Sunday 19 March 2017
Tell me a little bit about yourself….where you’re from, what you do…
My names Brogan and I'm 25 years old. I'm a childcare worker on the Gold Coast but am originally from Wellington, New Zealand! I live with my partner of 7 years and our dog Iggy.
How old were you when you were diagnosed with endometriosis?
I have suffered with symptoms since I was 17, but was only properly diagnosed about a year ago. This was such a long and frustrating process - constantly being knocked back by doctors who were unsure about what my problem could be.
What were your symptoms?
Very irregular and extremely painful periods, infertility issues, anxiety, PCOS and weight gain.
How long did your diagnosis take?
My diagnosis took a very long time; all of the doctors I saw were afraid I was too young to have endometriosis, assuming it could have been another issue! And because I also suffer from PCOS, they wanted to be sure it wasn't just this causing me problems.
How did you feel when you found out you had endometriosis?
After so many years I felt that we finally had some answers, but I also felt broken. I have always wanted nothing more than to be a mother and felt this had squashed my hopes. Trying to find positive things to focus on, I discussed with my gynaecologist where we go from there and tried to concentrate on my health. Hopefully losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle will help reduce my symptoms.
How do you manage your symptoms now?
Eating healthy is a massive change that has helped a lot. On the days my body is not doing so well I have pain medication. My doctors have stressed to me that weight loss is going to be a huge factor in managing my symptoms!
When it comes to your health and well-being what’s your biggest fear?
I think my biggest fear is that I won't fall pregnant - that my lifestyle change won't be enough and my body won't be healthy enough to carry a child and reduce my symptoms.
What’s the most frustrating thing about living with endometriosis?
For me the most frustrating thing is going through the tough days where you feel you can't even get out of bed and feel like no one understands what it is like. The pain is terrible and I have crushing days when it feels like it will never end - this is where I turn to my amazing support team, family and friends to keep me positive.
What have you learnt about yourself by enduring this condition?
I have learnt that I'm strong and nothing is going to get me down. I have also learnt that no matter what, I have a huge support group around me and I feel like I'm not alone. I’ve also got really good at blood tests.
Does it impact your relationships with friends/family members/partner?
It doesn't impact my relationship with my partner as he is super supportive of me in anything, but I do have days where I feel like I have let him down in regards to having children. He has always reassured me that everything will be ok and when I'm struggling or in pain everyone is very sympathetic.
What advice do you have for people living with similar health conditions?
Don't give up on trying to determine a diagnosis. These things can take years and involve loads of tests, so please don't give up. You’re not alone, even though some days you may think you are. There is always someone going through the same thing. It helped me to do research and go to a doctor that specialises in women's health.
What made you start your blog?
My gynaecologist had told me at my latest appointment that I must lose weight for my symptoms to reduce. I wanted to be held accountable for what I was doing - eating healthy and going to the gym. I have used my blog and my lifestyle change to show others that they’re not alone on their journeys and that yes some days are tough, but stay strong and it will all be worth it in the end.
Why do you think we need to be talking about endometriosis?
We need to raise awareness for some women who may have symptoms but not realise what they may have. The more awareness about endometriosis - the more women are likely to get tested and hopefully get some answers.
What are your health/fitness goals at the moment?
Definitely a lifestyle change is happening for me at the moment, I joined the gym, have a personal trainer and am doing my best to eat a lot healthier. I suffer from bad anxiety and I'm working on getting this under control as well.
Any last words?
You’re never alone. I used to think I was the only one who had these symptoms and no one understood what it felt like or how my feelings were, but since I started talking about it all in my blog I started getting messages from people saying they were in the exact same position. Talk to people, do some research and stay strong. On days where you don't feel so good, try your best to think of the positive things and focus on the support team you have.
Follow Brogan’s journey on social media: