What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.
Sophie McDonald is a student mental health nurse from York who suffers from endometriosis. She is currently training to hike the Yorkshire Three Peak with her husband Tom, to fundraise for Endometriosis UK.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Sophie, just a few weeks away from turning 30 and I’m a student mental health nurse. I’m from Yorkshire, where I live with my husband. I have endometriosis and recently started running the Endometriosis UK support group in York.
When did you first get sick?
For anyone who is unfamiliar with endometriosis, it is a condition affecting 1 in 10 women where cells similar to those lining the uterus grow outside of that area, often in other parts of the pelvis such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and bowel. These cells react in a similar way to those lining the uterus, responding to hormonal changes in the body and bleeding when a women is on her period, causing chronic inflammation.
Endometriosis can cause chronic pain, heavy and prolonged periods, bladder and bowel problems, fatigue and infertility. There are treatments available to manage the symptoms, but there is no cure. It’s important to note that symptoms vary considerably and no two women will have the same experience or response to treatment.