Teachers advice

I'm having my first lap this summer and starting my teacher training in September.

I'm worried that if I have endo would I be up to doing the training/future job? I don't want to have my life/career determined by my health but some days are such a struggle and I'm unsure what impact this will have on my training and a future job.

Also if I haven't got endo I will be under investigation to find out what is causing me so much pain. The medication I am on generally gets me through my current working day as a TA, but come September I will need to drive some distance to university.

Any advice or tips would be very much appreciated!!

21 Replies

  • I'm not a teacher but I am a midwife. It is a full on job, working long shifts. Some days it is really hard but mostly I manage. You don't know until you try. Please don't give up your dream of becoming a teacher because of your health. If, in the future, you do find it is all too much and you can't manage then at least you can say you tried. I really hope things go well for you with your lap and your career. xx

  • Hi,

    I am a deputy headteacher and have struggled with this all through my teaching career. I have my first lap booked in for Friday so hoping they can get me sorted. I can't say it hasn't affected my career at all but it hasn't reflected negatively on me. The worst days take pure grit to get through but I do because I refuse to let it take over my life. I find that often once in work and busy, you feel better anyway (or can put the pain out of your mind) as you don't have time to think about it! As a TA you'll understand that as well. Over the last year or so when it's been particularly bad, I've found people at work I can talk to who have been understanding, this has helped because on my bad days they know to just leave me be.

  • Thank you! I already have gritted my teeth and got on with it, I've had little time off work and when I've been in lots of pain I have been able to help out with the exams which has been such a blessing to be able to sit still in peace and quiet. Let's hope we can both get sorted :)

  • Hi, please don't worry, Endo can be managed in a variety of ways, it may take you a while to work out a combination of medical/holistic therapies that works for you following a diagnosis. I would do the training, it may be tough but it is only short term. Though lesson planning etc takes it out of you teaching is a good option with the number of holidays and potential to go part time and job share should your condition become worse. Also there are options to work within education boards etc. further down the line.

    You're probably feeling some anxiety about the new course and forth coming surgery. Surgery is most effective when carried out by an Endo specialist at a bsge centre - it could make a big difference to you. As your lap is exploratory it may be through General gynae, be prepared if they find severe disease they may not be able to get rid of all of it at the time - in this case they will refer you to a specialist for a second op, although this is frustrating it's best for you.

    I've found this website invaluable for advice endo-resolved.com

    It explains a lot about operations and treatment options available should you be diagnosed. The diet, yoga and acupuncture have all worked well for me in conjunction to pain meds, surgery and hormone injections. Everyone is different.

    I hope that helps, good luck for the op and your course xx

  • Thank you I will look into that, any advise or help is so helpful at this stage!

  • As a teacher with endo myself & having had 2 laparoscopies in the last 2 years, whilst working full time, I'm not going to lie- it's hard. But I think with everything it's about how you approach it. I've just come back from my 2nd surgery after having two weeks off. But am still not working full time. I'm lucky that I can do that and my school are sympathetic. The thing is this disease won't go away and you can't allow it to bring your life to a stop. So it's about working with what you've got and what you can do. I think you have to decide what's best for you.

  • I read somewhere else about getting to know your pain and planning ahead to take the load off when you know the pain will be coming, things like freeze some ready made food to save cooking and wash clothes the week/weekend before to reduce amount of tasks needing to be done.

    Teaching is all I have ever wanted to do, I just didn't want to go into it blind and not think about how my health may or could affect it as I know it really isn't an easy job.

  • As a former teacher/academic I agree with much of the above comment - it's not easy, but it can be done. However, the best way to help yourself is to make sure, from the start, that your Endo is being dealt with in the best possible way.

    Are you seeing a specialist 'Endo' gynaecologist? Are you being seen at a BSGE 'Specialist Endo Centre'? Check out the posts on here by 'Lindle' about this, as many GPs - still - only send women to general gynaes, when this is not the accepted protocol, and women with endo need to see Endo Specialists.

    Hopefully, if you are only seeing a 'general' gynaecologist, they will refer you to an 'Endo' specialist gynae - that is the protocol which they are supposed to follow.

    Do check Lindle's posts, she is a fount of information on this, and all aspects of Endo.

  • Thanks - that's great I will look into this. I typed my consultant names into Google and it just says 'Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist'. And also 'Urogynaecology'

  • There are not that many 'Specialist Endo Centres' in the UK, and it's possible that the 'Endo Gynaes' who work there, also work some time at other hospitals. The best things would be to find a link to the BSGE Centres - there may be some advice from 'Endometriosis UK' who host this site on 'Health Unlocked'. There is link to their website at the top of this page, so send them a message asking abiut these centres. Otherwise, if you look at Lindle's posts on here, I'm sure she will have a link to them, or may even list them all somewhere on here. I know she's putting together her own Endo site, and seems to know everything about it, and helps people hugely on here.

    Sorry I can't help any more. My Endo was usually controlled by the pill, and then a Mirena Coil later in life. Now I'm post-menopause and thankfully (fingers crossed nothing changes), the endo does not seem to be bothering me now, so I have not needed to keep up with all this, but Lindle was a great source of help and advice when I was worrying about whether it would all come back once I had the Mirena out.

    Good luck, I hope you get all the help and advice you need.

  • Sounds like General gynae, here's a list of all bsge centres and their consultants bsge.org.uk/centre/

    If you are diagnosed, get referred to your nearest centre for any further treatment. There are other Endo specialists out there but their management of the disease won't necessarily follow protocol.

    Agree re. making meals doing washing etc in advance, good idea 😊

  • Hi, I'm a teacher and my current school (and my new school I will work at in September) have been fantastic. I have been allowed to go for appointments and my current school was so understanding when I had to have two ops in this academic year. I have good and bad days. As long as you are honest with the school they should be very understanding. My TA has been great and I have a network of people I confide in when it gets tough. Good luck. Never let the endo beat you. I find knowing I have 30 children who make me smile everyday gets me through the pants days. The best thing I found was planning ahead when I could so that when I have painful days or weekends which wipe me out I know that I have got ahead so I don't worry.

  • Thank you, I think I just needed the reassurance that it can be done. I hate giving in and giving up to even a viral infection, so if it is endo I can't have my life on hold for it.

  • I'm really pleased to hear that so many professionals are working through there ending. My journey started about 18months ago. One surgery that did not work ( general gyn) and on pill and amatriptaline but not under control and I have a LOT of time from work. I am a wellbeing practitioner specialist for children and yp and advice schools in this vain.i have over a hundred schools I work with , pace of work is horrendous and stress is often unmanageable as there are just so many priorities to juggle and I often drive 100 miles a day to visit a number of schools. They have kindly agreed to me dropping to four days so I can have a better work life balance but in my darkest days , when pain is ongoing for days on end I think what was the point in dedicating many years to study for this job when I now can't do it physically. Back to work today for first day after two weeks off sick, I really hope I can continue my job but it does not feel like I will be able to at the moment , not that is a financial option.

  • I hope you can find something that works for you so that you get some sort of normality back and can carry on working :)

  • I suffered slightly undiagnosed since I was 18 years, never knew what was wrong with the bad pmt, horrific periods . Never looked into . I 'm a nurse and work long hours. Worked part tine after having my 2 children. Difficult, high risk pregnancies with hypertension abd pre eclampsia but worked up to 30 weejs with both of them then had to take early maternity leave. Ended up with major surgery aged 44 years when endometrosis was finally diagnosed stage 4. I'm still working. I try not to let endo ruin my life. As an endo warrier it wob't beat me. I'm better now following appendicectomy, hysterectomy, bilateral ovary removal un 2014. I have just had my colonscopy date through after months of waiting as doctors think I have endo on my bowel. It's hard I get pumped with hormones and oestrogen blocking medication. I know the endo won't show up unless it's deep penetrating endo on the bowel. My gp has just referred me to an endo centre as I'm fed up with it all. Just got my bowel prep sent through the post with my date in 2 weeks! I get tired easily working so now I just do bank nursing plus it helps with childcare for my 8 year old. I manage my condition quite well but have to take hormones, anti depressants. Life is diffucult when no one understands it's not just period pain. Do your teacher training, follow your dreams. Since being so poorly post surgery 2 years ago , I re evaluated my life. Despite the horrible endo, I still work and live my life☺

  • I'm a Primary school teacher and have found my colleagues to be nothing but supportive.

    It is hard work with endo (but teaching is hard work anyway), so I decided a couple of years ago to take a back seat when it came to leadership. I felt the pressure was just too much and I was completely exhausted.

    I'm happier as a class teacher but unfortunately endo has left me unable to conceive and my husband and I are heading towards IVF following excision surgery later this year. It does make me a bit sad seeing these gorgeous little ones coming into school when I've found it so difficult to have my own.

    Don't give up on your dream - I'm sure you'll make a wonderful teacher!

  • That's what I thought & no matter what job people have it will be harder with endo, so there's no real 'easy' way out.

    Sorry to hear that! I wish you all the best for the IVF and hope you have a little one of your own in the near future :).

    Thanks for your comments, they all help me actually see I am doing the right thing and it can be done. I failed my QTS English test three years ago and have just been diagnosed as dyslexic this year too. I've been a TA since and it makes me want to teach even more!

  • I'm a secondary teacher in a practical subject. I have been teaching 16 years and only found out about the endo a couple of years ago. I have stage 4 endo which explains why my periods have always been so painful. School have been great supporting me through my lap and now through time off for ivf treatment. Don't give up on teaching it's a great job :)

  • Sorry for my delay, didn't see this reply. Thank you for your help. I will also be doing a practical subject so I've decided to go back on the depo injection for now (as that helped me previously) and I'm still waiting for a lap date, as of yet there's no cancellations. The school I have just left from being a TA were great with helping me where and when they could.

  • Thank you for all your previous replies and support. I didn't have my lap done over the summer, but I am booked in for December (few days before Christmas 😖). I went back on the depo injection and it's helped me so much. On the weekend I actually had the implant put in to see if that'll help me long term as I'm kinda thinking it's got to be a gynea problem somewhere!!

    I've started my teacher training and it's a good job I had the injection as without, I don't think I would have coped! X

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