This is Hannah’s Story.
I’m Hannah and I’m a singer, music producer and sound engineer living in London. I go by the artist name, Piripa. And for years now, I’ve lived with endometriosis – I was officially diagnosed after having a laparoscopy in February 2023 after 8 years of searching for answers.
Sadly, like so many living with endometriosis, my journey towards diagnosis has been far from easy. I have suffered with symptoms from the age of 15. As the years went on, my symptoms progressed from painful periods to much more chronic, daily pain and chronic fatigue. After a good few years of going to the GP, in 2019, I saw some information online about endometriosis and suggested to my GP that I might have this. I continued to see GPs and specialists over the next few years, trying different kinds of medical treatments unfortunately with little improvement. Eventually, I was put onto a waiting list for a laparoscopy and received both diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis.
Receiving my diagnosis gave me a sense of clarity that I was lacking before. Up until that point, the uncertainly of not having the diagnosis had been difficult. For a long time, I felt like my pain was not taken seriously and often felt that the medical professionals I saw lacked empathy and didn’t understand the severity of the impact this had on my life. Long NHS waiting times between appointments and scans often left me feeling alone and unsure of how to cope while I waited. Without the online community and the information I found through Endometriosis UK, I wouldn’t have been able to advocate for myself properly to get the treatment I needed. This is why now, I’m really keen to be a voice for those living with endometriosis, to continue to improve awareness and knowledge of the condition and continue to advocate for further research.
For me, endometriosis has changed my life. Living with chronic pain and fatigue has forced me to change my lifestyle and adapt to a way of living that works for my body. When I realised for the first time that I would probably live with this for the rest of my life, I really struggled with depression and felt a real sense of loss for the ‘able’ body that I previously had. I felt incredibly anxious that I wouldn’t be able to have the career I wanted and sometimes even wondered if I’d have to give up music and performing for good. But being a part of the endometriosis community has given me so much strength and motivates me to keep going. They’ve helped me accept my diagnosis, remind me that life still goes on with this disease and that there is hope for the future. They’ve given me the courage to keep returning to music in a way that works for me, and to write and create more music that tells my story and that recognises and celebrates my vulnerability and strength.