In order to keep the spirit of fun and Endometriosis Awareness alive, I sent the below email to my office:
To keep you in the picture, I will be having surgery at the hospital on 2nd March and will be off work recovering the following fortnight. It’s not a bosom-enhancement, lip-replacement, ear-beautification nor a tummy-tuck. My malady is a bit of a bother but not life-threatening.
I am happy to discuss the complexities of my health issues but wanted to spare those with a weaker constitution. (!)
Once I am back in the office I may be unable to lift heavy objects for a number of weeks/months and I would therefore be grateful for your assistance from time to time.
Now I’m sure you can imagine the comments I got – the strangest one was asking me about the tattoo was that I was getting removed. (!) As my mother reads this, no Mom. I don’t have a tattoo. I certainly wouldn’t have a tattoo of the Liverpool Football Club motto! However, I do have a number of friendly people in the office who are good at making light of a not-so-great situation.
How is this email good for Endometriosis Awareness? My being coy has allowed those who want to talk about the illness to speak to me. I have been frank and open with a number of people. Hopefully I’ve made a difference.
In order to get everyone up to speed, I also gave handover notes to my line manager. In it I said this:
I don’t know if the company sends flowers at a time like this so I may be talking out of turn here. However, I’d rather not receive flowers. If people are desperate to wish me well, please send a small charitable contribution to Endometriosis UK.
It was just as well that I got that pre-emptive strike in because my line manager said that I’d spoiled her surprise. The gesture was a lovely one, and so like her, but if any money was to be donated I’d much prefer it to go to charity. At this time in my life, and with everything I’ve endured, I certainly don’t want flowers when I can ask for a contribution to a charity that means so much to me. By asking for contributions to a charity instead of flowers, again, I’m hoping that the people where I work get the idea that Endo is awful and there are charities out there to support us.
For the record, I would like to say that I don’t recall any other organisation where I’ve worked sending me flowers when I went for surgeries. I expect it must have happened but I certainly don’t remember it. I feel really well looked after here and I suppose, consequently, I want the world to feel a bit better off too.