BY LISA SMITH
Trigger warning – this article contains themes of suicide and mental health issues
last article for Stemme was coffee puns and jokes… I didn’t think I would ever be writing a piece like this.
How are your periods?
Have you heard of Endometriosis?
Until a few weeks ago I hadn’t but now it’s all I think about, it’s all I talk about and I would love it if you could talk about it too!
I think we still don’t openly talk about that time, the visit from Aunt Flo, being on the rag, the painter’s visit, the red badge of courage, moon time, the crimson tide, the red wedding, Carrie, riding the cotton pony, leak week and code red. No matter what affectionate punny term you use…it happens, it’s nothing to be ashamed of or hide and it affects 50% of the population. So why can’t we talk about it openly?
Endometriosis, also more commonly referred to as Endo, affects one in ten people born with a uterus and it seems that now I am shouting about it I meet someone new on every street corner who has their own struggle and story to tell. Equally, however, there are the same amount of people that have no idea what it even is.
So here are the facts
Endometriosis is a disease where the blood (Endometrium) that collects inside your Uterus each month also collects outside your Uterus. Then when you release hormones to prompt this blood to shed in the form of a period the blood that’s clotted outside the Uterus finds it has nowhere to escape. This causes heavy painful periods and over time causes the trapped blood to turn into a dense like treacle substance leading to scar tissue and the occasional blood filled cyst.
It can also lead to extreme fatigue, infertility and bladder and bowel problems. Despite the seriousness and relatively common prevalence of Endometriosis, it takes on average 7.5 unacceptable years to diagnose and approximately 176 million people are living with it worldwide.
Like I said, until a few weeks ago I didn’t know anything about Endometriosis. Then I found out my dear friend Nicole had taken her own life from the unbearable pain she was suffering with from Endo. As someone who doesn’t have Endo, it was always hard for me to comprehend the pain but I had to try in some way, so I started researching and began trawling the web.
The more I found out the more I wanted to do something and I believe there is still so much that can be done. I’m not a scientist or a doctor but I am a creative so I’m helping in the way I know best! I am putting on an event on the 31st May at the Blue Man from 7.30pm. It’s a cabaret night of love, celebration, awareness and hope. I have ten fabulous acts performing a variety of acts including drag, spoken word, burlesque, comedy, music, and if that isn’t enough it’s a ‘pay what you can’ event on the door.
I also have a fabulous raffle with top prizes including £50 bar tab at Myhotel, £100 wash, cut and blow dry at Headmasters, £60 Côte voucher, £30 Wagamama’s voucher, £50 Tattoo voucher and a whole heap more.
I am hoping to raise enough money to pay for the treatment of others but more importantly, I am hoping to raise awareness. I don’t want anyone else to go through the pain that Nicole did and I don’t want anyone else to feel that they have to get the stage my poor darling friend did.
So start a conversation ask your friends, ask your family, even ask strangers… How are your periods?
Please if any part of this story resonates with you, talk to your family, your friends or go and see your GP.
Endometriosis awareness cabaret night / Nicole’s night is on Thurs 31 May at The Blue Man, Brighton.