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How I Managed Endometriosis in the Workplace: Part 2

In my latest article on endometriosis in the workplace, I discussed how we all can encounter challenges in the workplace, but how finding out my rights and communicating with my employer were key to making work manageable. In this article, I want to share why I decided to make a big change in my career to help me overcome one of the hardest times I’ve faced with endometriosis…

I showed I was willing

Whilst it’s important to let your employer know that endometriosis isn’t currently curable, I did show I was willing to feel better and to continue doing well at my job. I did this for a few reasons; I did want both those things, but I also wanted to alleviate any guilt I was experiencing about having these allowances, and I wanted to ensure my employers knew that I was still onboard. I did this by explaining how and why reasonable adjustments helped me to a) feel better and b) do better at my job, despite these challenges. This may seem obvious to you and I, but it’s not to them – our employers don’t know what it’s like to live with endo, so we need to be clear how it’s challenging us at work and how they can support us to overcomes these issues.

Additionally, I willingly went along to the occupational therapist for my examination and followed up on all his recommendations, feeding back to my manager on any progress.

Finally, I was open, proactive and honest about my treatment. I took up counseling and mindfulness, I changed my eating, I tried different alternative treatments whilst I waited to be seen by my consultant. In my one-to-ones, I let my manager know how I was doing, and I kept her up to date any progress on my laparoscopy date. I didn’t dive into all the gory details, but she appreciated being kept up to date and could see I was doing my best.

I recognized the need for change

Despite all of the above changes, I found that my challenges with endometriosis were not going away. To this day, I haven’t been supported in the work place like I was there – they really did do everything they could. But I came to realize that all the accommodations in the world weren’t going to fix the key issue – I was experiencing too much fatigue for a full time role. I recognized that trying to do this was detrimental to my health, and that it was time to move on. This is a very, very personal decision and I’m not recommending you leave your job – it took me over a year to come to this conclusion, but eventually I decided part-time employment was going to help me heal. If my endometriosis had been in a different place, the reasonable adjustments made were more than enough to help me get through that tough patch, but I could see that a larger lifestyle change is what I personally needed for sustained health.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.