Endometriosis: A Child's Perspective

By Anon, Aged 12

My memories from childhood;

- A crazy, playful Mum who played dress ups with me and who loved me.

- Parents that cuddled all the time.

- Dad always called me his Princess, gave me bear hugs and I how much I loved building things with him.

- Mum always wearing gym gear and being active.

- Suits on both my parents for work, and me telling Mum she looked wrong in a suit I wanted her back in gym gear.

- Mum painting and encouraging me to make a mess.

- Bike rides and bedtime stories.

A pretty normal childhood really. Lots of fun, cuddles and travelling. I always remember laughing and having fun. My life has never been boring.

I also remember;

- Mum always having a hot water bottle or heat pad around. Her curling up on the lounge some days not moving much.

- Mum needing to sleep more. Dad cooking dinner while Mum slept sometimes.

- Mum throwing up from pain. I remember because I was 5 and one time I went and got her a cup of water and made her a vegemite sandwich and took it into her as she sat curled up on the bathroom floor.

- I remember giving Mum my favourite toy while she was curled up on the lounge one time and giving her a hug saying I love you.

Then I remember things getting really bad when I was 7. Mum has always had endometriosis but that year she ended up having a lots of surgeries in a short space of time and she was really sick. Mum went to hospital a lot that year and I remember being scared. I remember crying and saying to her before she went for another surgery, ‘I don’t want them to cut you again, I don’t want you to hurt anymore.’ Dad was with me and taking care of us but I remember being scared for Mum. Mum told me she was having the surgery so she wouldn’t hurt anymore and that when she got better we could go for a bike ride. I remember that surgery was not long before ANZAC day. Mum was still sore after her surgery but we went down to the beach near our house to watch the sunrise and do our own little dawn service because she couldn’t do the full dawn service. She made a little walk on the beach but sat down most of the time and when she tried to walk again she doubled over in pain and couldn’t move. Dad picked her up and got me to follow him, we left our things on the beach and Dad carried Mum across the dunes. I just remember Mum curled up in his arms looking sick and Dad saying ‘It is OK Princess, Mummy will be OK, she just needs to go home.’ I thought my Dad was a hero that day. He put her in the car and rushed back to the beach to get our things and we went home. Mum spent the rest of the day in bed and Dad and I hung out for the day. That was the year I learnt what endometriosis was.

I was young when my periods started and I remember being so scared that I would have endometriosis like my Mum. I was scared it would hurt the way my Mum hurt. I was scared it would interrupt my goals the way it did my Mum’s. I was scared I would have to go through the surgeries my Mum had to go through. I was scared of what my body could do, I remember saying to Mum ‘I am only a little girl, this was not suppose to happen to me yet.’ Mum hugged me and reassured me that my body was healthy and doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing. When I mentioned endo she told me that we would deal with that if it happened.

I hated when she tried to talk to me about my periods but she persisted, it still drives me nuts but I am glad she has persisted. Every time my periods happened for a year or more I was worried they would hurt like my Mums did. So far they haven’t and I am so happy about that. Because Mum persisted in talking about things with me I know my body is doing what it is supposed to do. There is still a thought in the back of my mind that wonders if one day I might have endo. I try not to think about it, I know if something happens, Mum and Dad will do everything they can to take care of me. Mum still lives with the question mark and I know she still hurts. I love her for teaching me how to make the most of things, what is normal with my body, how to smile and that it is ok to ask questions. I may not have endo but I know 1 in 10 women do, so 1 in 10 of my friends will. Charities like QENDO talking about what is normal and what is not, helps girls who need it get answers quicker. I know how scary endometriosis can be, I know how much it can hurt and I know QENDO and other groups make a difference, so I want to help.

Anon, Age 12

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