Work, Career, and Endometriosis
Today, Jessica Barnack-Tavlaris - endo warrior, professor, wife, and mother - tells us about managing work, career, and endometriosis.
Day to day, how do you manage your endometriosis while at work?
I've definitely become better at managing my endometriosis at work over time, but it wasn't always easy. For the past few years, my symptoms typically only interfere with work while I'm menstruating. Tracking my menstrual cycle and preparing myself is key. I make sure that I have my medication and menstrual products in multiple places so that they can't be forgotten. I also make sure I stay hydrated and try to pay attention to when my body needs a break or a change of pace.
How has endometriosis impacted your career?
Having endometriosis has actually impacted my career path in a positive way. It motivated me to pursue a career where I can research and teach about women's reproductive health. Although endo has been difficult, it certainly inspired my desire to help others who are experiencing issues related to reproductive health.
How do you decide who and who not to share your endo with at work?
I really only discuss my endo with my close friends at work and even then, it is infrequent. I think this might be because it's been a part of my life for so long that I don't even really think about bringing it up. I'm used to coping with it and don't always feel the need to share it with those who don't already know.
Overall, what's it like to balance endometriosis with a job?
I think that the challenge of balancing endo with a job definitely depends on the type of job and the severity of the symptoms. When I was in the service industry, there were days when it was unbearable to be on my feet and moving at a fast pace. My current job involves a good combination of sitting and standing, which is what I need while I am symptomatic. Working while I'm experiencing symptoms takes a lot out of me though, which means I need rest at home. But balancing endo at home is another story!
Have you ever experienced any of the following symptoms?