Welcome to the Month of Endometriosis awareness

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Mar 5, 2017 | 1658 views

african female medical worker comforting a sick patient

Health Promotion with Tine Mataz
HELLO readers. The Month of March is Endometriosis Awareness month. The whole world celebrates it as 176 million are affected by the disease and that’s about one in ten women. It is hard for our loved ones to respond the way we want to or truly understand what it is like to have endometriosis. I believe it’s because of lack of awareness and because they just aren’t educated on the subject. Sometimes people say very ignorant things because they do not know what to say and I have experienced a lot of that. This article will share a bit on what not to say to people with endometriosis and generally how to deal with them.

First of all, sickness does not have a look. Countless times people have said to me, “well you look great you don’t look sick”. Well thank you but the truth is most times our faces don’t share the true story, if you were able to look inside then you would see the damage in there and the pain we are actually feeling. Over time we learn to put up a brave face but we if we say we are in pain, we are. The best thing to say is, “I believe you”.

Another thing that other women say is that they also have cramps and that they “can’t be that bad”. The period pain that normal women get and that women with endometriosis get is very, very different. Most women can get relief after taking painkillers but endo period pain can land you in hospital and it is not the same. Every woman is different so it is important for you to listen to what they are going through as an individual.

On the same token every woman with endometriosis reacts differently to medication so what may have helped you, or someone you know, may not help someone else. It is great for you to suggest something but try not to dismiss someone’s pain and think it is not real because you are now fine. If it helped you, that is great, but it may not help the next person.

Sometimes people also insinuate that women who have endometriosis don’t do enough and are lazy. They really aren’t. Innately, we are productive and want to put things together and fulfil our roles but sometimes endometriosis does not allow it. This comes off as being “lazy”. We desire to do more but sometimes we just cannot. In instances like this, rather offer to help and ask how you may help. For example you can offer to run errands for your daughter, friend, cousin, partner to take the pressure off them. If she has kids you can even offer to take her kids for a few hours so she can rest.

A lot of the time loved ones try their best to understand the pain that comes with the condition but they don’t. Provide them with positive support. If they are in a position where they cannot afford treatment, do not constantly remind them about that but rather say, “I don’t know what to say but I am here for you and I care about you.” Provide emotional support. Keep in touch. We need to continue with friendships. You can give a call, send an encouraging message or even a care package. If you truly don’t understand ask. You can ask, “What do you want me to understand about what you are going through?”. When you are now at the level where you understand more, you can even ask them what their pain levels are on that specific day.

Recognize that what they could do yesterday or even a few hours ago may not be possible today or at the present moment.

Don’t question that. Every day is different.

It’s very difficult for the people with the condition and their loved ones. One thing I think women with endometriosis forget that it does not only affect them but those you care for them so I know it is not easy. To the people who have stuck by women with endometriosis, I salute you and thank you for all you do, and to those who haven’t always, you can start today.

Endometriosis affects us all.

For further questions or for enquiries you may contact me on +263778026402 or email me on tinemataz@hotmail.com. Take care!

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