Patient Ambassador - UK
On the day of her 15th birthday, Maria felt the first pangs of pain in her pelvis. At first, it was periodic, but soon, it worsened and became more frequent. Though it affected her relationships, education, and self-esteem, her friends, family, and doctors told her that her condition was normal. It took 17 years of hormone treatments, misdiagnoses, and pain before Maria was finally diagnosed with endometriosis.
Having a label for her struggles, however, didn’t cure Maria’s chronic pain. After a few more months of failed treatments, Maria realized what she needed was support. She found a few local support groups and started attending their meetings. Surrounded by people who finally understood what she was going through, Maria discovered techniques to help manage her pain. She has learned how to build healthy relationships and get involved in her community; among other activities, she now spends her time supporting others with chronic pain.
As a Patient Ambassador, Maria encourages others living with chronic pain to network with people in similar situations for support and to be advocates for their own health and well-being.