Have you got a BFF who’s recently confided in you that they’ve recently been diagnosed with endometriosis? If you don’t know too much about it, you’re most likely worried about your friend and figuring out how to help. By simply letting them know that you’re there, you’re willing to help and are supportive will make a huge difference in the way they manage their endo.
Learn about endo
Learn about endometriosis and empower yourself with knowledge about the condition. The more you know, the more you can support your friend. When Googling, seek out trusted medical information and always look at the source of the info being presented to you. The next time you’re at your doctor, ask them to clarify things you might be unsure of.
Ask your friend questions. How are they feeling? What helps them to ease their pain? Understanding what they are experiencing will help you figure out what you might be able to do to help. Perhaps when you’re out and about, you could have a special codeword or a hand signal they could use to communicate when they are in pain.
Keep in touch
You don’t have to shower your friend with gifts or cook them dinner every day to show that you’re there (although those things are rather nice too!!) Simply listening and being contactable is a wonderful way to help someone with endo.
Some ways to help include:
1. Text and call regularly – your friend might not respond straight away, or pick up when you call, but knowing that you’re there is going to be a tremendous help. Remember to use lots of love heart emojis.
2. Change plans – they may be in pain and not feel up to getting up and going out. Consider switching that restaurant dinner to pizza and Netflix at your pal’s house.
3. Offer to be an endo buddy – does your friend hate doctor’s appointments? You could offer to go with them for moral support. You can also help remember what the doctor says and have a debrief together on the way home.
There are other ways you can help your friend, especially if they’re not feeling up to talking about endo, or they’re having some time away from social activities while they recover from surgery.
Endometriosis Australia is a great starting point to discover upcoming fundraising and educational activities that may be happening that you can support by participating in or just donating to. You could even set up an event yourself at school, your workplace, or a community area nearby. Why not host your own High Tea? (Who doesn’t love cupcakes and little sandwiches, amirite?!)
Whilst it’s your friend who has endo, you also may feel its impact. Having a loved one with endo can take a mental toll, and you might feel helpless and not know what to do to help.
Seek support, whether through a relative or even find an online support group. So many Endo Warriors have partners, friends, and family who you can share experiences with and talk when you need help.