Meet Endo Meg
Today we are interviewing Endo Meg, an endo warrior, advocate, and creator.
My name is Meg. I'm 28 years old and from Long Island, NY. I studied fashion merchandising in college and work full-time in the fashion industry. I'm currently living at and working from home due to my chronic illness(es). Alongside debilitating endometriosis, I also struggle with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's Disease, a microadenoma Pituitary tumor, and anxiety/depression.
How and when were you diagnosed with endometriosis?
I have been struggling with pelvic pain and ovarian cysts since I was 12. Growing up, I was absent for 30 days of school per year with mysterious stomach aches. Whenever I'd be sent to the hospital to check for appendicitis growing up, doctors would find "tiny cysts that shouldn't be causing any pain." Like most of us, I was told my stomach aches were due to anxiety or maybe I had IBS. I wasn't taken seriously or hadn't even heard of endometriosis until I discovered an 8 cm endometrioma in my right ovary in 2018. That finally led to diagnostic and excision surgery in 2019 when I was 26.
What advice would you give to those who are struggling with endo?
Keep fighting for yourself, and try to educate yourself on the disease as much as possible. Not all doctors necessarily know endometriosis, so it is important to advocate for yourself (which can be exhausting, but it's worth it). Take advice with a grain of salt – people don't always realize what you're really going through. Invest in a good heating pad, and learn to say no when you need to listen to your body. Therapy is also very important since living in chronic pain can affect your mental health.
What inspired you to start your Etsy shop and donate to endometriosis advocacy and research?
I started beading in 2019 when I was waiting for surgery, and it became therapeutic to me. I still cannot believe that something I had been told not to worry about growing up has ended up dominating my life, taking away my ability to physically go to work or to even function on a day-to-day basis. I started my Etsy shop in May 2020 as a way to give back and help raise awareness of the disease in hopes that others will not have to struggle like I have and not know why. Endometriosis deserves proper recognition, earlier detection, and better access to treatment. The EndoWhat? School Nurse initiative provides toolkits to school nurses, as school nurses are often the first to start seeing the signs.
What does the endometriosis community mean to you?
The endometriosis community means the world to me. Before I first started looking up #endometriosis and even realizing that this whole community exists, I felt so alone and misunderstood. The support even from strangers in this community has helped me through my toughest days, and it really does feel like a sisterhood. I would encourage anyone struggling with the disease to follow #endometriosis and realize you are not alone.
Have you heard about the new tampon technology currently being tested to detect endometriosis?