Work & Endo - occupational health. Advice... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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Work & Endo - occupational health. Advice needed

Char411 profile image
Char411

Hi ladies,

I am after some advice. I was diagnosed with moderate endometriosis in May after a laparoscopy. My employer has always been super supportive and understanding and I’ve always been honest with her.

Due to some very stressful events recently, my body has gone into a meltdown and broke out in stress related ezcema and an endo flare up which triggered some serious fatigue. After visiting my GP, he put me on reduced hours (I work 40 hours a week plus 12 in travel) to take some pressure off my body give me some extra time to get my health back on track. My employer was very supportive and we came up with a plan for hours, times etc, she then went on annual leave for 2 weeks and after only a week of reduced hours HR have gotten involved without her knowing and in her absence and now want to send me to occupational health.

I do not revel at the thought of once again being judged by a medical professional (who will be writing a report on my mental and physical health to send to HR) who’s speciality isn’t endometriosis, who will not have a greater understanding of the condition and will no doubt be dismissive as many doctors have been so far along my journey up until my lap confirmed endometriosis. HR have given me the usual this is to protect you chat but let’s be honest it’s to protect their business.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and how did it turn out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as this looming over me is only adding to my stress

Thanks for your time ladies xx

4 Replies

Hello,

Yes, I've been in this exact situation. I worked for the NHS and my direct manager was very supportive and understanding but because of my absence levels, I had to go to occupational health. I felt the same way you describe, I was expecting to be judged and not understood. But actually, the 2 occupational health doctors I saw over the time I was off sick, (8 months) were both so understanding and supportive. The first one I saw actually gave me a bit of a wake up call as I thought I just needed a couple of weeks off to get myself ok again and she was very direct with me, saying there was no way I was able to work. She was totally right, I was a complete mess! I really needed someone to tell me that, I felt validated and understood. At that time I didn't have a diagnosis of endo, just chronic fatigue that was probably stress related and chronic back pain. I didn't get diagnosed until May this year.

The occ health drs I saw seemed to be quite impartial. They recommended things to my manager that they would have liked for my return to work that just wouldn't have been feasible in my service. It was like they had my needs in mind, over the needs of the service.

Even if the doctors don't know much about endo, which is highly likely, you can educate them on what you can and can't do. But going from my experience, they really are there to help support you to be able to work in a way that is good for you.

Try as much as you can to view them as being in your side, it will make the whole interaction easier for you and make them more likely to be able to understand. (when we feel we're being judged and attacked, we get a bit defensive and cagey which tends to put people's backs up)

Good luck with it x

Char411 profile image
Char411 in reply to weekari

Thank you so much for your response and advice, you’ve eased my mind a lot. I was sat on the sofa sobbing at 5am this morning but you’ve made me stop and view this as a potential good thing.

I hope you’re doing much better now, I am currently at the mess phase but I’m hopeful there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you again, hugs xx

Hello,

I have been in a similar situation, my manager is super understanding and supportive but decided to send me to see occupational health. I was dreading it as I thought they would undermine me and tell me to get a grip. It turned out it was the complete opposite. The senior nurse I saw knew loads about endo, listened to me and was really really supportive. She came up with suggestions for HR and my line manager including working from home when I have a bad day and I can't come in and sit at my desk or in meetings.

I do hope the same will happen with you but you already have the support of your direct line manager which is a really good thing! Good luck! X

Char411 profile image
Char411 in reply to MaloushkaPat

Thank you very much xx

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