A few months ago we put up a blog post during Endometriosis Awareness Month to try and help raise awareness around the disease which today still affects over 176 million of us. As we noted, one of the best ways to keep raising awareness about endometriosis is to get talking. We recently touched base with Leesa Joy of @endohealthhub to chat about her experience with the disease, how the Instagram community has impacted her and how we can all uplift and give voice to the illness.
It’s difficult to find a diagnosis because in the medical world’s eyes you should only have two reasons to have abdominal pain: 1. Appendix and 3. Bowel upset. They don’t take the time to listen to the symptoms and put two and two together. Like, as I got older I understood it came halfway through my period cycle, and then I learned about ovarian cysts.
I found Doctor Macbeth through my GP after spending 7 hours in a hospital waiting room only to be sent home. I nearly lost my ovary.
The system is so keen to pump people out of the systems they do not take young women seriously. There is a lot of stigma around the issue as though we are overreacting or faking it. Where as if a male arrived with the level of pain we experience they have more thorough treatment.
The diagnosis takes so long and there is no clear path. I kept ending up in hospital, fed pain medication and sent home. They have no clear answers. At this time I was only 20-21. It wasn’t until I changed GPs and given a referral for Dr Macbeth that I began to get answers.
On the Instagram community:
Instagram means I have a chance to tell all women about the signs of this disease and talk openly about the battles we face. Before Instagram I had no way of talking about the physical and emotional strain the illness has.
I have had so many women message me and thank me, saying they feel validated and not crazy!
On how we can all help:
In everyday life I start conversations with women I know. Even from as simple as do you track your period? And symptoms that come with it?
Open up a conversation about how we feel. Share my artworks and show a bit of lighthearted fun.