Title: How to Endo: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving with Endometriosis
Author: Bridget Hustwaite
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: March 2021
Book cover of How to Endo: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving with Endometriosis, by Bridget Hustwaite. The title takes up most of the cover, with the authors name situated at the bottom. At the top of the cover is a quote from Zara McDonald, co-founder of the Shameless podcast. It reads: ‘Compassionate, informed, inclusive. This is a book generations of endo sufferers have been crying out for.’
Triple J presenter, Bridget Hustwaite, delivers a comprehensive and compassionate guide in her debut book How to Endo: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving with Endometriosis. In this perfect starter’s pack—complete with definitions, consultation preparation, and general self-care practices—Hustwaite blends experience and research to ensure the Endo journey is that little bit easier.
How to Endo is a light-hearted and enjoyable read, that reads less like a guide and more like a conversation with a friend or an older sister. Hustwaite’s casual approach in tone and content removes the fragility of ‘chronic illness’ and allows her to engage in many difficult and important conversations, such as workplace discrimination and the lack of support for people of colour and gender-diverse individuals. Taking on this role of ‘friend’ and ‘older sister’, she faces these subjects head on by presenting the information she does have, addressing areas where research falls short, and engaging in conversations with other individuals and health professionals who have experienced or have more knowledge on such difficulties. As she states throughout the book, ‘Endo is for everyone’, and she makes a clear effort to reflect that in her writing.
There is an absolute benefit in educating oneself, and Hustwaite does a fantastic job of making this book accessible to everyone, whether they have Endometriosis or not. She embodies this sentiment by dividing the book into three main sections: What to Know, How to Deal, and How to Help. As suggested, these sections target a specific audience and address everything from basic definitions and misunderstandings, managing Endometriosis with daily responsibilities, and supporting a loved one who has been diagnosed with the illness. Throughout the guide she addresses readers directly and is careful not to make it too ‘info’ heavy. Instead, each topic is usually introduced with the author’s own experience and information is presented in the form of an interview or accompanied by illustrations—features I found to be quite engaging.
As a reader who neither has nor knows someone with Endometriosis, I was surprised to find myself feeling acknowledged and addressed simply as a person who can be advised on how to take better care of myself. Much of this book centres around the practical approach of managing Endometriosis within one’s daily life (especially in context of the pandemic), but I found that many of these topics can be easily adjusted to suit similar situations. Whether it’s organising social gatherings or needing to prepare for a doctor’s consultation, each section and its respective topics caters to and promotes self-advocacy—encouraging readers to listen to their body and seek the information and support they need.
Bridget Hustwaite’s How to Endo: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving with Endometriosis is a fantastic guide that is sure to bring comfort to those within the Endo community. If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with Endometriosis, this compassionate guide is the perfect way to help you navigate this journey. But of course, readers are advised to also do their own research and consult with their health professional.