Not the Booker: Please Read This Leaflet Carefully by Karen Havelin re – AuthenticAfrican

Posted on by Sam Jordison

This intense study of endometriosis, its agonies and its neglect by medical science, is very powerful – and quite repetitive

“Endometriosis is a bitch,” a gynaecological surgeon informs Laura, the narrator of Please Read This Leaflet Carefully. By the time he does, we already know as much. Laura has told us all about the intense pain, and agonising surgical procedures she has endured for years, thanks to the swellings, ulcers and related problems in her uterus. She has also spent most of her life plagued by allergies: “As a child I was always in the hospital – asthma, allergic to more and more things, wheezing, coughing, itching, always a bellyache for some reason or another. My test results were always borderlining something dangerous.”

There is no cure for endometriosis. As that none-too-gentle surgeon says: “We know what happens but we don’t know the causes; we can’t stop it. Too much surgery makes it worse, the medications regulate it only partially and have bad side effects, but if we don’t treat it, you’ll get worse every month.”

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