Feeling down

Hi ladies I have endometriosis, but have a dilemma at the moment. I have a place for midwifery to start in April at university. I thought I could manage the pain on medication but the last few months I have been struggling and the pain has got worse. I have been told I need another laparoscopy. If I have a laparoscopy I can't do university as I can't have time off. I feel so down and I have to choose between my health or a career that I have worked so hard for to get my uni place. Has anyone else had a similar experience? 

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  • Hello, I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a dilema at the moment - it seems so unfair that you should have to choose! I've not been in your position exactly, but my endo has had an effect on work life (taking days off etc.) & love life. I'm sure you've already considered this, but are you able to defer your uni place until the following year/cohort? Health is key and it would give you time. The only time I've felt in a lesser amount of pain is when tricycling the pill & after laps. I'm sorry if this isn't helpful! I wish you all the best & send healing thoughts your way xx

  • Please don't give up on your chance at the career you want. Surely the university will have to make allowances for health issues. I am a midwife and I know of students who have had a lot of time of for various reasons. They have either been able to make time up in their holidays or have been held back if necessary and rejoined the cohort behind them. At least if you start in April and see how you get on you will know that you tried. Otherwise you may regret your decision and always wonder how things may have worked out. Good luck. xx

  • At my university they forced me to defer my studies for a year in the middle of my masters degree because my surgery was "planned" (ie waiting list not rushed in), most policies don't cover chronic recurring illness, it's almost like you are vilified for daring to study when you are ill!! Their excuse was that I would fail if I missed lectures (I am part time at uni and I work full time), so I would have been off work for 6 weeks with access to the study material online so I argued this one, they didn't listen!!) Although different universities/medical courses may be a little more understanding, you need to find the extenuating circumstances, equality and disability policy which are probably on the uni website - if not call them and ask to be sent the information, knowledge is definitely power in these circumstances, they cannot discriminate based on your illness. I know midwifery is a very hands on course and requires attendance but you may be able to negotiate a battle plan and be given the resources to study the non-practical elements at home. Remember once you are fully enrolled the uni can only ditch you for plagiarism and criminal offences, they will have to work with you, you can also use your course rep or student union to help you (my SU were brilliant and so helpful).

    The other option is to request your lap during holidays, again the calendar should be on the website so you can see when exams are etc, or request to be sent one, your consultant may be able to help you plan your recovery around your time off. The treatments are supposed to help you not hinder you so I can't see why you can't come to a reasonable arrangement. The only reason I didn't do this myself is because I was desperate for the surgery although the surgery before that was specifically arranged for when it was quiet at work.

    Despite the challenges I have completed all of my modules now and just have to write my dissertation, I have managed mostly distinctions all the way through so it is totally doable, I wont lie it has been really tough and I have been chronically poorly throughout but it is an enormous achievement, one of the only things I am really proud of to be honest! 

    My biggest piece of advice is just go for it, it might take you longer than your peers (I am 18 months behind my classmates) but thats ok, you will finish it and the determination to continue that comes naturally to a woman with endo will serve you really well. Don't let endo take away your future.

    Happy to help you if you need any help juggling uni and endo xxx

  • Discuss with your uni and perhaps your hospital- I had my lap on the last week of the semester so I only missed one week and then had the break to recover. My uni have always been really good about having time off, giving me support etc. I have my last lectures today- I found out I had endo 2 weeks before I started. It's been hard work but it has been worth it. You shouldn't give up!!! Xx

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