A Syd Woman W/ Endometriosis Was ‘Humiliated’ By A Chemist Who Shamed Her For Needing Pain Meds

anna dooley was humiliated by a sydney chemist when she went to pick up medication for endometriosis

A Sydney woman has shared the humiliating experience she had with a local chemist who implied she had an addiction problem when she went to pick up the pain meds she was prescribed to help manage her endometriosis.

Anna Dooley (@thehooleydooley) took to TikTok to share the appalling ordeal, in a video she tearfully recorded in her car.

“I had the most humiliating experience with a pharmacist who in front of a whole shop of people accused me of being an addict,” she said in the video.

Anna explained that she had moved to a new area, and was advised by a health professional to choose one pharmacy and stick to it since her prescription was for heavy pain killers, which are necessary to manage the debilitating pain she suffers because of her condition, and this would help avoid staff thinking she was pill-shopping.

Endometriosis is a disease that is caused by tissue growing outside the uterus and female reproductive system and affects more than 830,000 people in Australia. It can result in agonising pain around the uterus area and cause debilitating period cramps, and discomfort during sex and urinating. Sadly, it’s a chronic condition with no cure, and given the lack of research around women’s health and reproductive health in general, it is often underdiagnosed and rarely taken seriously.

Anna chose a local independent pharmacy for her prescription, because she figured it would be easier to build a relationship that way. Unfortunately, the experience she ended up having was atrocious.

“The pharmacist started by saying loudly in front of everyone that it was compulsory for me to take the complimentary naloxone spray ‘just in case you overdose’,” she told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

In her video, she said: “Not even a ‘hello’ or ‘how are you’, just a ‘careful, you might overdose’.”

She said that she tried to explain her diagnosis of endometriosis and why the painkillers had been prescribed to her by a health specialist, but said the pharmacist “didn’t let me finish speaking” and talked over her. She said he also read her medical health record out loud in front of other people in the shop, seemingly as if he didn’t believe her claims.

“He just kept talking and made the assumption that I was pill shopping,” she told PTV.

She also claimed the pharmacist then talked about how hard it is to deal with “addicts” and “junkies”, which was infuriating not just because addiction is a serious illness that shouldn’t be moralised, but also because women shouldn’t be labelled as pill-shopping addicts when they are simply picking up a prescription they need to manage their own health.

In her video, Anna explained how humiliating the ordeal was.

“Imagine if I was an addict, how dare you just broadcast this everyone,” she said between tears.

“But all these women and uterus owners being labelled junkies after being told to take a pain med so they don’t clog up hospital beds.

“I tried to explain but he kept talking over me. It left me feeling ashamed, humiliated and reminded me that there is still so much ignorance around those living with chronic conditions.”

To make it worse, Anna said the pharmacist then recommended she watch the show Painkiller on Netflix, which is about the opioid crisis in the US.

“I still can’t believe he said that,” she told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“Does he recommend films about cancer to cancer patients?”

The ordeal has left Anna incredibly upset and shaken, especially given she is expected to return to the chemist for her future scripts — though she’s hoping she can have this changed so she never has to go in there again.

But despite the harrowing experience — and some disgraceful, ignorant comments on her TikTok video — she said she’ll continue raising awareness about endometriosis until it is actually taken seriously.

“My goal is to educate as many people as possible through my comedic one woman show, ENDHOE. It’s for everyone. It’s for those going through it, those that have been through it, their loved ones and most importantly; for those who have never heard of it,” she told us.

“Pain relief is a human right and no one should ever be shamed for asking for help.”

If you want to learn more about endometriosis, you can check out Endometriosis Australia here.