

Dylan decided that the core of his touring band would be the same as the one on his Desire album, which he had recorded a few months prior: the bassist Rob Stoner, the drummer Howie Wyeth and the violinist Scarlet Rivera. But the group quickly ballooned as he held open rehearsals and jam sessions in New York City’s Greenwich Village, inviting guests and carousing until the early hours of the morning. Before long, the cast included rock stars (Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and Mick Ronson, who played with David Bowie among others), poets (Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky), folkies (Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Joan Baez) and many more.

McGuinn was planning his own tour but postponed it once Dylan asked him aboard. He did not regret his decision: ”It was the best party I’d been to,” he told TIME. He recalled jamming with Dylan and Joni Mitchell at a party at the home of singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot—”Allegedly somebody threw a leather jacket into the fireplace,” he recalled—and sitting on the bus next to Mitchell, who joined the tour midway through, while she wrote songs that would end up on her forthcoming album, Hejira. “She had this little composition book, the speckled black-and-white thing like kids have in school,” he said. “It was all full of new songs. She’d be writing things she saw, like the white lines on the highway.”

Were there ego issues on the tour?

Rolling Thunder Revue amplifies the backstage drama of the tour, depicting squabbles between bandmates, journalists, promoters and even the camera crew. The guitarist Stephen Soles says in a talking-head interview that the atmosphere was “like the court of Henry VIII.”

But Stoner said the atmosphere was much different than portrayed. “That’s a bunch of sensationalist crap that they tried to edit in there,” he said. “It was all very mellow.”

McGuinn agreed: “I think we all knew we had to check our egos at the door,” he said. “It was very friendly.” He said that the energy of the tour was lifted by the presence of Ginsberg, who would lead dance sessions and write poems as part of a newsletter slipped under the hotel room doors of those on tour. “Ginsberg was like a big teddy bear,” he said. “A really friendly, loving guy—he was a lot of fun to be around.”

Was Allen Ginsberg actually forced to do luggage duty?

While Kemp told TIME that Ginsberg was the “moral compass” of the tour, Jim Gianopulos—who says he served as a promoter on the tour (more on that below)—revealed in an onscreen interview that Ginsberg’s role was diminished as the tour went on. Gianopulos says that Ginsberg and fellow poet Peter Orlovsky became baggage handlers after their poetry sets were cut for time. The notion that one of the most revered American poets would be reduced to a roadie seems absurd, and is unlikely to be true. “I never saw Allen schlepping around cases,” Larry “Ratso” Sloman, a journalist who covered the tour for Rolling Stone, told TIME. Sloman said that Rolling Thunder Revue footage in which Orlovsky commiserates with Sloman about his new luggage duties was “tongue in cheek.”

So why did Jim Gianopulos say that?

Gianopulos, the current CEO of Paramount Pictures, appears in interviews throughout the film as a pompous suit whose sole aim is to make money. He badmouths Louie Kemp and decries the tour as a “disaster, a catastrophe.”

But Gianopulos wasn’t actually there, according to Kemp. “It’s a character they drew in,” he said.

Wait—who else is in the movie who wasn’t actually on the tour?

A Michigan representative called Jack Tanner is interviewed in the film, claiming that Jimmy Carter hooked him up with tickets to the concert in Niagara Falls. But there was no such senator at the time. The character is played by the actor Michael Murphy. (Jack Tanner was a fictional character in the 1988 Robert Altman/Garry Trudeau mockumentary Tanner ’88.)

Sharon Stone also shows up in interviews, saying that she joined the tour as as a 19-year-oldand that her KISS shirt inspired Dylan’s onstage face paint. But Stone was actually 17 at the timeand neither McGuinn nor Kemp remember her on the tour. When asked about the KISS connection to Dylan’s face paint, McGuinn said, “I don’t think it had anything to do with KISS. I can’t imagine that. I think he was more going for a mime look than KISS.”

Another one of the central characters is the filmmaker Stefan Van Dorp, who says in the film that he was brought on to record concert footage and B-roll. He tussles with Sloman, demands credit for his work on the film, and scoffs at the idea that Bob Dylan is a genius. At the Rolling Thunder Revue premiere in New York City in June, Van Dorp even appeared onstage to help introduce Martin Scorsese.

But Van Dorp, like Tanner, is a fictional creation, played by the actor Martin von Haselberg. His reedy voice was inserted into many scenes, and at one point a doctored photo of him appears, with Sloman lurking in the back of the frame.

When Sloman watched the film in an advance screening several weeks ago, he was at first bewildered by the outsize presence of a man he had no recollection of. “It took me about three segments of going, ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ before I realized what they were doing,” he said.

So if Van Dorp didn’t exist, who shot all of the footage?

At long last, we get to the crux of the creation of the Rolling Thunder Revue. In 1975, at the beginning of the tour, Dylan told Kemp that he wanted to shoot a film on the road. He hired the playwright Sam Shepard to write the script and come along for the ride. (His relationship with Joni Mitchell would form the basis for her song “Coyote,” which the film shows her playing alongside Dylan and McGuinn.)

In Rolling Thunder Revue, Van Dorp says he and Shepard were working together. But in reality, Shepard was writing the bones of what would become Renaldo and Clara, a part-documentary, part-narrative film released in 1978.

Renaldo and Clara was directed by Dylan and shot by Howard Alk, David Meyers and Paul Goldsmith—and like Rolling Thunder Revue, it consists of concert footage, documentary interviews and fictional vignettes. Some vignettes were scripted by Shepard—but given that his actors were musicians, most scenes devolved into improvisations by Dylan, his wife Sara, Joan Baez, Jack Elliott, and many others on the tour, who played amorphous and ill-defined characters.

“It was a Sisyphean task, because none of these musicians were going to memorize this sh-t,” Stoner said.

Renaldo and Clara ran for four hours and was met with widespread ridicule upon release for its bloat and lack of coherence. And while the film is never mentioned in Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue, much of the new film’s footage is pulled directly from the old one, as well as from its outtakes, shot by Alk and his team. One new scene, for example, shows Bob Dylan and Joan Baez flirting and rehashing their old relationship, and is presented as documentary footage. But an extremely similar scene also occurs in Renaldo and Clara, in which Dylan and Baez’s characters (Renaldo and the Woman in White, respectively) discuss marriage—with the same camera angle, costumes and demeanors.

Why did Scorsese and Dylan make a film like this?

Netflix did not make Scorsese, Dylan or the film’s producers available for this article. “Bob has been known to play and to create a whole mythology around him,” Sloman said. Perhaps Scorsese wanted to pay homage to the fluid and fable-filled format of Renaldo and Clara; perhaps Dylan—who gives talking-head interviews full of falsehoods throughout the film—saw the film as an opportunity to extend his trickster impulses and his constant desire for reinvention.

Stoner has another theory, based on the fact that Renaldo and Clara was a commercial and critical failure. “Maybe that’s one of the reasons he and Scorsese have conspired to recycle some of it in this current project: as a vindication,” he said. “To say: ‘See, Renaldo and Clara wasn’t all terrible!’”

If the film spends so much time on fictional characters, which real figures does it leave out?

Stoner’s central complaint with the film is that it makes only one mention of Jacques Levy, the theater director who was tasked with crafting each performance. “Leaving out Jacques Levy is ridiculous. He’s the guy who staged the thing, put it together, blocked all the acts,” Stoner says. “Also, his experience as a clinical psychologist was invaluable in being a go-between for a lot of people on the tour.”

So what was Bob Dylan really like on the Rolling Thunder Revue of 1975?

In Scorsese’s film, Dylan appears in several mystifying iterations. In the footage from 1975, he appears both as Bob Dylan and Renaldo, coming off as an aloof leading man who repeatedly refuses interviews to the cameraman (the fictional Van Dorp’s pleas behind the camera are edited in). In more recent talking-head interviews for Rolling Thunder Revue, he snipes at his old bandmates and repeatedly deflects, obfuscates and lies. When asked what the tour was about, he says, “It’s about nothing. It’s just something that happened 40 years ago.”

But those on the tour say that Dylan’s film persona couldn’t be more different from his actual demeanor on the tour. “He never felt or acted like he was the star of the show,” Kemp said. “He was just one of the gang.”

Sloman agreed: “It was the loosest I’ve ever seen him,” he said. “I felt that the burden of stardom had been lifted from him—he didn’t really have a need for that Dylan persona.”

Dylan was also reaching a musical peak at the time. His voice gained a heft and had lost its youthful quaver, and his stamina onstage was unrelenting. And while many aspects of Rolling Thunder Revue should not be looked to for veracity, the performances themselves are ironclad: It’s remarkable to watch Dylan rip through songs like “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Hurricane” with a newfound focus and ferocity.

His memory was incredible: He could do these 10- to 15-verse songs and remember every word and spit them out like a machine gun,” McGuinn recalled. I thought he was on top of his game.”

Entertainment – TIME


Five common myths about cervical screening busted by an OBGYN

Because attending your smear test is seriously important, and nothing to worry about

cervical screening

Getting your cervical screening might not feel like a walk in the park, but it’s nowhere near the ordeal that you may be freaking out about.

But smear tests are SO important and it’s absolutely essential that you know your stuff and – most importantly – attend your appointment.

The number of women going to their cervical smear test is at a 20 year low, with 25% of women not attending their appointment. However, Treatwell noticed that bookings for intimate waxes was up by 84% year on year.

This year they’ve launched the ‘Life Saving Wax’ campaign in partnership with Public Health England, an initiative encouraging beauty therapists to open up the conversation around smear tests and ultimately get more women to attend their appointment.

With this in mind, we turned Dr Christine Ekechi, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, to clear the fog and break down the most popular myths about cervical screening. Here’s what you need to know…

Myth 1: Cervical screening detects the presence of cancer

A smear test doesn’t actually test for cervical cancer, but pre-cancerous cells known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). ‘I frequently get asked by women whether cervical screening detects the presence of cancer so, if you are one of these people, then I assure you that you are not alone, says Dr Christine. ‘As a matter of fact, it appears that many women of all ages are confused as to the purpose of cervical screening, which in some cases may lead them to delay or not attend. But this needn’t be the case.

‘Cervical screening is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix, which involves taking a small sample of cells from just within the cervix to do so. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women, the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own. But in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous.

‘In this way, regular screening, which only takes a few minutes, can help stop cervical cancer before it starts, as the test identifies potentially harmful cells before they become cancerous and ensures women get the right treatment as soon as possible. In a similar way, some women believe a cervical screen is the correct test for abnormal vaginal bleeding to rule out the presence of cancer. A cervical screen is unhelpful in this situation and any abnormal bleeding must be investigated by a doctor.’

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Hello everyone! I’ve finally decided to listen to the calls of friends, family and patients to create a space on IG for health and well-being information for black and ethnic minority women (BAME) 😁 ………………………………………………… Who am I? I am a London based Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and a women’s health advocate. My job involves helping women manage their health concerns from young adulthood through pregnancy and the amazing years beyond that! ………………………………………………… Why am I doing this? The health statistics for BAME women are still appalling. Working with government, charities and other organisations I want to address this issue. What better way than direct education and discussion here? I am a black woman. I am a doctor. I am a patient. What affects you affects me so let’s rewrite the narrative. Let’s own our narrative. All are welcome to follow including our men! So let’s get started…..

A post shared by Dr Christine Ekechi (@dr_christine_ekechi) on

Myth 2: Smear tests are always extremely painful

One of the main reasons women cite for not attending their smear is that they’re too scared that it will be painful. ‘Everyone’s experience of cervical screening is different, some women find it painful, some find it uncomfortable and some may just experience a small scratch,’ the doctor explains.

‘However, it is important to remember that the nurses are trained to work with their patients and put them at ease and the test should only take 5 minutes. There are also many things that you can do to put yourself at ease or make the experience more comfortable, which many people are unaware of. For instance:

  • Talk to your nurse during the test and remember you are in control and can stop the test whenever you want to
  • Ask for a smaller speculum
  • Ask to lie in a different position
  • Take someone you trust to the appointment like a friend or family member
  • Ask your nurse about breathing exercises, as these can help
  • Take in music or a podcast to distract you.’

Myth 3: If you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you don’t need to go for your smear test

‘This is another common myth I get asked frequently. Although the HPV vaccine protects against 7 out of 10 (70%) cases of cervical cancer, a woman may still contract a type of high-risk HPV which the vaccine does not protect against. Therefore it is still important to attend routine screening when invited as this will help to detect early whether one of the other high-risk HPV infections have been contracted or whether there are any changes to cells (abnormalities).’

Myth 4: Only heterosexual, sexually active women need cervical screening

‘This is most definitely not true. Everyone with a cervix should take up their cervical screening invitation, regardless of their sexual orientation or what gender they define themselves as. Most changes to the cells of the cervix (abnormalities) are caused by persistent infection with HPV. As HPV can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact in the genital area, sexually active lesbian and bisexual people are still at risk. This is also true for transgender women who still have a cervix, and women.

‘Sadly, due to the lack of awareness around this, the uptake rates of cervical screening is significantly lower for lesbian, bisexual women and trans women, as they may believe that they don’t need screening because they don’t have sex with men. But, as mentioned earlier, HPV can be passed on through simple skin-to-skin contact in the genital area.’

Myth 5: An abnormal smear = you have cancer

Many women understandably worry about the results of their test, but one crucial thing to always bear in mind is that having an ‘abnormal’ smear does not mean you have cancer. Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer, instead it can stop cancer before it starts by checking the health of your cervix and identifying any abnormal cells that could develop into cancer in the future.

Dr Christine Ekechi is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at NHS Imperial College Healthcare, specialising in early pregnancy and acute gynaecology. You can follow her on Instagram at @dr_christine_ekechi

The post Five common myths about cervical screening busted by an OBGYN appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

ICYMI: Shopping on Social Media, Leather Sneakers & Fact-Checking Natural Beauty Myths

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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Five myths about flight attendants


If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you’ll know that this social media platform is full of flight attendants who are quite literally living their best lives. Sure, they have to work unsociable and odd hours for their job, but they also get to travel the world, meet new people, see new places and spend their days off drinking cocktails on the beach. It seems as though they have it made. However, it seems as though we often have a few misconceptions about flight attendants. These myths now need to be dispelled.

They only work for the free travel

It’s no secret that flight attendants often fly for free when there are seats available, but this is becoming less and less common. Because billions of people use airlines every year, finding a spare seat on fully-packed or often overbooked flights is almost impossible. Like other customers, they normally have to book their own flights and pay for them on their own.

They have to help you with your bags

With new rules and regulations in terms of hold luggage, more and more people are filling up their carry-on cases. This means more and more people are struggling to stow them in the overhead compartments. Because of this, many people look to flight attendants to help them out. However, these men and women aren’t’ technically allowed to help you with your bags, because their insurance with the airline does not cover them. If they do help you, it’s out of the kindness of their hearts.

They are just waiting staff in the sky

Flight attendants just hand out drinks and snacks, right? Wrong! While they do bestow food and drink to their flying passengers, these flight attendants are also there to ensure the flight runs as smoothly and safely as possible. They are in charge of countless lives onboard the aircraft, and that’s something that requires a huge amount of training.

You should always tip a flight attendant

Although we live in a world of tip-culture, flight attendants aren’t actually allowed to accept tips from customers. While most men and woman will appreciate the offer, many of them will have to respectfully decline because of airline policy. So, just keep your money in your wallet and offer them a smile and “thank you” instead!

Layovers are a whole load of fun

When people think of flight attendants, they often think of layovers. This is where the flight attendants have to stay in a different country for a night, a few days, or even a few weeks before grabbing their connecting flight. The common misconception is that flight attendants party the night away and live the high life in these fancy hotels. In reality, they mostly catch up on sleep and recuperate from the long flight.

We have flight attendants to thank for many things in our lives, but it’s about time we stopped believing these myths about them. Perhaps that Instagrammer flight attendant isn’t telling you the whole story after all…


The post Five myths about flight attendants appeared first on Worldation.



The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need

I’m sick almost every day, gently poking my distended stomach wondering when my pelvis is going to explode. I have debilitating cramps that begin mid-cycle, accompanied by nausea and a fever that breaks around the time I begin to bleed. At age 26, my OBGYN suspects that I have endometriosis, a disease in which uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, attaching to other organs. It has no known cure. In his plush Upper East Side office, he asks if I’ve considered getting pregnant; he tells me that it’s the best way to treat it. I’ve just opened my first adult savings account and don’t have a boyfriend, so no, I haven’t thought about giving birth to a child. I also don’t yet know his claim that pregnancy is a “cure” for endometriosis is a myth.

That year, unable to pull myself out of bed most mornings, I leave my life in N.Y.C. to live with my father in Georgia; he can add me to his company’s health insurance plan. I had been temping in Manhattan and coat checking at night, but these types of jobs don’t offer health benefits. My new doctor refers to my situation as a “working woman’s disease,” and explains that he can’t diagnose me until I have surgery. An ultrasound cannot detect the disease.

For over 6,000 years, women with heavy cramping, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse have been dismissed by our patriarchal society—so much so that painful periods have been normalized. Doctors do not consider these symptoms medical red flags, but hysterical complaints by psychologically inadequate women with low thresholds for pain. 

Even doctors that do recognize women’s pain as a potentially serious condition are challenged by the lack of research and resources available.

“Endometriosis is a chronic disease, and with little treatment options, women can suffer for decades. The symptoms are vague and can be associated with other disorders like bowel disease. There are no laboratory evaluations that can be done,” says OBGYN Alyse Margaret Kelly-Jones. According to The Endometriosis Foundation of America, it takes approximately ten years for many of the estimated 200 million endo sufferers worldwide to be diagnosed.

My doctor discourages me from having a laparoscopy to remove the adhesions and endometrioma—cysts filled with dark brown blood formed from tissue similar to uterine lining—that have likely migrated outside my womb. Even after surgery, there is no way to prevent it from attacking my insides. So, I wait while collecting a pharmacy of pastel painkillers with too many side effects to take while working or driving or being awake. My treatment plan consists of extra-strength Tylenol, a heating pad, and sleep. On one hand, I count the number of good days I have each month. I pretend every day to be okay. My home in New York feels like a distant memory.

A few months after my doctor’s visit, I am rushed to the hospital for a ruptured cyst after an evening shift at the restaurant where I work. Now, they say I need surgery. The diagnosis is Stage IV endometriosis due to the large number of implants and endometrial cysts that were attached to my digestive tract, pelvic cavity, and rectum. After surgery, I’m told there is tissue left inside me because it was unsafe to remove it. I get to keep it.

Before the disease attaches itself to my insides again, the doctors go over my options: pregnancy (even though more than half of infertile women have symptoms of endometriosis), hormone injections that cause premature menopause, a hysterectomy.

I feel like I am in the dark ages: Have a baby now or remove the organ necessary to have children in the future. I read The Endometriosis Sourcebook for answers, but it is a mystifying disease with little money allocated to understand—or even agree upon—what kind of disease it is and what causes it. Almost all endometriosis websites include a myth versus fact section. While this may sound like progress, it’s a small win.

The myths are just as pervasive and toxic as the illness itself.

I move to Los Angeles because it’s sunny every day and I dream that the health-obsessed city will rub off on me. It’s only in photos that I notice how sick I look, which is curious to others because I don’t “act” sick. As a child, the gauge of sickness was the rise of silver mercury in a thermometer. I’ve learned that there are key symptoms that people respond to: vomiting, fever, broken bones, bruises. What do you do when all of your broken pieces are on the inside? Sometimes vomiting is really nausea; fever is the chills. I call my symptoms chronic fatigue. But am I more tired than a mother with three kids working two jobs? Who isn’t tired?

I shame myself into hiding my pain, but secrets have consequences. My consequences take the deformed shape of deep scar tissue. After my second surgery, they tell me it’s now or never for children. I now have a live-in boyfriend, but he is not ready. I’m not sure if I am either, but I know I want children, so it must be now. My pain is significantly reduced with Chinese herbs and acupuncture, but when I lose my job, I struggle to keep up with weekly sessions. I return to bottles of burnt orange pills and electric heat, and I am unable to carry a pregnancy to term. We miscarry more than once and turn our spare room into an office.

A Twitter search for #endometriosis yields approximately 2,000 posts in a week; the majority are declarations of excruciating pain or stories of not being believed. Images include a crying uterus and selfies in hospital beds. Hashtags like #endometriosissucks, #endometriosisisreal, and #endometriosisresearch are calls for support, solidarity, and action. @xMelissaR04 sums up what our insides feel like: “On my way to work & it feels like Freddy Krueger has his fingers in my uterus ”

In online support groups, the misinformation that young women receive from their physicians feels criminal to me. High school girls are studying for their driver’s exam while getting hysterectomies. After undergoing eight surgeries, Lena Dunham recently chose to have one, but since endometriosis grows over the uterine lining, she still may experience pain. Unlike Dunham, I imagine that these girls may not have the opportunity to get a second opinion. notes that teens’ endometriosis symptoms are the most likely to be written off as bad cramps.

Founder of Seckin Endometriosis Treatment Center (SEC) and endometriosis excision specialist surgeon Dr. Seckin has a different definition of endometriosis. On his website, he writes, “This is endometriosis, menstrual periods that are literally stuck inside of a woman’s body. The implants can grow deep and wide, spreading and clinging to her uterus, appendix, rectum, ovaries, intestines, leg nerves, and other parts of the pelvic region. They are like leeches that attach to, reproduce on, and grow on whatever internal organs they find. They are similar to a slow-growing cancer that invades the organs in the pelvis. In some rare cases, they can spread to the diaphragm, lungs, kidneys, or brain.”

I have been battling endometriosis for over twenty years. It’s the longest and most toxic relationship I’ve ever had. A relationship I can’t escape.

Last month, I fastened my feet into another pair of stirrups, hopeful that a young doctor may have a more progressive approach. He locates a sizable cyst on my left ovary and a sac of fluid above it. “You haven’t been treating it, so I suspect that your endometriosis has grown back. Have you tried Lupron?” he asks me.

I know that several pharmaceutical companies who manufacture Lupron are being sued by a woman whose body attacked her bones after just two injections. “I know many people who’ve had negative experiences with it,” I tell him, which is the truth. He shrugs his shoulders and tells me that getting pregnant would be the best of both worlds. I have no idea what two worlds he is referring to.

While it wasn’t right for him to blame me, I haven’t been militant with my pain management. I stopped going to acupuncture, and even though I subscribe to a healthy vegetarian diet, yoga, and exercise, I’ve only dabbled in holistic treatments such as CBD or hemp oil, Reiki, and essential oils. The truth is, when I feel good, I want to forget that endometriosis exists.

I should have been better, I think—but then I stop myself.

Is this what it means for women to be advocates of their own healthcare? Does it rest on our shoulders to cure ourselves? There may be better ways for me to manage pain, but I didn’t ‘make’ my endometriosis grow back.

As I was writing this essay, I ended up in the hospital for severe pelvic pain, nausea, and the chills.

My blood work results appeared as emails on my phone as I sat in the waiting room. After watching every patient disappear behind the double doors, I asked the receptionist why I was being seen last. “Patients are categorized by the severity of their condition,” she said with a forced smile. I wanted to read her a recent article that cites endometriosis as one of the most painful chronic illnesses. Instead, I nodded and waited my turn.

“The cyst and fluid sac are gone. They must have ruptured,” the ER doctor tells me. “Endometriosis is a terrible condition; I am so sorry that we can’t help you.” I am not an emergency and I can’t be helped at the ER.

“The good news is that your vitals and blood work are great,” he says. “And your pregnancy test was negative.” I winced, knowing that I am nearing the end of my fertility window. I’m glad that he doesn’t pretend to know how to treat me or tell me that I could have cured myself. At least he doesn’t prescribe me a myth. Instead, he prints out the names of five OBGYNS who may have more experience with endometriosis. “They are excellent doctors,” he says, and I believe him because he believes me.

While new marketing campaigns urge women to “speak out” about their symptoms, history has shown that women who speak out are not believed.

We are not in the dark about endometriosis because women ignore their symptoms; we are ignored because women’s bodies are devalued.

This treatment by doctors has reprehensible effects. It falls on our shoulders to raise awareness and dispel myths that pregnancy and hysterectomies cure endometriosis. We need to band together to demand more studies, more funding, more understanding of women’s bodies. After all, it is our bodies that give life.

The post The dangerous myths that prevent me from getting the endometriosis care I need appeared first on HelloGiggles.



Vaccine myths: 7 facts about vaccines everyone should know

A recent CDC report found the number of kids who are unvaccinated is going up.
ABC News: Health

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Flu shot myths debunked

Another myth is that people with egg allergies can’t get the flu vaccine.
ABC News: Health

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News


Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!