work and crohn's

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sulleysullivan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/20/2008 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
i have just graduated college and am starting to look for jobs. being as i was just diagnosed and i dont know much i was wondering is there anything i need/should let prospective employers know about crohn's or should i not say anything at all?
"I feel infinite." -the perks of being a wallflower


survivor49
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 12/20/2008 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   

that is a difficult one- i developed crohn's 2 years ago while working in a very busy ER as a nurse practitioner. I was recently terminated after 2 episodes of bad health/luck. First i contracted a staph infection which left me hospitalized for 5 days, and then 5 months later, I had a reaction to remicade and could not walk for 2 days. they said i was being let go because it was not "a good fit", but  I was doing very well professionally with the exception of the 2 times i mentioned. I think that they saw the potential for disability down the road and got out while they could. They gave me a fairly good severance package, but it was still a slimy thing to do. I now work in an urgent care clinic, and did not tell anyone before i was hired, as it did not affect my ability to do my job. Now that I am on board, I have let it be known to certain individuals so that they understand why I need to lay down for my lunch break instead of goingout for pizza, or why I try and space the days that I work so i do not get so tired.


Wolfie40
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 12/20/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Isn't it against the law to fire someone due to medical illness???

LMills
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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/20/2008 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
It is against the law, but that's all the more reason for them NOT to cite illness as a reason for termination. There are plenty of other reasons they can put down on paper.
Is there any way that you might still be able to contact the disability services office from your university? Mine had an extremely helpful staff that spoke with me for at least a full hour on all your options concerning job interviews, being hired, when/if you disclose your disability, etc.
As for any answer I can give from my own experiences, choosing to tell your boss about your illness is up to your own personal judgment. You may need to in order to request certain accommodations keeping in mind that not all of them are reasonable and that many companies have the right not to hire you based on accommodations you may HAVE to have.
I think in the end you just have to kind of gauge how things will go, find the right boss(there are many who are very understanding while some are the complete opposite), and try to make sure you're in an environment that doesn't make you miserable.
I know it's all easier said than done, but I have faith that you can do it :)
You'll always have support here. I'm also sure there will be a lot many, much more helpful, answers coming along from the other members.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 30 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, prilosec in the morning, tandem plus, humira every other week, and good probiotics.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Attempting the specific carbohydrate diet. Cheated once for Christmas.

"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


sulleysullivan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/20/2008 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
it is but if they want to they can find a reason especially if they think they're gonna have to pay out later is my guess
"I feel infinite." -the perks of being a wallflower


Wolfie40
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 12/20/2008 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
That just sucks!!! I've been fortunate that I have been at my place of work for over 20 years and they are understanding of my disease.

survivor49
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 12/20/2008 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
it actually was a blessing in disguise- that pace and overnight hours were stressful enough, and addin the personalities and i felt like i was flaring every day. i couldn't justify resigning because the pay was good but my new job is competive and i am a lot less stressed

Osprey101
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 12/20/2008 11:39 PM (GMT -7)   
It may be against the law to fire someone because of a disease, but the bigger question here is whether they'll fail to hire because of a disease. That's illegal, too, but the hiring process is even less transparent than firing.

Small companies won't want to take on someone with a large insurance burden, unless they're a small, flexible, wildly profitable company. Larger companies- thousands of employees- don't care quite so much because it all comes out in the wash, statistically. Universities and state/federal employment may be best for particularly financially debilitating disorders.

None of this means you should necessarily disclose your illness to any HR reps. They may not understand completely. It is something that, if offered the job, you should discuss with whomever will be your immediate supervisor and determine whether the position is right for you. Most importantly, it should be made clear that stress does not seem to be correlated with flares (depending upon who you ask), and that it is possible to control the disease for months or years at a time.

Lastly, it is worth noting to potential employers that, yes- you do have a nasty disease but dealing with chronic pain and discomfort makes for a tougher employee. By and large, Crohnies aren't the kind of person to call in sick because of a hangnail or a touch of tummy upset.

Wolfie40
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 12/21/2008 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
[quote=

Lastly, it is worth noting to potential employers that, yes- you do have a nasty disease but dealing with chronic pain and discomfort makes for a tougher employee. By and large, Crohnies aren't the kind of person to call in sick because of a hangnail or a touch of tummy upset.


We are tough people!!
I have only called in sick three times in the past 23 years..
The only reason that I missed was do to me being in the hospital..
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