I was diagnosed with endometriosis in late 2015. I've had issues with my period since it started when I was 12, and it took until I was 22 to get a diagnosis. I was brushed off by multiple doctors, accused of drug seeking and told I had a low pain tolerance. Because of the delay of my diagnosis and how I've been treated by doctors, I have a huge mistrust of the medical industry in the U.S.
As far as how endo has impacted my work life, thankfully, after my surgery in 2016 it hasn't been too bad. Before I got my Mirena IUD out in March of this year, I experienced a few really intense withdraw bleeds and some cramping that was so bad I did have to leave work early a few times. However, before my surgery things got really bad. I was still living at home in Iowa with my parents and working two part time jobs. One was as a sales associate at a local boutique, the other was as a cook/server at a craft beer bar that served pizza. Between those two jobs I was working anywhere from 40-60 hours a week, trying to save up money to move out of my parents house. In the fall of 2015 I got my IUD inserted and immediately started having issues. The pain was constant, and my ability to function normally declined drastically. I went from 40-60 hour work weeks to hardly being able to work 30 hours in a whole week. I would often avoid doing tasks at the boutique that required any sort of heavy lifting, bending or climbing, and tried to stay close to the chair at the register so I could sit down if I got too fatigued or the pain kicked in. At the bar, I would go into the kitchen or dishroom and double over in pain. I went from being a sever who enjoyed interacting with customers and hanging out with the regulars when I got done with my shift, to just going through the motions to get my job done and leaving as soon as possible, often times crying on the drive home.
While I'm thankful that my surgery mostly relieved my issues, I still feel dependent on chemical hormones to prevent the pain from returning. I hate that I have to take them, but I'm scared that if I stop, it could impact my ability to work, and because of my $60k+ in student debt, I have to be able to make enough money to make payments every month.
Author Bio: Taylor Roberson
I'm a 25 year old living in Jersey City, NJ, from a small town in Iowa in the United States. I work in the fashion industry, though I've been increasingly interested in women's health ever since I was diagnosed with endometriosis in late 2015.