Maggie Bowyer

When I Bleed

Nearly 200 million people around the world have Endometriosis. It is as common as asthma or diabetes, but we never talk about it. Endometriosis causes full-body symptoms, and is as painful as labor or a heart attack; in fact, it is one of the top 20 most painful conditions a person can experience (NHS, 2018). 1 in 9 menstruators live with this chronic illness (Endometriosis Australia, 2020). Despite often debilitating symptoms, it takes an average of 11 years to get an Endometriosis diagnosis in America. Maggie waited 11 years to get a diagnosis despite being hospitalized for the excruciating pain as early as middle school.

Words can be a life raft in the depths of destroyed health. These poems depict Endometriosis as accurately as possible. These poems explain the full-body, whole life, physical and mental toll this illness takes. These poems exemplify what Endometriosis has taken away from millions of us; it also shines a light on the amazing community of warriors who keep fighting every single day.
27 printed pages
Original publication



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