I was scrolling through instagram the other night and I came across a picture of a t-shirt reading, “Neverthless, She Pre-existed,” a play on the words , “Nevertheless, she persisted,” originally spoken by Senator Elizabeth Warren. These words became a mantra in the women’s movement and now apply as we look at the possible trouble on the horizon facing eligibility and access to healthcare in our country.
In the past I was not one to get to involved in politics but as the political path has been veering more heavily in these directions I have been feeling a greater passion to understand what is happening and to use my own voice and rights to speak up more about women’s rights and women’s health issues. I attended an all girls school from Kindergarten through 12th grade and was raised by a strong mother who always fought for doing what was best for us and others (and still does). This upbringing has instilled in me a strong belief that women can do anything and that women should always be given equal rights and allowed to have a voice.
Currently with the healthcare initiative up for debate in the U.S. government, having already passed through the House of Representatives women everywhere are beginning to fear the loss of the rights to full healthcare for reasons that affect many women. This possibility strikes close to home for me because like many of you I have several “pre-exisitng conditions” that could affect my healthcare in the future. I am the mother of 2 beautiful, intelligent, creative,funny and active children which means I carried them through two pregnancies. However through no fault of my own and to my dismay after they were born I plunged into the deep darkness of post partum depression. A type of depression that affects 11-20% of women who have given birth. I also have a type of auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroidits which is a disease that affects a higher percentage of women than men. This is also not something that I chose for myself. I do not feel sorry for myself that I have had to experience these “pre-existing conditions.” This is who I am and just like my hair color, the shape of my face and the sound of my voice these are part of what makes me who I am. I am a pre-existing condition like so many of you.
I have many other pre-existing conditions too . . . I am funny, I am strong, I am sensitive, I am empathetic, I am fast, I am clumsy, I am sincere, I am a friend, I am young at heart, I am tall, I snore, I cry easily . . . we need to continue to support each other in this world as we are now and as we change, for better or for worse and in sickness and in health.
I am proud to be who I am pre-existing conditions and all and you should be too.
Speak up and share about what makes you who you are! “Nevertheless, she pre-existed!”