Episode 3: Surviving Doctors

We all have a story about a time we had a bad doctor’s visit. Even an institution meant to care and heal people is not immune to biases. Willow and Alyssa talk gender and race health disparities, fatphobic doctors, and how to take care of yourself, even before you walk into a doctor’s office.

Head’s up! This episode involves extra explicit content, including intimate discussion of experiences with doctors, and potential triggers towards forced medical exams, poor health outcomes for women of color, and traumatic stories of women in pain. This one gets rough, but we promise that your regular dose of radical positivity will keep it light!

Email: beautifulbodiescast@gmail.com / Twitter: beautifulbodiescast / Insta: beautifulbodiespodcast / Willow’s Twitter: @QueerWillow / Alyssa’s Twitter: @AlyssaMazer

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Episode 3: Surviving Doctors (Sources and Links)

Hello! Here is a handy-dandy list of some of the sources we used and discussed in Episode 3, in order of when they were mentioned.

The Guardian, “The healthcare gender bias: do men get better medical treatment?” by Fay Schopen, Nov 20, 2017.

Endometriosis UK, “NICE call for improved diagnosis and management of endometriosis,” Sept 7, 2017.

NY Times, “Wider Racial Gap Found in Cervical Cancer Deaths” by Jan Hoffman, Jan 23, 2017.

The Hill, “For women of color, the ‘healthcare gap’ is real and deadly” by Domenica Ghanem, March 8, 2017.

CNN, “After Serena Williams gave birth, ‘Everything went bad'” by Susan Scullt, Jan 11, 2018.

My LOLA, “How to advocate for yourself at the doctor,” March 17, 2017.

The Atlantic, “How Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously” by Joe Fassler, Oct 15, 2015.

Healthline, “The Husband Stitch Isn’t Just a Horrifying Childbirth Myth” by Carrie Murphy, Jan 24, 2018.


Willow Health/Life Update

Hey folks!

I’ve been seeking a venue to post some life updates and this seems like just the place.

I graduated college. WOW. I’m going to sound like a broken record but let me tell you I never imagined this would happen. Just two short years ago I was finishing up my 3rd year at community college and was considering accepting a banker position where I worked full-time as a teller. The salary started at $60,000 and it already seemed like a dream bigger than I could imagine. A dear family friend of mine was giving me a ride after the battery of my car died and she pulled over, locked the doors, turn to me and said “you need to pursue a 4 year degree Willow”.

I was baffled. I didn’t know that was an option. Her daughter, my best friend, was applying to colleges and they were tapped into the potential financial aid packages that low income families could receive. Sort of on a hail mary I visited Beloit College with said dear friend and just fell in love. I applied, let my lease end, kept working feverishly at the bank in an effort to save up money and just like that I was accepted and packing my belongings in a car before I could even process what had happened.

Two years went by so fast, and so slow. I had some of the hardest, and some of the most rewarding endeavors to date. All of those are a story for another time (and perhaps, for my therapists ears first)

My health got considerably worse at Beloit. My mobility declined, my pain increased, and the medical bills continued to grow. Last fall I was diagnosed with Hypermobile-EDS and that lead to a whole slew of tests (genetics, heart echo-gram, blood work, rheumatology appointments, tests after tests) and I finally wound up at the UW-Madison Pain Clinic per the recommendation of a dear spoonie friend. I’d never had an experience where a doctor had really spent time familiarizing himself with my pages and pages and pages of medical issues and history. The doctor I saw was so amazing, I was there for over 2 and 1/2 hours. He explained to me how folks with chronic pain have receptors that create stuff similar to opioids and pump it through the body when experiencing extreme levels of pain, which means that those receptors are clogged when traditional opioid-medicine is entered into the system. He did a comprehensive exam to see how and where I was hypermobile, and validated my extreme pain by verbalizing how out of wack my bones and joints were.

He explained how science isn’t caught up to a lot of chronic pain disorders, and that hypermobile-eds and hypermobility diagnosis sort of depend on the doctor looking at you (they’re considered in some circles to be the same thing). Also, centralized sensitization is another all encapsulating term for folks who’s systems are over processing and sending out faulty signals that result in widespread health issues and pain. I was prescribed Lyrica, a handicap placard, OT and PT. It was such a validating experience.


Flash-forward to the walgreens drive-up where they informed me the month supply of Lyrica would be $780. I’m heartbroken, currently fighting with my insurance and will post updates as they come.

Episode 2: Periods

Period. Menstrual cycle. Aunt Flow. Soviet Invasion. However you refer to that “time of the month,” it’s an important part of a lot of bodies! Come with Willow and Alyssa and explore the physiological, cultural, and otherwise systemic issues related to periods. From side effects to the Tampon Tax, periods await!

Email: beautifulbodiescast@gmail.com / Twitter: beautifulbodiescast / Insta: beautifulbodiespodcast / Willow’s Twitter: @QueerWillow / Alyssa’s Twitter: @AlyssaMazer

//Please leave a review! Let us know what you think!

Episode 1: Skinny Shaming

Let’s talk body shaming–skinny shaming, to be specific. Is it a real thing? What does it mean? How does it compare to other types of body shaming? Come along with Willow and Alyssa and get the skinny on skinny shaming.

Please contact us, find us on iTunes, and leave a review! Next time: periods!

Email: beautifulbodiescast@gmail.com / Twitter: beautifulbodiescast / Insta: beautifulbodiespodcast

Episode Zero: What is Body Positivity and Why on Earth Are We Doing This?

Welcome to Beautiful Bodies! Your hosts Willow Wallis and Alyssa Mazer are working hard to bring you the best body positivity content. In our pilot episode learn more about us and why we’re doing this, and get a preview of what’s to come!

Ham Helper


Email: beautifulbodiescast@gmail.com

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