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Christine Layton has the privilege of speaking to a statewide audience three hours a day, five days a week on ABC Radio Perth’s Afternoons program.
It also means she’s reliant on her wrap around heat pack and pencil case of medication should an endo flare strike.
Christine and her husband were living and working on the south coast of Western Australia when they decided to try and fall pregnant. After a miscarriage and failed D&C, Christine started experiencing excruciating pain during sex. In short, it felt like she was being torn apart.
Christine was repeatedly told by her local GPs that stress-induced pelvic pain was normal and that she should use some lubrication or take a break from work. While it was a good excuse to clear some annual leave, it resulted in years of exhaustion.
Christine’s persistence lead to an appointment with a visiting gynaecologist who, after performing a physical internal exam, suspected endometriosis. A laparoscopy revealed stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) of the vaginal wall and sigmoid colon. In the words of her specialist, her vagina and rectum were glued together.
It was a moment of immense relief and extreme frustration for Christine. Surgery provided temporary relief — she now lives with chronic pelvic pain but the good news is, she’s been able to conceive naturally, twice (Bonnie is 5 and Mitchell is due July 2023).
Christine is determined to share her story in the hope that it will encourage others to persevere when it comes to investigating their pain.
When she’s not dancing along to fellow endo warrior Emma Wiggle, she’s out swing dancing in Perth’s historic town halls. For years Christine taught lindy hop — a century-old style of partner jazz also known as swing dancing — travelling around the world to master the craft.
Prior to the ABC, she dabbled in jazz clarinet at the Western Australian Academy of Performing arts before falling into traffic reporting for Main Roads in Perth and VicRoads in Melbourne.
Wooed by the beauty and history of WA’s oldest port, Christine spent a number of years working at the ABC in Albany where she presented regional Breakfast, Mornings, Afternoons and Drive.
Upon her return to the big (or medium-sized) smoke, she presented Saturday Breakfast which lead to her current position hosting one of ABC Perth’s flagship programs.
Christine is honoured to stand along so many outstanding, resilient ambassadors.