Woman's Endometriosis Causes Her Stomach To Bloat So Much People Think She's Pregnant
Imagine having a condition that makes you so bloated, people constantly ask if you're pregnant. So bloated, you cannot go to work because your uniform won't fit you.
That's the reality for 25-year-old Amelia Veitch, who suffers from endometriosis.
She's not the only one either, because 10% of woman in the world suffer with the condition, a side effect of which is severe bloating.
Mum-of-one Amelia, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, was diagnosed with the condition, where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, in November 2018.
However, she's suffered with debilitating symptoms since the age of nine.
Amelia said that at times, it's so agonising she has to be hospitalised, something which has happened four times already in 2019.
"I know the paramedics because I have to call them out so often," she added. "My bladder goes into retention and I have to be catheterised at the hospital.
"I rely on pain relief every day to get me through the day due to the constant unbearable ache that I have in my lower tummy.
"I get a shooting pain up my rectum that's so painful I have to go to hospital and I'm on daily doses of morphine."
But it doesn't just affect her physically, because it damages her confidence too.
Amelia said: "People would say 'congratulations' and ask me when my baby is due. Even random people in the street look at my stomach and say 'congratulations'.
"Sometimes I correct them, but it drags me down - it's confidence knocking."
She bloats frequently... When she's tired, after sex, when she's ovulating and menstruating too.
She added: "It [the condition] affects everything I do, it affects my partner. The only clothes I fit into are pyjamas."
The comments are of course not meant nastily, but they hurt Amelia especially hard because although she has daughter Ava-Grace, five, she's suffered three miscarriages, as the condition also affects fertility.
She said: "Correcting people who think I'm pregnant mentally gets me down. It really takes its toll.
"I have difficulty conceiving. With endometriosis you're at higher risk of miscarriage.
"People should think before they ask when it's due because they don't know my personal struggles."
To top it all off, it has ruined her career too, being forced to quit because the disease leaves her bedridden for up to one week at a time, leaving her looking unreliable.
"There were times at work when my uniform wouldn't even fit, and that's when I have had to call in sick.
"I was working towards a promotion before I quit[...]and it's left us under financial strain."
But it affects her personal life too, sometimes feeling too sick to care for Ava-Grace.
She says her daughter even suffers with separation anxiety because Amelia spends so much time either in bed or in hospital.
Her partner, Chris, 29, has to step in often to pick up Ava-Grace from school.
Amelia said: "If I'm in pain, I also can't run around after Ava.
"I'm lucky I've got Chris, but it puts pressure on him and our relationship
"He's working, cooking, doing housework and I'm saying 'get me a hot water bottle, get me this and that'."
Despite her struggles, Amelia plans to go back to work next month and hopes to have another child in the future.
But because she feels that not enough people understand the condition, she's decided to help support other women living with it, through charity, Women With Endometriosis.
Amelia said: "People don't understand the pain that it causes. It's invisible.
"If you lose a leg people can see, with invisible illnesses it's a touchy subject to talk about.
"I felt like I wasn't believed before and I felt so relieved when I was finally diagnosed."
Amelia is not alone though, far from it, as recently another woman, Claudia Wright spoke out about people thinking she was pregnant because of the condition too.
You can find out more about the condition here.
Featured Image Credit: Caters