Sharing your emotional pain around debilitating endometriosis can be difficult – so we salute HR Consultant Lisa for penning a piece that is sure to touch hearts and raise awareness - https://cubehr.co.uk/blog/endometriosis-my-story/
Sadly, her experiences of not being believed and having her symptoms dismissed are all too familiar.
As is Lisa’s stout-hearted response, which is also typical of so many endo warriors.
Take a minute to read, and if you would like to share your story, contact us.
Pelvic pain matters and the families of endometriosis patients and those with the debilitating condition need better physical and mental health support NOW.
That is the message an Oldham conference will hear – as patients, academics and even The Mayor gather to continue the borough’s battle against ignorance around a blight affecting one in ten women of childbearing age (see close of release for conference details),
Plus, founder of charity Endometriosis Awareness North Dr Anita Sharma will urge decision makers to do more to promote the condition’s human cost in medical school education, for general and family practitioners and for schoolteachers and parents.
“What is unique about this event is it will give you the whole gamut of problems endometriosis creates and what YOU can do to solve them,” said Dr Sharma. “Patients will speak about a loss of career opportunities, the mental battle required to make people believe you are actually in pain, and the fortitude needed to endure years of appointments before finally getting a diagnosis. Even members of the Greater Manchester Police will attend to tell us what they hope forces across the country can do to support colleagues with the condition.”
Oldham has become one of the most vocal communities in the country on endometriosis – largely thanks to the charity’s ambassador, Courtney Ormrod. Her tale of how endo resulted in the loss of a teaching career and her being confined to a wheelchair will be told again, although this time she will be backed by her father, Paul Ormrod. “The impact on families is often forgotten” continued Dr Sharma, “and to watch a loved one in physical and mental pain is so distressing. I also expect Courtney’s case to move guests – it never loses its impact because it comes straight from her heart.”
That emotion will also be felt when nurse Lucy Bowker regales her tale of living with endometriosis, whilst working within a sometimes-sceptical NHS. The 24-year-old overcame near constant bleeding to eventually give birth.
Mayor of Oldham Councillor Elaine Garry plus Endometriosis specialist Consultant Andrew Pickersgill, and Head of the School of Health Sciences at Manchester University Professor Kay Marshall, make up an impressive array of speakers.
Courtney Ormrod concluded: “It has been the fulfilment of a dream to see the Endometriosis Awareness North charity come into being in Oldham and us begin to raise awareness of this all-consuming condition. But we are at the beginning of that campaign, and I hope that as many people can join us as possible so that we can begin to make life a little easier for those with endometriosis and their families.”
The Endometriosis Awareness North event takes place at:
Oldham Civic Centre
Saturday 25 March
An Oldham nurse whose crippling condition has now reached her BELLY BUTTON is making a desperate plea to doctors to understand her condition, better.
Endometriosis, which affects one in ten women of child bearing age, has meant near constant bleeding for Lucy Bowker since her early teens.
But the 24-year-old has met with a constant brick wall of disbelief from medics who dismissed her agony as, “a heavy period.”
Now Lucy has joined forces with Endometriosis Awareness North .
“Our small charity has spent its first few months surveying and meeting clinicians and medics, and has discovered a frighteningly high level of ignorance, with some believing patients merely have back or menstrual pain” said charity creator, Dr Anita Sharma.
In Lucy’s case, befuddled doctors actually removed her appendix at one point to cure her abdominal pain. Meanwhile, over the years, she somehow countered a haemorrhage, hospital infections and remarkably managed to give birth.
“My life has been littered with hospital attendances” commented Lucy, “I would be treated in A&E and receive strong painkillers before being sent up to the ward for ‘pain management’ which consisted of a junior doctor reviewing me and prescribing another medication which inevitably would not work. I just felt nobody took me seriously or listened to my concerns. That is the position for a lot of women with endometriosis.”
Three-quarters of sufferers admitted to an Endometriosis Awareness North survey recently, that they felt “desperate,” with 11% saying they were currently having dark thoughts.
Yet diagnosing endo can take up to seven years.
“If this were a condition that resulted in men enduring agony, time lost from work, plans cancelled constantly and people constantly questioning your pain, I am sure treatment would be better and even a cure forthcoming” continued Dr Sharma, “but here is another example of women being treated like second class citizens.
We are so pleased Lucy is with us. The fact that she is a nurse means there will be somebody on the front line, batting for women with endometriosis and countering the prejudice against those with the condition.”
Concluded Lucy: “The doctors I was seeing at the hospital were not specialists in endometriosis. My management consisted almost solely of pain relief. It is so crucial that you get that diagnosis. It may not be a magic label that makes things better, but it does allow you access to treatment options.
Endometriosis is now encompassing almost every aspect of my life and has now reached the glands near my kidneys. It causes me immense pain and prevents me from working as often as I want to; and the impact of endometriosis on my medical health is quite separate from the affect it has on my mental health. I am not able to engage in activities a typical 24-year-old would.
However, I do now have people on my side and am determined to do my bit to help other women in my position. That is the only way we can really move forward.”
Click onto our brand new movie, detailing what Endometriosis Awareness North is all about Endometriosis Awareness North - YouTube
Featuring our treasured case study Courtney, it also gives medics a platform to call for quicker diagnosis of endometriosis.
With thanks to filmmakers Andrea Bertozzi and Pete Gibson Media.
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