Chances are if you follow me on instagram, if you are around me in person, you’ve seen me in yellow.
Yellow isn’t even my favourite colour.
That honour belongs to the colour purple.
If you see me regularly you’ll see that ocean and sea colours are what I’m often found dressing myself in. Blues, teals, turquoises…
Yellow and gold became a thing when I realised that so few people knew about the lack of funding for childhood cancer research. So a few years ago, I started making a point of wearing yellow and gold every day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It’s not seasonal for Autumn, and it’s hard to find clothing items in these colours that are Scottish weather appropriate, but actually it makes it more of a talking point.
They are often shocked.
It is now March.
Women’s History month.
But also the month of Endometriosis awareness.
The colour for that is yellow too.
I’ve still never had a diagnosis for all the problems that I’ve experienced as a woman. Over the years I hear conflicting opinions and knowledge from doctors – even ones who are specialists in gynaecology.
This morning a video of an episode of Australian Story popped up several times on my social media feeds about Emma Watkins (the yellow wiggle) who has Stage 4 endometriosis. Her fellow male wiggles talked about how they worried for her, and almost called ambulances. She talked about how she just thought it was just some bad period pain.
And immediately I was transported back of the first year I sang at this monthly youth event when my symptoms were at their very worst. I would have pain relief patches all over my body under my clothes. I would be in so much pain that I would come off stage, go to the bathroom and collapse on the floor. I would pop more paracetamol and aspirin. I would adjust the patches. I would make cooling compresses out of paper towels. I would brace myself and go back out there. Then for days I’d be exhausted.
Pain is exhausting.
Bleeding is exhausting.
It takes an average of 7-8 years for a woman in the UK to get diagnosed, and it affects at least 1 in 10 women.
And that hasn’t changed much in the last decade.
We don’t know the cause.
Treatment options are limited.
And there isn’t an awful lot of research funding put into it.
You can help change that by speaking to your MP or MSP, getting involved with Endometriosis UK or simply spreading awareness.