TIME

Why my medical crisis wasn’t taken seriously

THE FIRST DREAM FOR MY IMAGINED FUTURE SELF THAT I can recall starts with a sound. I was maybe 5 years old, and I wanted to click-clack. The click-clack of high heels on a shiny, hard floor. I have a briefcase. I am walking purposefully, click-clack-click-clack. That is the entire dream.

I dreamed of being competent.

I have never felt more incompetent than when I was pregnant. I was about four months along, extremely uncomfortable, and at work when I started bleeding. When you are a black woman, having a body is already complicated for workplace politics. Having a bleeding, distended body is especially egregious. I waited until I filed my copy, by deadline, before calling my husband to pick me up.

That day I sat in the waiting room of my obstetrics office for 30 minutes, after calling ahead and reporting my condition when I arrived. After I had bled through the nice

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME3 min readPolitics
The Problem Is Bigger Than Trump
In the immediate aftermath of the El Paso shooting, a raging argument broke out online and across the airwaves. Given that the suspected shooter used one of Donald Trump’s favorite words to describe illegal immigration—invasion—did that mean Trump ac
TIME2 min readPolitics
News Ticker
North Korea nets billions in cybercrime North Korea has earned as much as $2 billion through large-scale cyberattacks on banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, per a report to the U.N. leaked on Aug. 5. The report said the funds were being channeled to
TIME3 min readPolitics
How Ferguson Woke Us Up
On Aug. 10, 2014, my first day of protest after the shooting of Michael Brown Jr., I stood outside the Ferguson Police Department and asked an officer why, on the night prior, he had brought German shepherds to a black community in grief, evoking the