Endometriosis UK
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Work - being signed off

I'm new here and wonder if anyone has any advice or experiences they want to share linked to my situation?

I am currently waiting for a lap to treat my endo, which will be in early May.

I'm a teacher but I'm currently not working as I've been signed off. My work have been amazingly understanding but having to take so many odd days/weeks off was affecting my pupils really negatively and we agreed that I would get signed off until my op and then do a phased return after the op. It was a really difficult decision because I love my job but ultimately it's better for the children to have one full time teacher who I was able to hand over to properly rather than me half the time and a series of supply teachers when the pain gets too bad.

If only things were that easy!

1) Even though work have been amazingly supportive and I know it's the right thing for the children I feel like a huge failure for not being able to cope with the pain/fatigue/stress when my endo is only mild to moderate.

2) My docs are signing me off for 2 weeks each time. So I've sorted it out with work and they've hired a new teacher until the end of May but how do I get my GP to support that?

3) May feels like an enormously long time away.

Any insights would be really very much appreciated - atm I just feel so worried and stressed about trying to do the right thing by everyone!

3 Replies

Hi. I'm in more or less the same position. Was signed off from my teaching job because of awful pain. Occupational health recommended part time whilst on zoladex but I had to have a few weeks off when I started taking it 9 weeks ago as I felt so dreadful. I am now teaching 6 hours a week- mainly because I wanted to get my Y11 to Easter. I honestly don't think I could do more- I'm washed out and worrying about my upcoming op at Easter to remove my ovaries is not helping. I feel like I'm going round in circles. I think it's inevitable that we worry about our pupils- any good teacher will. I am trying however to put my health first as much as possible after years of ongoing pain from this disease. Try not to worry too much about your pupils. They have adequate cover and you must concentrate on getting better . Relaxing and eating as healthily as possible before your op.


Hi :-) I'm new here and a teacher too. I totally appreciate where you're coming from. As a teacher we feel responsible for our students and I felt a sense of guilt, like I was letting them down, when I was off work. Remember you can't help being ill and you have got to take care of yourself in order to do your job successfully. However, looking back I realise their education wasn't affected as, yes, I am replaceable after all!! I had 3 laparoscopies in 3 years and found the phased return to work to be a godsend....just make sure you don't build up to full time too quickly as you will tire easily. Good luck with everything!


Wow it's like I just wrote the above but I'm not a teacher. Lol. My op is in April to remove endo and I've been being signed off of work for two weeks at a time since end of jan as I'm really struggling with pelvic pain & the side effects of being on decapeptyl injections (temp menopause).

If your work have said to stay off until op and have replaced you until then, explain this to your GP and he/she should support this. My GP reviews my sick note every two weeks but he's very understanding and doesn't say he won't sign me off.

I know what you mean about feeling like a failure, I had a very down day on Monday and felt I was letting everyone around me down. I know it's hard but I have decided to really try and stay focused/positive. At least we have operations booked and in sight. Focus on that op, if you know the date do yourself a countdown calendar. Back in January, April seemed forever away but now it is next month. I hope may will come quickly for you. Try and keep busy at home by doing what you can. Somedays I can't do much at all but on the days I can I try and do a bit of light housework just to make me feel like I'm doing something productive. Watch a few films, read books, take a light walk close by, just anything you feel you can do to pass the time. And remember it doesn't matter how mild or severe the endo is it can still cause incredible pain. Mine is severe endo but I bet we have the same levels of pain. A tiny patch of endo can cause immense pain. Don't feel bad or guilty you didn't choose to have this disease.

Another thing I find that helps is thinking beyond the operation and the things you want to do when you are feeling better. I am hoping to go abroad in the summer for a nice holiday so even just googling holidays cheers me up. Hehe.

Anyway best of luck for May, I hope the op goes well for you.xx


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