Photographer creates portraits of endometriosis sufferers

Self Portrait: “This photo was taken a few days before my sixth surgery for endometriosis.  My weight dropped quickly;  Chronic nausea, pain and heavy meals prevented me from eating enough food.  Using the heat-pad burned my stomach.  The waistband of my dress was cut to ease the pain of my bloated abdomen caused by the swelling.  - Georgie Wileman
Self Portrait: “This photo was taken a few days before my sixth surgery for endometriosis. My weight dropped quickly; Chronic nausea, pain and heavy meals prevented me from eating enough food. Using the heat-pad burned my stomach. The waistband of my dress was cut to ease the pain of my bloated abdomen caused by the swelling. – Georgie Wileman (George Wileman)
Placeholder when article actions are loaded

When he was 13, Georgie Wileman suffered from debilitating stomach pains and fatigue that would change his life forever.

For more than a decade, Wielman struggled to get a diagnosis for her condition. At the age of 26, she was diagnosed with the disease Endometriosis, an inflammatory disease where cells like the lining of the uterus grow outside the uterus. Symptoms can vary drastically from patient to patient, but This disease can cause chronic pain, infertility, painful periods, heavy bleeding, gastrointestinal problems and extreme fatigue. In Wielman’s case, the pain of the disease immobilized her for a while.

Frustrated with how her own experiences were reflected in endometriosis stories, Wileman, now 34 and a photographer and filmmaker, began photographing herself with the help of caregivers.

As her condition improved, she began photographing others living with the disease whom she met through online endometriosis communities. He set out to create a “realistic representation” of what the disease looks like, who it affects and how it affects their daily lives.

“It was a very powerful experience,” said Wielman, who was photographing another person with endometriosis for the first time. “It’s the first time I’ve ever spent time with a person who is as sick as I am.”

The result was “This is Endometriosis”, a photo and documentary project and social media campaign, #THISISENDOMETRIOSIS. One of the program’s goals is to dispel the long-held misconception that the disease only affects childless white women. Affects endometriosis About 10 percent of people born with a uterusregardless of race or gender identity.

See also  Latest UK and Europe heat wave news: live updates

A A long delay between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of endometriosis Common, says Iris Kerin Arbuch, MD, an endometriosis specialist in California.

“You can imagine 10 years of pain, 10 years of bowel problems, 10 years of anxiety and depression because they’re acting normal to the doctor,” said Kerin Arbuch, adding that the physical and psychological effects of endometriosis can add up. more time. He compared the increase in pain to the difference between stubbing someone’s toe and stubbing their toe every day for 10 years. “What happens is your whole body feels like it’s on fire.”

Despite the long list of symptoms, endometriosis often results in “painful periods,” Kerin Arbuch said. But pain from endometriosis can occur outside of the menstrual cycle and every day of a person’s life.

The severity of the disease is often misunderstood. “Someone can have endo all over their stomach and not have any pain,” Kerin Orbuch said. “Someone can have an endo’s place and be in extreme pain and use a walker.”

When Wileman was diagnosed, she was first treated with ablation, a laparoscopic surgical technique that burns away the top layer of endometriosis but leaves the underlying endometriosis tissue. As he underwent three removal surgeries in 18 months, each took a toll on Willeman’s health and body. In great pain, she was given a mixture of morphine and nerve blockers. She was lying on the bed.

Eventually, through an online endometriosis community, Wileman heard about a surgical technique called excision. This technique cuts out endometriosis tissue and is considered the gold standard of treatment by experts. She has had two surgeries for endometriosis and is preparing for another. She still lives with enough pain that she uses a cane to help her walk and a wheelchair when needed.

See also  $1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

In the images for his project, Wielmann often focuses closely People’s stomachs, annotating them with the dates of the many operations they underwent for treatment. In a social media campaign called #THISISENDOMETRIOSIS, she encouraged people to recreate the look of their stomachs.

A Picture He shares the name of his photo essay, debuted at this year’s Hot Dogs Canadian International Documentary Festival and is on the film festival circuit. Created by a group of volunteers, many of whom had endometriosis, it uses Wileman’s own story as an example of life with the disease.

She said it’s “a film that tells you what it feels like to have endometriosis.”

The film also allowed Willman to return to the project years after she stopped making films for her endometriosis project.

“I’ll get there one way or another,” Wileman said. “This project is bigger than me.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.