nervous about returning to work

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crash528
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/30/2007 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had crohn's for at least 7 years (most likely 10 or more), at least that is how long ago I was diagnosed.  I tried for many years to work through it, and finally gave into applying for disability.  I finally won at least some of the disability claim that I had applied for. 
 
It seems I am in a remission and would like to return to work.  The problem I am having is this:  I was once a work-a-holic, who was always the guy you could turn to in any situation and I would do my best to resolve what ever problem there was even if it meant sleeping in the office.  I have always been open and honest with my employers ever since my diagnosis.  I tell them what I feel my limitations are and how I need to work around then BEFORE they hire me.  Unfortunately, the honesty has not been repaid over the last 7 years.  I have been lied to by almost every company I have worked for, and when it comes down to me needing something from them (something they said I could have at the time of hiring me) the went back on their word.  This has happened in some form or another at every job I have had since my diagnosis, with a few exceptions, and those exceptions, I can't really say they would have reacted any better, they just never had to deal with a full blown flare up in my time with them (I was in a business with very high turnover and it was considered normal to bounce around early on).  
 
I just can't seem now to get around the fear of ending up in the same situation no matter what I do.  I'm really terrified of returning to work and having this cycle repeat itself.  I left my chosen career because the extreme stress of the car sales/finance business caused my health to deteriorate.  I tried other feilds, even went back to blue collar work, I won't bore you with the details, but they took the worst advantage of me and my situation.  So, this cycle has me almost frozen in a place I don't want to be, but can't seem to break free. 
 
On top of it all, I have a baseline of pain that I deal with even in remission (doctor is still trying to figure it out, it is narrowed down to 2 possibilities, and if none of those it remains unknown).  I now take mostly painkillers, and they are very constipating, often to the point of becoming impacted.  This of course after losing 2/3 of my colon to a surgery leaves me very uncomfortable very quickly.  If it were to happen while I worked, I would easily miss a week of work each time and it seems to come in cycles sometimes lasting up to 3 or 4 months. 
 
I need suggestions on what to do.  Either suggestions on a type of job I could do easily and part time, maybe from home.  If not that, has anyone else out there been frozen from fear and anxiety like this?  And if so, what did you do to get unstuck?
 
Sorry this post was so long, but I just had no better way to describe what is going on and I fear that in an effort to be somewhat brief that I may not have fully explained myself anyway, so feel free to ask any questions as well.  Thanks again.
 
 

FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 12/30/2007 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Crash 528,

I am glad to hear you feel well enough to work! That is excellent! I suggest you look into jobs with the Federal Government. From my friends who work there, it sounds like they have good benefits and are accommodating to people with disbilities. I know people who work part-time and others who work from home 2 days a week. I hope you find something that works for you! Let us know how it goes.

FitzyK23
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/30/2007 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Remember to get all those things that are agreed upon as conditions of hire in WRITING. That way if they reneg you can threaten to sue them for breach of contract. (After of course using the writing to gently remind them of their obligations lol)
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


crash528
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/30/2007 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I forgot to mention that I am only trying to return to work on a part time basis.  Are there any federal jobs of that nature?  I also should have included that crohn's also had a pretty bad influence on my college career (lasting only a year and a half), so I have no degree.  Thanks again to all who posted and hopefully will post later.  I am really anxious to know what people have to say.

schoolgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 12/30/2007 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I would also suggest a government job - whether state or federal, depending on the state. Or perhaps become self-employed in some kind of service that allows you to set most of your own hours and/or work from home. I have a state job in California and they are very accomodating to needs and the benefits are awesome. Sometimes you have to start out as a temp before you get hired on, but that depends on your skills and what you are applying for. A computer tech/analyst/programmer or help desk manager type person would be ideal - work at a desk and come and go as you please. Perhaps you could go back to school. I was 50 before I finished college and it is paying off.

Please let us know how it works out for you.
Dx with Crohn's Aug 2007; celiac sprue July 2002; Type II diabetes Nov 2006.  Current meds: Entocort , Asacol, Levoxyl, Fosomax, various vitamin supplements.


prof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1195
   Posted 12/30/2007 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Crah.. I KNOW what u r going thru. I too am on disability and although am not in full remission.. feel like I really want to work.  BUT.... I am so afraid of losing my disabililty. I waited so long for it.  Can you work  for cash???  My attorney told me unless I make LESS THAN $500/month.. not to try.. will just mess it all up.

Funny thing is I am doing some work and getting paid cash... get this.. I have been feeling Ok for over a year.  I go "to work" and flare!  Be sure that you can handle it...  I don't know about you but it was a long haul for me to get disability... don't want to go thru that again.

BTW.. what is 528 at the end of cash???  prof



FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/30/2007 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
It depends if you have SSI or private disability insurance. Most private companies have return to work programs. I don't speak from personal experience but I have family in this line of work. As you go back to work part time you can keep receiving your benefit, just reduced and pro-rated to your old income. This way you are not discouraged from returning to work because of financial considerations. Additionaly, you have a grace period where you can return to work, decide that you can't do it, and go back on your benefits without having to go through the whole process again from scratch. Some periods are six months, some are a year or more. The first thing you need to do is read your policy to understand what you are entitled to and then call your claims counselor to verify. The only thing I caution you on is that in the eyes of the insurance company the doctor, not you, makes all these decisions. So when dealing with the company the proper terminology is "my doctor cleared me to return to work." (six weeks later) "My doctor now states that working is having too negative an effect on my disease and I am no longer cleared to work." As far as your insurance company is concerned they don't care at all when you decided you were too sick to work. They care when your doctor decided you were too sick to work. The worst thing you can do is stay out of work for a week or two (for a routine flare) and then finally see a doc. What matters to them is the date you saw the doc not the date you were sick or the date you missed work. So... I'd say, make sure your doctor is on board with provisionally clearing you for work but will take your word on it if it is too much and will be willing to again say you are too sick if the need arises.

Prof- please be very very careful. I warn you from both my line of work and my husbands that disability companies use PI's all the time to see if claimants are being honest. They google, check the web, myspace pics, and down right spy. If I were you I would declare your cash and take the reduced benefit instead of risking being cancelled all together for not being honest. Now, not all companies have this provision. Some will not cancel you for dishonesty but you will have to back pay them all the benefit you received that you weren't entitled to. It can be very difficult since when money is limited it is often spent asap. Their PI's are clever and sneaky. A guy was out for a back injury and they got security video from home depot showing him lifting some plywood. Boom. Denied. So please, just make sure your bases are covered.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/30/2007 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   

crash528

Hey there..............I have a question and then a suggestion..........I know I am just full of ideas........lol.

First of all are you going back to work for the income or for your self-esteem and wanting to contribute to  society. If it is not about the money then you may want to look into a volunteer position. There are plenty of opportunities out there.  The Crohn's Foundation (CCFA.org) or many other organizations from community to state wide are always looking for help.

If you need the funds, then look at a part time position with a lot of flexiblity built in and as already mentioned obtain in writing  any conditional hiring agreements. I would not  rush into this and when your looking at a position and it just doesn't feel right, move on.  Stay out of management, I know that one is stressful.  redface

I am in a position similiar to yours and I too am having a hard time looking at anything besides what I have loved all of my career but I will get past that.  I just need time and you will find a good fit for you, I feel this will happen.

I would love to do "Drs. Accross Borders" and brought it up to my hubby, who said, are you nuts?  I said yup, I have my own Pdoc :) Realistically, with anxiety and depression, I would probably be setting myself up for failure.

I wish you the best and keep on posting. 

Kitt


 
Co-Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
Co-Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
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It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


crash528
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/30/2007 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks guys,
I am going back for both the income and the esteem. I guess, you could say that both are in short supply lately. My divorce (left by the witch in the hospital while having one of the worst flares of my life) will be going final in March, and I got the "You can be a Walmart greeter" speech from my mother (whom I had to move back in with). This of course was a bit on the humiliating side. I mean, I am a smart, albeit no degree to prove it, healthy LOOKING, young guy. I don't know if I could deal with the looks I would get all day from the hill-billies that frequent the local Walmart. Slack-jawed idiots looking at you like you did something wrong and this is the only job you can get because of what ever it is you did, just doesn't seem like something I could put up with long term.

I have on occasion let my own, intellectual snobbery get the better of me, but I am learning to look past that for the most part. I can accept a job that would certainly not be a career for the time being, I am teaching myself computer and web programming and design at the moment, but being self taught does have its drawbacks. Secondly, until I can afford a better computer, well I am kind of limited in what I can teach myself because this one locks up if I try to work on too much graphic heavy stuff, not to mention it won't be too long and my C++ programming skills will exceed the ability of it as well. I am still waiting for an SSI back check which has now taken almost a year to show up, so that has also hampered expanding my knowledge base as I would most likely use the funds from that to get a new and pretty high powered computer.

Hey prof, the 528 means May 28th my birthday, nothing special about it, just the day I decided to poke my head out into the world 24 days late and after 44 hours of labor around the Preakness Stakes (I live in Baltimore and the hospital was almost right next to Pimlico Race track, scared the hell out of mom for a few days lol).

prof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1195
   Posted 12/31/2007 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Crash... guess what.. I too am born.. May 28!!! MAY THIS YEAR BE A HEALTHY AND HAPPY ONE! Prof


Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/31/2007 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
This may not be anything you would be interested in or it may be physically beyond you when you are flaring but, how about Starbucks. My daughter works there and they are a great company. At 20 hours a week, you get health insurance, after a year, they will pay tuition as long as the degree program can be applied to anything the company might use, computers would qualify(theology and nursing are the two examples of what they don't cover) And the pay is much better than minimum wage. Hours are flexible, so if mornings are bad for you, just tell them you aren't available to do morning shifts.
Suzanne

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 12/31/2007 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   

I wish you luck!

The reason I have not told my new boss of my CD is because of how my lass boss acted when I told him. I got the feeling he was building a case to fire me or something. He also treated others better than me. (we had 2 pregnant women in the dept and one got to work from home weeks at a time while she was sick while I got to take vacation or no pay when I was sick). So I understand why you can be nervous, I myself am very nervous and I started a new job already.

I wish you luck finding a new job. Many retailers offer benefits to their workers. I work in recruiting for a retail company and we offer benefits to full time employees. Some even offer to PT employees as Suzanne stated.

Also, volunteering is a great idea. It might be a good idea to volunteer first. you can put that on your resume, I have seen it done many times and it is definitely a positive to prospective employers.

good luck!

Karen


 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also have Arthritis, and feel like I am falling apart sometimes...


FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 12/31/2007 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Crash528,

Here is a link to Federal jobs. http://www.usajobs.gov/ Look for the resources for disabled persons under the "Info Center" "Career Exploration". Here is another link http://apps.opm.gov/sppc_directory/

I hope you find something that really fits your needs!
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