living life yellow.
the ramblings of a girl with endometriosis
To put this into perspective, most people this time of year are asking for time off work over the holidays to go to festivals and on vacation (summer in my country,) where as I have just submitted my holiday leave, so I can have my fourth surgery.
Upholding a steady job with endo is a challenge. Between 2017/2018 I have taken almost a year off working, just because my health wasn't reliable enough for me to get up to go to work every day. There has been lots of up's and down's but I'm finally happy to say that I have an awesome job, that works around my health.
I have a kinda of quirky job. I work at a local escape room place, which is a lot of fun. For those of you who aren't familiar with escape rooms, my job is to pretty much, lock people in a room, watch them and give them clues on how to escape. It's a pretty sweet gig.
This job for me has been great for a few reasons.
1) I love escape rooms. Work is a lot easier when you're doing something you enjoy.
Think outside the box. Never in the world did I think I would be doing this job, but it's by far the best one I've had. If you have a passion, work out a way to make it your job. When I'm feeling sick, all I want to do is get back to work as it makes me feel like a normal human again, and it's fun!
2) It's mainly sitting down most of the time watching people, but I do get a chance to stretch my legs as I reset the rooms.
This is perfect as sitting down too long or standing too long gives me pain. It's the perfect balance. I totally suggest if you are looking for a job, find out somewhat what your triggers and limits are and work from there
3) The other staff are pretty cool. One of the best things about working here is that I don't feel guilty when I am sick. This was one of the reasons I resigned from my previous jobs, as whenever I called in sick, or requested time off for surgery (which was once not approved) it was always a big deal to them. At this job, the other staff members have became my friends and my boss is super understanding about what's going on for me.
At the moment I work 3 days a week; usually Fri/Sat/Sun. Which means I have time to recover the rest of the week. Overdoing it means I end up in more pain, which means I have to take time off work, so I take it small steps at a time. I'm also currently working only part time, as next year I intend to study full time, but that's a story for another blog post...
During the week days I also babysit, two boys (aged 5 & 7) before school in the mornings. All I really do is get their breakfast ready, make sure they get changed into their school uniforms, then hang out with them till it's time to go. This has been a perfect wee side gig for me. If you Can't work full or part time, I would totally recommend babysitting as it's usually pretty easy work (depends on the kids!) and it's fun!
For me, a healthy work environment is super important. I never want to work at a place that makes me feel guilty for something that is out of my control. Holding up a job is something that is important to me, because it's one of the only aspects in my life that makes me feel like a normal human again.
And never feel ashamed if you can't work. Take time to properly deal with your health. It is so worth it in the end.
Little bit of a backstory;
Earlier this year, I met Emma at the Canterbury Youth Awards. She had been nominated for a wellbeing award for the work she has done fundraising for endometriosis research and education in schools. Of course, I thought she was the most amazing person in the room, so I invited her to write a blog post.
Hi Jasmine's Blog! My name is Emma Brown and like Jasmine, I too suffer from Endometriosis. I was asked by Jasmine to write up a wee blog of my own to share with you all so I’m going to start with telling you a bit about my journey.
My symptoms first started when I was 14 years old, and like most endo sufferers, I had no idea what was going on. I was confused and in an indescribable amount of pain. From this point on, I had countless doctors appointments, trips to A&E and had a professional gynaecologist telling me that it was “all in your head." I’m sure many of you have felt the exact same way.
I had my first surgery where I got told nothing was wrong, yet when I had my second surgery (which was only months later) I was told that I had been diagnosed with extensive endometriosis. In total, I’ve had 6 surgery’s, and I am now 18 and have just graduated from high school. So for me, high school wasn’t what it was supposed to be. In year 10 I missed out on half a year of school. My friends kept asking me “Why aren’t you at school?” and every time it was the same answer: I’m in too much pain.
I didn’t feel like a normal teenager, because I couldn’t go out and enjoy anything without wanting to crawl into bed. After being told that my surgeon didn’t want to operate on me anymore, I started to explore different avenues. That’s where I found out that I had to go gluten and dairy free, as well as cutting out garlic, onions, mushrooms and red meats out of my diet. This is quite similar to a low fodmap diet, and I do recommend trying it if you are stuck on what to try next. Since having gone off all these things, I have more pain free days than what I do pain days. And I know its not something that will work for everyone, but it’s really worth trying.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, and for those of you that are suffering from Endo, keep fighting because you are strong and you can get through absolutely anything.