Get to know some of the leaders
Glasgow has 3 Support Group Leaders: Elaine, Britt and Maxine.
Reaching out for support is never easy, coming to a support group can be especially difficult if you don't know anyone or haven't been before.
Here we highlight some of the leaders of the Scottish support groups, help put a face to the name and learn a little about their journey.
Like so many others, I went for years (10+) without knowing the source of my pain and it was just put down to a "bad period".
And to be honest, it wasn't until I was on the phone to my sister complaining about my pain (mind you, 8 years into me seeking help for my pain/symptoms) that I heard about Endometriosis (she was studying it at uni). So fast forward another 4 years and 1 month before my 30th birthday, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis via laparoscopy. It was after my diagnosis after I finally knew what was causing the pain that I knew I needed to do more. Talk about it more, share my story more and give back more.
As cheesy as it sounds, I became a volunteer because I want to help those that are suffering from Endometriosis or those that are looking to get diagnosed. If I can direct them to the resources required to help speed up treatment or better advocate for themselves or to be even there for a wee 'blether and a cuppa', then I'm doing what I set out to do by becoming a volunteer.
So if you live in Glasgow or the outskirts, or Stirling, or Falkirk, or Larbert, come to join us on our Facebook group or at our next meeting
My name is Maxine and I’m one of the group leaders for the Endometriosis UK Glasgow Support Group.
I was aged 28 before I heard the word endometriosis. A colleague suggested to me that I might have it when she saw me doubled over in pain with a hot water bottle stuffed up my uniform one day. After fighting for a gynaecology referral, I was finally diagnosed via laparoscopy in 2016 at the age of 30, after years of horrifically painful periods. By my third surgery in 2019 I was also diagnosed with adenomyosis by an endometriosis specialist and advised to have a hysterectomy, which I am now on the waiting list for.
This was a big blow as I had always hoped to get pregnant one day. Having this condition has taken many things from me. Due to my fluctuating pain levels, the amount of medication I rely upon to ease them and the associated side effects (such as memory loss) I was forced to stop working in my career as a support worker. My marriage suffered and eventually ended due to the pressure I felt I was under to try and get pregnant before I lost my chance.
I have since had counselling to come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to biologically conceive. It is not what I would have chosen for myself, but I have made my peace with it.
Becoming a support group leader has allowed me to feel like something positive can come from my journey. I have met some of the most fantastic, inspiring people, some of whom have suffered far more than I have, some of whom’s stories mirror my own, and some of whom are just are the beginning of their endometriosis journey. Being able to offer support, compassion and understanding to people going through what I have been through has made me feel more like the person I was before this condition began to take over my life, like I have a purpose again. I have made friends in the endo community that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I hope that in my role as support group leader I can contribute to raising awareness of endometriosis, and the impact it has, both among patients and healthcare professionals.
My name is Elaine and I have been a group leader for the Endometriosis UK Glasgow Support Group since 2018.
I was first diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2005 at 33 via a laparoscopy, after many years of suffering excruciating pain. In a way it was a relief to actually be given a diagnosis, as I was made to feel as if it was all in my head. I then started treatment which put me into a temporary menopause which I was on for 6 months, however it did not help my pain and I had my first surgery later that year. Since then I’ve has 3 subsequent surgeries, all ablation, the last in 2016.
As well as having to deal with the pain, having endometriosis has had an adverse affect on my mental health over the years. I've been forced to give up jobs due to the physical and mental struggles of dealing with my condition.
I attended my first meeting of the Glasgow Support Group in 2015, and I am so glad I found the group, everyone was so supportive. It was amazing! Becoming a group leader has given me the chance to share my experiences, and help and support others.