problems at work-please help!

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pippy32
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/8/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had this problem for so long and i still don't know how to handle it. Basically, in the afternoons i have terrible bowel noises and fart  pretty much continuously. This means that i can't cope with sitting still, in silent/quiet environments and as much as my family tell me to just try your best i CAN'T DO IT! Yes, i can physically sit down and hold the gas in but the physchological effect of the embarresing noises is too much to bare.
 
I work mainly mornings now and 2 full days a week. When the jobs for the day are my usual duties, out of the office, i cope just fine but occasionally there'll be a meeting or a lecture. I know this is wrong but the way i've always handled it is to phone in sick (blaming the crohn's, which is true). The people i work with aren't stupid though and i'm sure they've worked out a correlation!
 
This kills me everytime i have to do it, im not a liar, i never skipped a day of school in my life but i don't know how to handle it. I can't talk to my boss, they've already made massive adjustments to the job by allowing me to reduce my hours and i don't want them to know that i've got this gas/noise problem. Plus, how could they ever understand that im fine to do my work but not to attend meetings-from an outsiders perspective it makes no sense!
 
Im not at risk of loosing my job by phoning in sick and i often use up my holiday entitlement to cover these occasions so my attendence is actually very good but i just HATE HATE HATE having to do it. It stresses me out hugely and i shed big fat tears over it. I've got 2 of these meetings in the next 2 weeks and i'm filled with dread.

Rider Fan
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 6/8/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Gee I wish I knew what would help. I have lots of gas too. For me it's 90% burping though, some days are just one big burp and it's very uncomfortable. Hopefully someone will have an idea.
Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: 75 mg 6MP. 20mg prednisone.


medchrt1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 6/8/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   

I offer that your check your rights under employment. I don’t have it front of me.

I can also tell you that employer might take measures to show your work is not satisfactory. For example, government jobs might have productivity measurements.

Perhaps check if your paygrade could be adjusted to account for not attending meetings (in order to keep your job).

 

Whenever separation occurs other than lack of work then unemployment requests the facts from you and employer.

Regarding Unemployment: worst case scenario is that you know that:

"Failure to perform your work to the satisfaction of your employer is not misconduct. The unemployment compensation act provides that an individual shall be disqualified (for unemployment) if it is found that he was discharged as a result of misconduct in connection with work." So I guess this says don’t let misconduct enter the equation because you could loose your unemployment benefits completely.

 

So the employer can take measures if your work is not up to par. But I think this situation isn’t that at all (I just provided the above for your information) but that the employer might have to provide a way for you to receive lectures by providing some reasonable accommodation.


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10392
   Posted 6/8/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
pippy, I don't know if it would help with Crohn's, but some people with ulcerative colitis take a soluble fiber supplement (Metamucil or the like) every day and say it helps with the excessive gas.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Jason D in MN
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/8/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
As for what I do with excess gas that causes discomfort... I use the restroom when i need to. I will, in fact, go in, just to let out long gratuitious farts... I have also been known to do the same at my desk, though those are entirely accidental. :-)

From the way I see it the next time you're in a meeting and you feel a big fart coming on you have two choices... Turn to the person to your left, extend your index finger, and with a mischevous grin say "come on, pull my finger. I DARE YOU!"... then let it rip as your coworker pulls your finger... On second thought... maybe that's not the best Idea... Your second option... and the one I exercise is excusing myself to use the restroom. Nobody asks why. And I'm still there for most of the meeting.

You can ask for accomadation under the ADA (assuming you're in the USA) this doesn't need to be in a formal letter, although depending on your employer you may need to make it abundantly clear by being formal. However what you've described sounds like just excusing yourself to use the restroom and taking the time you need in there should be sufficient. If your boss asks, be blunt, say you're having some "gastrointestinal issues" that required you to use the restroom. Which bodily function is not your bosses concern. I'm pretty sure your boss won't want to know any more than it's related to your gut issues.

I hope that helps...
-- Jason
Diagnoses? Crohn's in 1983; Kidney Stones in 1997; Reactive Airway Syndrome in 2002; Major Depression and GAD in 2003; Migraines in 2006; ADHD and IBS in 2007.

Current Meds? 6MP; Adderall; Wellbutrin; Zoloft; Albuterol (emergencies only); Fexofenadine; and Epidrin or Imitrex (depends on migraine severity...etc)

Overall: Things are So-So. In other words "It could be worse. It could be raining."


asc58
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 6/8/2008 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand completely what you feel. I have actually interupted a speaker with loud bowel sounds coming from within. I excuse my self and leave ( alittle red faced ). My boss understands. I'm also lucky enough to have access to teleconference? You could still attend the meeting with one finger on the mute button.

asc58

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/8/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi pippy,

I'm from outside the US so I don't know much about your employment laws, but thought I might pop in with a different perspective. I think that sometimes honesty is the best policy, within reason of course. I think your boss, at least, is entitled to know the real reason you're avoiding meetings. That way you'll be protected from your boss thinking that you're just slacking. And, as asc has said, the two of you may be able to work out some alternative arrangement by which you can participate in the meetings. Or perhaps you could be given the job of babysitting the office / phones while the others are in conference, and that way you'll be able to avoid the criticism of your office-mates.

Just some ideas,

I.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


wombles
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/8/2008 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Ivy. I'm from New Zealand and honestly I've had no trouble disclosing my illness to people I work with. I find that people are very understanding. Everybody farts even our grandmothers and no-one would want to see you embarassed so I'm sure if you gave them all a brief summary you'd be surprised how accomodating your colleagues could be. Nobody bats an eyelid now when I'm out for extended periods or even the day when I took to my trousers with scissors becasue I had bloated so much they were hurting.

pippy32
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/9/2008 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Thankyou all for your replies, i really appreciate them. This is the one situation i just can't deal with. I wish i could be a stronger person and not give a darn but some pretty bad experiences have made me, dare i say, phsycholoically disturbed!!!!

Im uk based but thanks for all your input. We're pretty well protected as far as discimination goes and my boss is legally obligated to make accomodations for me so i know that honesty is the best policy but telling the truth is so hard.

Thanks again for all your input.

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 6/9/2008 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pippy - I try to word things so that they get the hint without using the embarassing words. Rather than saying I need to be near a bathroom b/c of my explosive D I would say (after they knew I had crohns) "my stomach is not doing well today. I need to be able to get to the restroom quickly." They know what that means without me saying it. As far as your situation you could say "My crohns makes my stomach make extremely loud noises and I find it humiliating to sit in a silent room full of people that I know can hear it. Can we see if there is another way I can participate without having to do that?" It is better than having to say I have gas and fart unexpectedly!

Sniper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 6/9/2008 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Pippy have you talked with your doctor about this ? You may be able to change what you eat for lunch . Not eating lunch, if this is something you do, may even make things worse. There are meds like Gas-X. Even as hard as it would be talking with your boss may help. I mean, you can only time a dropped book or slamed door with a gas release just so many times .
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


pippy32
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/9/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Ha ha @ sniper!! I've tried everything possible with my diet and have made vast improvements by cutting out certain things etc. my doctor thinks it's IBS and my consultant couldn't give a crap as im not in any pain, not bleeding or having major D. The thing i don't get is that everyone farts, my husband has the worst gas problem ever but he can hold his in no problem. When i hold mine in my bowels start making the most awful noises like dolphins (??) or it sounds like an internal fart and it just gets louder and louder and i blow up like a balloon. I don't get why that happens?

Fitzy, i like the idea of saying: "my stomach is not doing well today. I need to be able to get to the restroom quickly."
For some reason i would rather my boss think i had D than gas and noises.

ski bum
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 451
   Posted 6/9/2008 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Pippy, I've had a huge gas problem since my resection in April. I'm always doing one of three things: holding in farts, farting or pooping. I usually take a drive or walk around my office building in the afternoon, to let out all the gas. I take Fibercon, one pill 2x/day. I also take Imodium that has an anti gas medication in it, but it's obviously of no help. I tried Questran Lite for the D since my resection, but that made my gas problem even worse. On days that I have meetings, I'm uber careful what I eat and that has helped somewhat. I feel like if I could bottle this gas, it could be used as an alternative form of energy. I go to my GI this week. If I find out anything useful, I'll let you know.
50 y/o F. CD dx'd Aug 05. Initially on Pentasa, then Imuran 125 mg. Started Humira (very reluctantly) on 10/24/07. Ileocolectomy 4/08.


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 6/10/2008 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Pippy - thought of you today. I was on the couch and sneezed and farted (uncontrollably) out loud. My husband thought it was funny. I was embarassed and glad it didn't happen at work since I was sneezing all day.

pippy32
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/11/2008 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Ha Ha Ha! So funny that farting reminds you of me! I can laugh infront of my mates/husband but at work or a formal situation, arggghhhhhhhh, different story!

MishBall2
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 6/12/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
http://www.gasbgon.com/
Q: What is a GasBGon flatulence filter seat cushion?
A: New seat cushion technology, by Dairiair®, that muffles the sound of flatulence and absorbs the smell. It is the only cushion of it's kind that uses designer fabric and replacement filters. This formulation of filter technology is currently employed successfully in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) applications in residential and commercial spaces.

under $25
33 years old. Diagnosed in 2002ish. 
Taking Asacol, Lomotil TID, and on Remicade since 2004. 
Lower Bowel area only, except for the short stint (about 2 weeks) that I had mouth sores.  Also have external/anal fistula and anal/vaginal fistula. 
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 6/12/2008 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, if someone buys that please tell us if it works.

Robert P
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 6/12/2008 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I've taken Gas-X for extended periods but it never eliminated the problem only reduced it at best.

It wasn't until recently that I realized that the problem had all but gone away. All I can think is that the more and more I move toward a whole foodist (raw foodist) diet the better my symptoms have gotten aside from this darn persistent perianal fistula.

The other thing I can fairly confidently relate it to is a long term use of Wild Oregano Oil and Probiotics that have probably gotten my gut flora better balanced today than ever before. Check out the Listen to Your Gut book in the Crohn's section of the resource directory of this site.

Like the idea of teleconferencing, even if it's from your desk in the same building, assuming there aren't a bunch of visual aspects (slides, etc) to the meeting. The simple, I need to be able to excuse myself to the restroom quickly without disturbing the rest of the meeting should work.
Robert

Dx Crohn's 1999; Started Flagyl 6/8/08 (500mg 3/day) in an effort to eliminate a persistent perianal fistula.  Aside from that have been drug free for a long time thanks to a number of lifestyle changes, much of which was learned from the Listen to Your Gut book.

"Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success."
- John C. Maxwell


Robert P
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 6/12/2008 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
One more thought... To battle the negative affects of the stress related to this or any other issue for that matter check into EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). You can find out more at www.emofree.com, www.taping.com and www.tryitoneverything.com. ~ Good luck!
Robert

Dx Crohn's 1999; Started Flagyl 6/8/08 (500mg 3/day) in an effort to eliminate a persistent perianal fistula.  Aside from that have been drug free for a long time thanks to a number of lifestyle changes, much of which was learned from the Listen to Your Gut book.

"Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success."
- John C. Maxwell


ozonehole
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 6/15/2008 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
There are anti-gas medications. A well-known one is simethicone, usually sold in the USA as Maalox Anti-Gas.

Do you drink milk? Many people are lactose-intolerant and will get severe gas from milk. You can try drinking lactose-free milk, or better yet soy milk, and/or take a probiotic like Digestive Advantage which really helps with lactose intolerance.
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections


pippy32
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/16/2008 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for replying. I don't drink milk, just soya so that's not causing the problem. I'm yet to try a probiotic but i definately will, i've heard that things get worse before they get better though so i'm waiting until i'm off on holiday before i start.

RobertP, i could definately do with some coping techniques so i'll look into your suggestions, thanks.
27 years old, diagnosed 1998
mercaptopurine, prednisolone, azathiaprine, actonol
currently on pentasa, calcium and folic acid, trying for a baby but it's a secret-don't tell anyone!


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 6/16/2008 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you ever asked your boss if instead of being present in the meeting you could teleconference instead?  

Texan with Crohn's
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 6/21/2008 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Okay. I could not locate the original thread I posted on earlier about my wonderful manger, but this is another work thread so I will update here.

I think I may have gone and got myself fired yesterday! For those of you who have read my story, you know what I have been going through. Well, he was firing off on me yesterday, like always... well, I had enough - PERIOD.

I fired back an email reply and cc'd the COO. This angered him to no end. I was yelled at to come in his office and sit down. I said wait "I need to get my digital recorder for this." (shouldn't have said that - just thought it out loud due to frustration). He got REAL angry and called our worthless HR person in and physically wouldn't allow me to get a recorder.

We had another hour-long yelling session (not the first with HR and him), during which I told him I was DONE with him discriminating my medical disability and DONE with him yelling and bullying me. Of course, as always, he lied and denied all. I was let go and they visited - in other words NOTHING was going to happen to him. She sided with him, as always.

I then put together a nicely worded and extremely detailed email that I sent to the North America IT Director, thinking he could get this kid some sensitivity training. BACKFIRE! He replied stating that he had sent it to our office HR person in accordance with firm policy.

Crap!

Quickly went and burned off all my emails to CD and printed off the latest rounds of his attacks for my home file.

When I was leaving for the day Captain D and the COO were behind closed doors discussing me. I stopped by the HR office and polity asked that if they were going to fire me if they could please do it after the first of July (one more month of medical benefits), and then left. Nothing more I could say.

GREAT - just couldn't keep my mouth closed. I wasn't feeling well at all that day (bad pain and joints hurting like heck). He picked the wrong day to mess with a crohnie.

So anyways. Thought I would let you guys know. Looks like I will be out of work without insurance. Three years of taking him was just more than I could handle.
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