Between a Doc and a Hard Place.

Rachel Langer
16 min readMar 22, 2018
Silenced by a biological imperative.

This is the story of how I ended up ugly crying in the hospital parking lot yesterday.

It’s also the story of how a perceived biological imperative continues to erode my autonomy over my health.

I promise, I’ll make it as funny as I can.

Yesterday, at the behest of my colleagues who are lovely are care about my well being, I went to the emergency room. I’d been toying with what to do about my health situation all weekend. My abdomen was waging a war against itself, and while I’m fairly used to that kind of friendly fire, this was something new. Like hurts to stand, sit, lie down, go to the bathroom, radiating up into my stomach and around to my back kind of new. It feels as though my abdomen has decreased three sizes — we’re calling it a Reverse Grinch — and no longer has room for all of the normal bodily functions that pass through that region (spoiler alert, there are a lot.) I’d been couch-bound most of the weekend, doggedly writing away, determined not to let anything fall through the cracks. Like a good soldier, with a well-practiced poker face, I went to work Monday morning. It wasn’t until lunch, during a coffee time confessional that I admitted to my colleague (also one of my bosses) that I’d been suffering all weekend. Something I don’t usually do at work, because I HATE looking weak. Hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. LA suns, not weak-ass Vancouver suns. When I mentioned I’d been considering going to the hospital all weekend, just to be sure it wasn’t something unrelated to my endometriosis (like my appendix or gall-bladder) or even something that was related, but amped up (like a burst cyst, or ovarian torsion) she urged me to go.

I waffled, saying the same things to her that my partner and I discuss on a regular basis: Will they hear me? Will they treat me? Or will it be a waste of time that sends me home in tears without any answers and a side of debilitating self doubt… This is the part where we all want me to say that I had a great experience, am totally fixed, and we can all go back to talking about the first day of spring. But we all know I wasn’t placed on this earth to write about happy things. They’re boring. My colleague made some good points about building my medical file, because eventually I’m going to have to make some big decisions about my health…

Rachel Langer

Screenwriter. Canadian. Wordsmith for Transplant (Crave/NBC) The Order (Netflix) andThis Life (CBC) . Loud about endometriosis and women’s health.