By Ash Ricardo
For the past 10 years I have dealt with chronic abdominal pain that was diagnosed by various specialists as everything from IBS to anxiety. But after thousands of dollars spent on consultations and scans and numerous treatment plans later, nothing seemed to help.
I was fed up and knew in my heart that something wasn’t right.
Finally I found a terrific doctor who mentioned the possibility of Endometriosis. At that stage I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know much about the disease, only that my aunties had talked about dealing with it over the years.
I was upset to learn that the only way to properly diagnose Endometriosis is through surgery, so I kept putting it off. But in 2017 the pain of staying the same became greater than the pain of change I booked in the laparoscopy, which finally confirmed a diagnosis of Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. I was relieved – at last I had some answers and reassurance that the pain wasn’t all in my head.
What did upset me was how little we still know about a disease that affects so many women. Even though there are amazing doctors and researchers all around the world working tirelessly on the problem, there is only so much they can do without the proper funding. To learn that there is still a 7-10 year delay in diagnosis broke my heart. And so when I was approached by Endometriosis Australia to be an ambassador I jumped at the opportunity.
I am passionate about raising awareness for Endometriosis. There absolutely needs to be more funding into this awful disease so that women can be free of pain and get on with their lives.
Ash Ricardo is an actor, writer and voice over artist. She is best known for playing Kerry Green in Network Ten’s Offspring. And will star in the upcoming Channel Nine crime thriller Bite Club playing Detective Zoe Rawlings. Her additional television credits include starring as ‘Charlotte Wynn’ in Network Ten’s Party Tricks, the ABC series Old School alongside Bryan Brown and Sam Neill, the Seven Network telemovie MOLLY, the Network Ten telemovie MARY: The Making of a Princess, Home and Away, Tricky Business, Rescue: Special OPS and Packed to the Rafters.
Ash recently starred in Enzo Tedeschi’s thriller Event Zero and she also featured in Wayne Hope’s Now Add Honey, which had its world premiere at the 2015 Bentonville Film Festival. She will next be seen in Taika Waititi’s THOR: Ragnarok.
Ash has appeared in numerous theatre productions including Noises Off, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Gallipolli and All Star Cabaret for the Sydney Theatre Company; Between Two Waves for the Griffin Theatre; That Face for the Queensland Theatre Company; The Pigeons for Griffin Independent Theatre and Sprout for the Old Fitz Theatre.
Ash graduated from NIDA in 2008.