Radio host Mel Greig has shared a candid photo showing the painful reality of living with endometriosis, which affects one in 10 Australian women.
Taking to Instagram, Greig posted a photo of her swollen abdomen, explaining that the chronic illness had led to nausea, stabbing pains and other excruciating symptoms.
“One minute you can be getting ready to talk on a panel in Sydney for @redagencyau and @endometriosisaustralia and the next minute it feels like someone is stabbing you in the abdomen with a knife . . . A pain that I and many women know too well. Within 5mins my whole reproductive system was inflamed and I started to vomit. Nausea is a new symptom for me,” she wrote.
“I now can’t physically sit in a car for 2hrs because the pain is too unbearable and the pain medication that I once used has now been taken off pharmacy shelves, within a few hours I predict I’ll be in the emergency room begging for pain medication. This is the unpredictability of Endometriosis. It can literally come from nowhere without a trigger and render you helpless, I now can’t attend the event. This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last time this chronic illness has controlled my life.”
Greig also took the opportunity to bring attention to EndoMarch, a worldwide campaign aimed at raising awareness of Endometriosis. Ironically, she had to cancel an appearance at an endometriosis event because of her flare up.
“For many women they feel embarrassed to call in sick or cancel with the truth of their condition, it’s much easier to say you have gastro,” she wrote.
“We need to end the silence and start the conversation. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women and it doesn’t discriminate, whether you are an Olympian like @emcbomb or a model like @tasha_rossxx or an everyday Mumma.”
Greig, who has lived with endometriosis since age 17, signed off her post with the reminder: “We can’t ever feel ashamed to say ‘I have Endometriosis’ we don’t want a stigma we just want a god damn cure."
Endometriosis is a common, incurable disease in which the tissue similar to the womb lining grows outside in other parts of the body.
For more information or support visit Endometriosis Australia.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.