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Home and Away star opens up about chronic health battle

''I haven't been able to move from the floor...because it's too painful to even walk around the house.''
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Home and Away star Sophie Dillman has opened up about her ‘excruciating’ chronic health condition, describing her experience as ”exhausting” and a ”struggle”.

Taking to her Instagram In March 2023, the actress shared a candid post about her experience with the debilitating disease.

”Endometriosis can look like this or this depending on the day,” she wrote, sharing two side by side, polar opposite photos.

”I haven’t been able to move from the floor this morning because it’s too painful to even walk around the house.

”But then some days it doesn’t affect me at all. I don’t know when the pain or swelling or nausea will start or end,” Sophie continued before adding: ”The unknown is heartbreaking.”

In the same month, Sophie shared a quote from Thelma and Louise actress and fellow ”Endo Warrior” Susan Sarandon who reflected poigntly on the debilitating health condition.

”When all you know is pan you don’t know that that is not normal,” the quote read.

Speaking candidly with 7Life in late 2022 about her experience with endometriosis, Sophie referred to the pain, symptoms, lack of awareness and common misdiagnoses of her illness as ”frustrating.”

Explaining endometriosis in her own words, the 30-year-old said that whilst one in nine people (most commonly women) could have the condition, it existed on a spectrum of being ”incredibly painful” to a person ”not knowing” they were living with the condition.

It’s been a tough few years for Sophie….

(IMAGE: Instagram)

Speaking on her own experience, Sophie admitted that she had been extremely lucky to receive a quick diagnosis at the age of 21.

Many other sufferers struggle for years with ”potentially excruciating pain, uncertainty, and all sorts of symptoms,” says Sophie.

For women concerned that they have the condition, the average time it takes to get a diagnosis in Australia is a concerning six and a half years.

”I had experienced incredibly painful periods and irregular periods throughout my entire teenage years,” Sophie told 7Life.

”It was really irregular – but when I got them, they were really heavy, really painful,” adding that she would ”faint and vomit continuously.”

Sophie is currently dating her Home and Away costar Patrick O’Connor.

(IMAGE: Instagram)

But the pain and confusion didn’t stop there as Sophie experienced ”incredible bloating” so severe that her clothes wouldn’t fit and she would get ”incredibly bad leg pain and swelling.”

After deciding enough was enough Sophie sought a doctor, then a gynaecologist who eventually encouraged her to undergo a laparoscopy, where a tiny camera is sent into the pelvic region through a small incision to investigate and remove any tissue that is causing pain.

The surgery proved a success, and Sophie received her diagnosis after a ”frustrating” wait.

”It was a relief because I felt like I wasn’t crazy,” Sophie says.

But three surgeries since, and Sophie is still nowhere closer to a cure.

”I have a lot of tissue that they can’t remove because it’s in the lining of my various organs,” says Sophie.

”It’s exhausting and painful and…. sometimes awkward and it sucks,” she says, adding that the procedures don’t address the situation for her.

”So, it seems that it will be something I will continuously do throughout my life.”

Despite her diagnosis, Sophie doesn’t let anything hold her back and is feeling stronger than ever!

(IMAGE: Instagram)

According to Sophie, a lack of research contributed to uncertain surgery outcomes.

”There’s no rhyme or reason because there isn’t enough research on this stuff,” she says.

”It’s really frustrating again to go back to your doctor and be like, ‘I don’t think this worked.’

”There are people who have to have surgeries multiple times a year just to cope.

”And that’s super expensive and super taxing and hard work when you’re like that. It’s tough.”

Sophie is an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia.

(IMAGE: Instagram)

Despite this dreary conclusion, Sophie has fuelled her experience with endometriosis into something positive, coming onboard as an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia.

Speaking of the organisation, Sophie encouraged any individuals facing an endometriosis diagnosis to reach out via Instagram and Facebook to connect with likeminded, and similarly experienced individuals.

”They’re such a great community and make you feel less alone,” she says.

”But we need to keep fighting for greater funding,” she adds, noting that with more information, diagnosis can come earlier, and others can be helped with their suffering.

More information about Endometriosis Australia can be found here.

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