anemia & medical misgendering
…really frustrated with how i can’t say that i’m anemic without people in general– but especially doctors– automatically relating my anemia to the assumed fact that i have a uterus that makes my life hell once a month.
like seriously, could you not?
the socially established association of a medical condition with a specific gender, with a specific sex, with a specific bodily function is so inescapable that as an AFAB person who’s assumed to be a woman, the second i mention being anemic to a doctor their thoughts automatically go to assumptions about my gender / sex / bodily functions and my anemia immediately gets chalked up to anemia due to blood loss. so inescapable that here in Japan at least iron supplements are often marketed specifically towards women. so inescapable that if i mention being anemic to a woman and she’ll immediately offer up earnest words of empathy and perhaps even ask if she can have some of my supplements too if i just so happen to be taking them in front of her.
i understand that a lot of people experience anemia in relation to menstruation, that a lot of those people happen to be women, that a lot of those women happen to menstruate and that a lot of those women happen to experience anemia specifically in relation to said menstruation, but seriously. could society not? at the very least, could doctors not??
whenever i mention being anemic to someone it’s to receive treatment for it, to have it recorded in my medical records, to have it acknowledged that i’m not always “just tired”, “out of shape” or what have you. however, what actually ends up happening is my mention of anemia gets seen as affirmation of my nonexistent womanhood, of having a uterus that makes my life hell once a month– anything but affirmation of having a medical condition which, for me, happens to have nothing to do with my sex, gender or bodily functions beyond the fact that the latter makes a pre-existing condition worse. treatment becomes nothing more than advice about managing the effects of monthly blood loss rather than management– or god forbid actual treatment of a medical condition that i’ve had since long before i’d even went through puberty.
…sorry for the random tl;dr post, i’m just exasperated. all i want to do is deal with my anemia the best i can and get on with life, but i can’t even do that without simultaneously having to deal with shit surrounding gender and sex.