Sunday 12 March 2017
Tell me a little bit about yourself….where you’re from, what you do…
I am a 21 year old Media Sales Coordinator based in Tauranga, New Zealand. I live in my little two bedroom house with my boyfriend Kodi of two plus years and our two fur babies – our cat Lulu and dog Kingsley.
How old were you when you were diagnosed with endometriosis?
I was 18.
What were your symptoms?
- Irregular periods that could last for weeks (longest was 6 weeks)
- Chronic lower abdomen pain
- Sore lower back
- Mood swings
I had no idea what endo was so I know there were others symptom, I Just didn’t link these all together as I did not know they were connected. Once I was diagnosed I realised the following things were also symptoms;
- Painful intercourse
- Low libido
- Painful hips/upper thigh pain
- Unable to use tampons
How long did your diagnosis take?
Roughly four years.
How did you feel when you found out you had endometriosis?
I had never heard of it so I wasn’t sure how to feel.
How do you manage your symptoms now?
- I have a mirena which helped up until recent
- Diet - staying dairy free, eating gluten free when possible and consuming plenty of veges
- Exercise when my body can handle it
- Minimum of 8 hours rest
When it comes to your health and well-being what’s your biggest fear?
What’s the most frustrating thing about living with endometriosis?
I have multiple frustrations haha, I hate the anxiety and depression that came with this disease. I hate not being able to enjoy my youth. I hate that I am so dependent on my boyfriend, I hate waking up feeling fine and ending the day in misery. I hate the fact that I want to better my fitness, for example; gyming six days a week but my fatigue and pain get in the way.
What have you learnt about yourself by enduring this condition?
I have learnt how strong I am as a personal; emotionally and physically. I have also learnt that it takes a lot to bring down my spirit, I have learnt that I am lucky to be surrounded by the people I have in my life. I have also learnt that when I have a positive mind set (e.g. block the negative thoughts) I am a healthier and kinder person that feels absolutely unstoppable!
Does it impact your relationships with friends/family members/partner?
I have drifted from a lot of people due to my inability to participate and be present 24/7. My family is hugely supportive. I do believe it took a while for them to understand endo and the fact that I do not look sick yet am however they have always been great. My boyfriend is an absolute darling and puts up with all of me, even the mood swings and at times minimal bedroom action. He turns into a housewife just like that whenever I am in pain and I know he gets frustrated yet he tries not to show it as he knows I can’t help it! I am pretty luck with my support system.
What advice do you have for people living with similar health conditions?
Do not be embarrassed! Your health condition does not define you, you are not the thing that makes you sick and unwell and at times unbearable, you are YOU! Do not even make excuses for yourself either, if people can’t handle what you have and what that sometimes turns you into – wave goodbye. I also believe anything can be healed through diet, mindset and lifestyle.
What made you start your blog?
I could not find anything online that related to me. I am a very honest open person and I wanted someone to tell me the truth and be honest about all the terrible ugly stuff. I also felt like there was a community missing, there was no public Facebook page for girls to share war stories. There was a gap and I wanted to fill it.
Why do you think we need to be talking about endometriosis?
People just need to know what Endometriosis is. Girls are out there none the wiser they have anything wrong with them due to this crazy tale that periods are supposed to be painful. I want a female to walk into her new job and tell her boss that she has endometriosis and they understand what it is and show compassion. I want males to be kinder to their new partner when she explains that sometimes it hurts to have sex. For a female to have female organ issues and it be acceptable to talk about in public without having to hush her voice would be a dream!
What are your health/fitness goals at the moment?
My fitness goals at the moment are to get into the gym or another type of exercise five to six times a week without my fatigue or cramps getting in the way. I also want to be eating what works well for my body only – not treats or cheats.
Any last words?
I would like to thank the likes of Emma for utilising endometriosis awareness month for what it actually is and for giving me the opportunity to speak my mind on another platform about Endometriosis! I would also like to congratulate all you beautiful woman who struggle daily yet still take on the day with no doubt in your mind that you can do it – you are all so strong!
Follow Annie on her blog and social media channels here: