Living In Pain
This week I got to work with one of my favorite people. Invy Rose is a model I've worked with many times over the years. Always happy and smiling and working hard. Until recently I was totally unaware of the pain she endures every day. Some posts on social media brought up the topic of her chronic pain from endometriosis and we reached out to each other to talk about a photo project to help bring more awareness to the issue.
There is no cure
According to Wikipedia, "Endometriosis is a condition in which the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus, grows outside it." It goes on to say that, "There is no cure for endometriosis, but a number of treatments may improve symptoms. This may include pain medication, hormonal treatments, or surgery. " Invy has had some surgeries, but the pain continues. "Endometriosis affected 10.8 million as of 2015. This is roughly 6–10% of women."
Shown here are some images from our first photo session. We plan on another session in the near future. I also asked Invy to talk a bit about what she has been going through.
"I'm actually dealing with my endo really bad right now. Ever since the surgery my hormones have been off and the pain today is horrible and getting worse .
"I really want women and girls out there to know that they are not alone. Endometriosis is a disease that people don't like to talk about because it has to do with menstruation. It's kept in the dark and not many people are open about it. That's why more women suffer longer and don't get answers because they think the pain is 'normal period pain.'
"I was told that (normal period pain) for most of my early teens until I was diagnosed at 17, just out of high school. Since then I have had surgeries to take the endometriosis out. I have also had so many treatments to help the pain, including 20 different kinds of birth control medication. I would get a catheter to inject DMSO treatments directly into my bladder once a week for 12 weeks to help my bladder pain. But it never helped the pain. I went to bladder specialist, G.I. specialist, gynecologist, and pain management doctors for years.
"Something that you don't often hear about endometriosis is that it affects your immune system because it is sort of an auto immune disease. Some women have iron deficiencies as well as low blood sugar. That's why it can be really hard to manage because you have to change your whole lifestyle and eating habits. I think more women need to be open about endometriosis and their pain so some day we can have a cure. Right now it's an incurable disease and not many woman even know they have endometriosis. That's why I'm trying to bring more awareness to this horribly painful disease." --Invy Rose August 2017