My life as a nail technician with endometriosis
By Chloe Randall | 20 March 2023 | Feature, Tech Talk
The NHS states that endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This is a long-term condition which can have a variety of symptoms and affects each woman differently, ranging from severe period pains that prevent daily activities, infertility and sickness.
According to the World Health Organisation, endometriosis affects approximately 10% of reproductive age women . To mark Endometriosis Awareness month, which is typically symbolised with a yellow ribbon, Scratch chats to Claire Milburn of Blush Nail Beauty about how it impacts her career as a nail technician…
How has endometriosis affected your job role?
Endometriosis is a very unpredictable illness. As a nail tech with this condition, it has had a serious impact on the way I move around. For example, I used to be a mobile tech but now I’m home based as moving my body, getting in the car and driving, lifting and sitting in other people’s chairs and working from different stations was incredibly hard. In order to be working at the best of my ability, I had no option but to change the way I work.
As I work for myself, I can be flexible which days I work and which hours. I no longer see clients in the evening or first thing in the morning now and I also ensure a rest day is scheduled.
What are your symptoms?
In terms of my symptoms, I get the majority of my pain in my tummy and back but sometimes I also feel nauseous and I can’t eat as everything hurts. When it is a really bad day, I have no option but to move my clients to another day. This tends to be my last resort and I only rearrange if I’ve been up all night breathing through the pain as I know at this point that I wouldn’t be able to work.
Something else I have to consider is that my tummy can be swollen sometimes so I’ve had to change what I wear so my outfit is more loose fitting around my tummy.
There was a time when I was going on a nail course for the day and I was up all night the night before with endometriosis so I messaged the nail educator explaining my situation and I didn’t even have to say I couldn’t do it. Without hesitation, I was able to rearrange the course. I’ve found that if you are honest with your condition, people (especially women) and my educators and clients, are understanding.
How do you cope with the condition?
Working is a good distraction for me as even though I’m often exhausted afterwards, I’ve found it to be a coping strategy.
In order to carry on working, I take medication for fatigue and heavy bleeding. However, I find the months when I’m at my worst is when I’m hardly bleeding as this is when I’m bleeding outside my womb, which is when the pain is at it’s worst.
Endometriosis is a horrible condition to have but being a nail technician brings me joy and I love it.
To all other nail technicians with endometriosis, I would say that it is all about being balanced and knowing your limitations and being honest with both yourself and your clients. Also ensure you are taking care of yourself.