I think the main motivation was to create something that I knew I needed when I was a teenager and experiencing symptoms for the first time but didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. I was also motivated to create a book that included practical and factual info, delivered from a patient perspective, as I felt that particular format was lacking in the market. I’ve read several great endo books but some of them I found hard to digest as they were a bit too technical, and they weren’t something I felt I could pass on to a loved one for them to check out. I wanted my book to be friendly, relatable, and as fun as possible! Learning about a chronic illness can honestly be a bit draining, so I hope people find my book engaging.
Did you learn about Endometriosis in school and if no do you wish you learnt more about it sooner?
Unfortunately, endometriosis wasn’t covered in our health curriculum and to be honest, I can’t really remember what we even learned about our periods. I think it absolutely needs to be covered in high school as for many people, that is when symptoms first develop and having the knowledge then could really help in fastracking the diagnosis duration. I feel like there’s been a lot of progress in recent years though, mainly thanks to social media and programs like PPEP Talk being able to reach students.
How did you manage juggling a full time role, being chronically ill and writing a book?
Honestly, it was bloody hard! It took a lot out of me. I would wake up early, write and research, have a little break and then start work. I also wrote a bit whilst recovering from my second excision surgery and I’m still not sure if that was the best idea as I was on a lot of meds! I think being in Melbourne lockdown actually helped, as I didn’t have any FOMO! There really wasn't much else to do! I’m also so grateful to the amazing people who contributed to the book. It was a team effort :)
What's your best piece of advice for people living with chronic illness?
Be kind to yourself. I think we can be really hard on ourselves and always compare to others but it’s important to recognise that everybody’s chronic illness journey is not the same. Take each day as it comes, celebrate the small wins and remember your body is doing the best it can.
What's inside your tool kit when dealing with flare ups?
Definitely a heat pack! I have a whole collection of wheat bags and I also have a great electric heat pack that lasts most of the night. I’ve also been prescribed medicinal cannabis which I take when I really need and I’m lucky to have a bathtub that I can retreat to!
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