This is going to be a very hastily put together post as I want to be able to get the word out there about this as quickly as possible.
If you are in the UK and suffer with Endometriosis and have had your education (school, college, uni) affected by the condition and would like to find out ways of dealing with those issues please join Endometriosis UK for an online meeting during awareness week on 7th March at 8pm on Skype. All details about this meeting and how to sign up can be found here .
I help run the Southampton Support Group of Endo UK with my friend Becca and the online support groups were a great way for me to get involved and chat with other women with the same condition for a sense of solidarity and support.
Just to share my experience with this, in the hope others feel able to do the same (and maybe join in with the meeting mentioned above) I have had my education interrupted by this condition in lots of ways. I was not diagnosed until after university even and I can look back and think of times when I know it had an adverse affect on my ability to go to School or lectures.
My mum used to have to keep me home as periods were a nightmare for me. I used to faint, throw up and be in so much pain I couldn’t move. At times this meant having to stay home for weeks. I am lucky my mum sympathised and that my School didn’t put up too much of a fight but there are young women who are going through this now who do not have that sam understanding School or College and who struggle to be taken seriously. Invisible chronic illness is often met with defensiveness from Teachers and other School staff when in fact they should be helping pupils in this position.
Still by University I didn’t have a diagnosis but I continued to have problems. At one point I went to the doctors and in their frustration that none of their suggestions had worked they said “Well, you must have had a miscarriage then!” At 19 to be told that, in the middle of your studies…it hits you hard! Needless to say I called my mum, in tears, immediately and she was not impressed that he had scared me like that.
I was lucky that it didn’t interfere with my lectures so much but I know there are young women out there who have Endometriosis and they struggle daily and find it hard to put things into words when explaining things to staff who are there to help them.
Anyway, I may end up sharing some more of my experiences during the online meeting on 7th March. My main message is that you are not alone, there is support there for you and Endo UK can be on hand to advise and help you through the hard times, even when it feels like things won’t get any better.
If you feel like showing support to women with endo, there is also an event on 19th March where we are all getting together to march in London to raise awareness. Worldwide Endo March is a great way of meeting other people with the condition and to make sure people take it seriously as a condition.