Emmarae’s Story

When the pandemic hit, I started to be very worried about my health. I have asthma, so that’s scary. Just being at home really helped by giving me the time to research more about how I could protect my body — not just my asthma, but also from pain caused by an IUD that was inserted some time ago.

My doctor told me that the pain from the IUD would go away after a few months, but it didn’t. It just got worse. I felt dismissed, and part of me thought that my doctor did not believe that I was experiencing a severe level of pain. There were situations where I felt like I had to call 911 because it was so painful. I didn’t feel that I could have it removed because I didn’t want to get pregnant, and it was unclear if my insurance would cover the procedure. I started to do a lot of research and tried to manage the pain with natural remedies and a heated blanket that I would wrap myself in while I lay on the couch, sometimes for days at a time.  

Then I got the Flo app this year and started reading articles and stories about people who were in similar situations. I realized that there might be some other ways to manage what I was experiencing.

When I finally decided to have the IUD removed, I called Planned Parenthood and asked them how much it would cost out-of-pocket to pay for it. They told me that, due to my situation, it would be free to have it removed. I started crying. I didn’t have to be in pain anymore, and I didn’t have to stress out about finding the money.

The pandemic definitely helped, because it gave me the mental time and space to realize that I need to take my health seriously.

The IUD was removed in August. I had my first period last month, and I cramped for 5 minutes. But I could still go on with my day — I could do so much. I went through all these years of pain, and now I was back to being able to take care of my body. It was the best thing ever. 

The pandemic definitely helped, because it gave me the mental time and space to realize that I need to take my health seriously. Once all of this is over, I would really love to have a garden. I’m really into herbal remedies and growing different herbs and things that we can use to nourish our bodies. The garden could provide for my health, as well as my sisters’, my mother’s, and all other women — almost like a menstruation garden.