Inspirational women

Endometriosis story – Amy’s experience

Here’s a story from the amazing Amy describing her experiences with endometriosis and how it led to her changing her life in quite a radical way.

Endrometriosis

Endometriosis story

“When I was studying at the University of Manchester, I could imagine my future as nothing other than a dedicated teaching career – it was inconceivable for me to do anything else. I graduated and qualified as a Secondary teacher of Religious Studies and Geography in 2002 and plunged straight into a full time job as a newly qualified teacher.

A few years later, the stresses of a teaching career and an unidentified chronic illness started to kick in. During my early twenties, I couldn’t understand why I was feeling exhausted all of the time,and I just put it down to the fast-paced career. The long hours, the behaviour problems and the politics. I still loved being in the classroom with the kids, but it was taking it’s toll.

Symptoms of endometriosis

Over the next few years, I started to experience crippling abdominal pain and repeated kidney infections. I was feeling exhausted and depressed. I still loved my job, but had this overwhelming feeling of not being able to cope anymore. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in my mid-twenties without a real explanation of what it was or how to many the disease.

Impact of endometriosis

In the years that followed, I had time off work for agonising period pain, stress and depression, not realising that they were linked to the disease. In was then put on the hormonal injection depoprovera which made me gain weight, get insomnia and start to have panic attacks. I lost my job and split up with my long term partner without a true understanding of what was happening.

Thankfully, a year later, I managed to repair the relationship and got back together with my now fiance. I feel that all of the physical and emotional turmoil was due to the endometriosis and the NHS’s lack of ability to manage and treat the disease. I changed my endometriosis medication and attempted a new teaching job down south, near my
family in Oxford. I still loved teaching the kids about culture, religion and the world, but again just a few months in, I was struggling to cope. I started to suffer from migraines and short term memory loss, which looking back was probably related to the energy that it was taking to get through every day in pain. It was when I almost collapsed in front of a class, and came home physically shaking and being sick that I started to realise that my career might not be compatible with my condition.

I finally admitted defeat and put in my application to retire on medical grounds. With the support of my family I battled against several medical professionals who didn’t appear to know what they were talking about. A year later I successfully had my lower grade teachers pension approved. It was agreed that I could work, but I couldn’t teach, and therefore I was entitled to a basic pension to support myself after a 13 years career. It was heart-breaking, but also a relief at the same time.

Moving on positively after an endometriosis diagnosis

I then moved back up North and started to work for myself online doing blogging and social media. It was something that could fit in with my illness and I could even work from bed! I set up Trumpeter Media and did a BTEC in social media for business. I loved learning something new. Clients started to come to me for help, and also asked me to teach them!I have to admit that the transition was initially hard for me, and I found it difficult to move forward. I
had two laparoscopic surgeries and I’m currently awaiting a full excision surgery and bowel resection.

Don’t quit!

Quite often, though, high impact events shake you up and force you to realise what is important in life. I knew that more than anything, I wanted to travel. The following summer I travelled solo through Turkey and Bulgaria, and it was the most liberating and amazing experience ever. Travelling solo, I was so proud of myself. | was doing something I was passionate about, and doing something completely for myself. In the two years that followed, I travelled to the Philippines, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Morocco and Israel. I loved it so much that I wanted to document my trip for people back home, and I loved to focus on historical and religious sites. And so my beloved
blog, Temple Seeker was born.

Looking back, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Now that I am essentially a digital nomad and can set my own itinerary and work schedule, I couldn’t imagine going back to long hours stuck in a classroom. The world is ready to be explored, and I now love what I do more than anything. Earning money on my laptop while I blog for Temple Seeker and travelling the world is truly the dream!”

I love how Amy’s story shows that with the right diagnosis and treatment of a heath issue life can improve. I love her enthusiasm for travel and how she shares that with other people. Here’s to changing direction when it works out so well!

Have you changed your life after a health  issue hit?

It takes a lot for the women I feature to share their stories so openly so please do hit one or more of the sharing is caring buttons below.

 

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Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

8 Comments

  • chantelle hazelden

    I’m struggling to get a diagnosis right now, it’s a shame that in this day and age we still have to fight to have our needs recognised. This is a truly inspiring story from what could have been something awful.

  • Baby Isabella

    My mummy suffers from really bad Endo (diagnosed 10 years ago) which has lead to numerous laparoscopies and problems conceiving 🙁 in fact she had 3 collapsed lungs earlier this year which is linked to her endo, something rare called Catamenial pneumothorax – so she feels Amy’s pain x #DreamTeam

  • Rhyming with Wine

    I haven’t really read much about endometriosis and it shocked me to understand just how devastating it’s impact can be on someone’s life. This is such an empowering piece and I really applaud Amy for grasping life with both hands and coming through fighting. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

  • Lisa (mummascribbles)

    I don’t think people have any idea how much this illness impacts life. I know I didn’t. Great to share such an important story. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  • Alice | Letters to my Daughter

    It’s amazing how little is widely known about endometriosis. My sister though she might have some symptoms at one point and the doctors were so dismissive. I’m glad Amy got her diagnosis and managed to turn things around! #HoneybeeLinky

  • Lucy

    Endometriosis is terrible! I’m not a sufferer myself, but I know quite a few friends who struggle with it and it is so cruel. It affects so much more than people realise. Thank you so much for sharing your story Amy. Thank you for linking with the #Honeybeelinky Kate! I hope to see you for the this week’s one too! xxx

  • Kirsty

    This is so inspirational. Learning how to take an illness and work so effectively around it and to your own benefit. I agree that quick and correct diagnosis can make such a huge difference. Thank you for joining #ThursdayTeam

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