Endometriosis: work and environment

23 April 2024 | Comment(s) |

Lisa Flückiger

Four years ago, Patricia Corona was diagnosed with endometriosis. In a video report, she described how the disease was diagnosed and how she learned to cope with it. Today, she shares with us the difficulties she encountered at work and in her social circle.

Groupe Mutuel: Patricia, how did endometriosis manifest itself?

Patricia Corona: I had rather atypical symptoms that nobody could really identify. My back hurt, but I put that down to my size. Premenstrual syndrome wasn't a problem at all at the time and I came to accept the pain during sex. Nobody ever thought I could have endometriosis.

How did it feel?

I was often tired and the people around me weren't very understanding. I was still young, so why was I already tired or unable to help out, for example? I didn't know what was going on and I ended up believing that I wasn't normal.

Patricia: "The people around me, especially at work, didn't really understand my discomfort"

It can't always have been easy at work. How did your colleagues react?

When I had abdominal pains, I was often told: "That’s normal, we all have them".

Generally speaking, when pain occurs, it's not always easy at work. I can't just lie down whenever I want. Even after my operation, there was a lot of confusion and people wondered why I wasn't feeling well again.

Patricia Corona in an interview

(video is only available in German)

With the diagnosis of endometriosis, you've also learnt to listen to yourself. What have you done about work?

I've changed a lot of things in my life, like my diet and sport, and I've also changed jobs and reduced my working hours to 80%. I now know that stress isn't good for me and that I need more rest.

What changes would you like to see in the workplace?

We should be able to isolate ourselves when the pain comes. And above all, I would like to see more understanding. We don't want anyone to take pity, but we do need understanding and more dialogue.

And what about those people around you?

You have to accept people as they are. Having a safety net is very important. Today, I no longer have any contact with the people who were hurtful or who doubted me.

What else did you learn?

I've done a lot of work on myself. Today, I listen to my body more and give it the space it needs. I no longer blame myself when I'm tired, I'm able to accept it.

Lisa Flückiger

About the author

Lisa Flückiger

Porte-parole - Relations Médias

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