Sophie Dillman opens up to Yahoo Lifestyle Australia on everything from her time on Home and Away to what it's like being in the public eye and falling in love in the workplace.
As I am sitting on my balcony in Greece, (which is breathtaking BUT a tale for another time- travel blog anyone?) I am torn. I really want to paint the town red. I want to dive in the ocean, explore, drink 4000 Aperols. However, I am on my period and could literally paint the town red. I am in so much pain I can't walk properly, I can't eat and my stomach is so swollen none of my new holiday clothes fit. Was this whole week a waste?*
I suffer from Endometriosis, a disease that affects 1 in 9 women and people assigned female at birth. It is a condition where tissue, similar to the lining of your uterus, grows outside the uterus causing pain and/or infertility.
To sum up my experience with this condition, it’s f***ing awful. It has affected me physically, mentally, emotionally, my relationships, work and NOW IT HAS COME FOR ME ON HOLIDAY.
My usual symptoms occur mainly during my period and during ovulation (so what 30% of my life?) I commonly get both dull and sharp pain through my abdomen, lower back and down my legs. I get nausea and fatigue and terrible swelling through my torso. All of these lovely symptoms apparently wanted to come to Paros, so we are all merrily hanging out together on my shower floor waiting for my painkillers to kick in.
I wish I had a solution to this problem but I don’t. I do however have some tips to make the most of the situation.
Irregular periods + my bad luck = I always get my period at the worst times, so always be prepared. I travel with a kit of painkillers, pads and birth control supplies. It is not fun trying to ask a Greek man for tampons.
Pack loose flowy clothing. That way your clothes will always fit, you’ll always feel trendy and you can be as comfortable as possible.
I will sometimes take a pillow with me to restaurants or on trips. I find sitting on hard surfaces can trigger a flare-up or cause pain. Yes, I can look like a loser pulling out a pillow, but I would prefer that than missing the afternoon of activities.
This may be a tough one but don’t overdo it. Holidays are for relaxation and conveniently rest is excellent for endometriosis. I understand the temptation to do 20 000 steps a day and soak up every second of the place, but either you slow yourself down or the pain will stop you instead.
Don’t be hard on yourself. You can’t control everything and punishing yourself will only make things worse. Listen to your body.
Endometriosis affects over 830,000 Australians and millions across the world. There is no cure, no real understanding of its cause and no permanent treatment. Incredible charities like Endometriosis Australia work tirelessly to raise funds for research and support for people with this condition. Any donation is appreciated and if you are struggling to find answers or support, please reach out to one of the incredible charities or support groups for a helping hand.
*The week was definitely not a waste. No matter how much pain I am in, being around friends and loved ones always makes it easier. They also do not care if you walk around with your pants undone and sometimes these situations are a good excuse to go shopping.
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