Crohns finally is affecting my work relations....after 5.5 years

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 294
   Posted 8/13/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been at my current job for 5 years and 8 months...In Feb of this year I had a major flare. The first in 5 years 8 months...I never went over my sick time in 5.8 years. This last flare really set me back...I had to use all my sick time plus all my vacation time (3 weeks) to cover it as well as my personal days. So now we are in August and I have no time left what so ever...any sick days will be docked from my pay...I understand that...One issue I have is my clock in time is 7:30 am. I make it on time 4 out of 5 days a week. When Im late it is Crohns related..either Im walking out of the house and I get hit with the urgency to go or I get up and go at 6:30 am but it takes a while for me to go seriously 20 to 25 minutes in the morning. Anyhow my boss is starting to gripe about it...I had to tell him this morning "look I have an issue which you are very aware of. your friends daughter has crohns so you have seen first hand the pain and stress it causes and the disruption to life...the good thing is Im feeling good these days! SO if in the morning I am walking out at 7:10 am and I all of a sudden have to take crap! then dude what do you want me to do! Exactly there is nothing I can do about it!"
I can understand his point if I was not getting my work done, if I wasnt doing a fantastic job and I was a disgruntled evil mean employee but Im not! the clients adore me, and I get along great with the staff inspite of having a chronic illness...So now when I have a bad year after all these years he is bugging me about it...that really pisses me off...especially when we had to take pay cuts this year, and got nothing in return for them but more work!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 8/13/2009 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
It's so sad that people don't understand. I worked for a hospital for 7 years, and recently lost my job...long story short I began having a flare and missed days, and they "found" something to write me up over, and fired me. For 7 years I worked with these people and they all acted like they cared and truly understood, and in reality, they all just cared about themselves. It was so hard to understand how people can be so uncaring and so not understanding.

I hope you continue to feel good and things get better at work. For the time being, all of us here understand the frustration that crohn's causes!

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05
Currently on Humira, Prilosec, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12; phenergan, ultram, clonazepam as needed

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/13/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I know IBD sufferers in similar situations and they said the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) is worth looking into for protecting your job.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 440
   Posted 8/13/2009 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not working right now due to the disease either. After calling in so many days...I was not dependable. It's diffecult after so many years of running my own department then going down to part-time, then part part-time. Now, 5ish years later....done. It was the same thing every morning. Stomach cramping, cramping,...nerves or Crohns. Up at night going. Tired the next day. Going, Going,. My lastest employees even put me next to a bathroom but, often times it was filled with someone else. One time I had to drive home because I went through my clothes and the extra clothes I brought. UGH! It's just not too cool to work around somebody with drippy butt at work...I guess. Really embarassing. My stess level is better at home. I stick close to it. Able to nap when I'm exhausted and that is good. Better for the disease too. I've been so nervous about not working that I've developed shingles. I was just glad I didn't have to call in for that too.
 41 yr old woman with 12 surgerys under my belt. Diagnosed in 2005 CD. PTSD 1999. Gullbladder taken 2000, Hysterectomy 2005, Back surgery 1998 with herniation L-4, L-5, S-1. Two-Re-sections on small intestine, total of 18 inches taken out 2006. Stomach Herniation from re-section 2007, Been getting kidney stones too! The good news...finding this website.
                Meds: Imuran 200mg daily, asacol, Bentyl, Coelestid, occasional flagyl and cipro, high blood pressure meds, paxil 25 mg, 4/20meq's potassium, synthroid...& try to get alot of laughter in.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/14/2009 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I have worked at the same company for nearly 20 years and I can tell you that each year I always use all my sick days. At first I had alot of problems with my employers understanding, unfortunately it took my emergency resection to make them understand that I had no control over this disease. Things are okay now, and everyone is pretty understanding. But it is hard for us and to be honest for our employers too as they still need their work done and we still need our jobs to support ourselves. It is hard sometimes isnt it??

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

not creative
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 8/14/2009 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   
It seems to me everyone "knows someone" with crohn's but it's never someone close enough to them to get a true idea of the disease. My supervisor is very understanding but I got FMLA anyway, now I have real protection. I suggest you look into it if you're in the US.
Laurenne, 25 Graduate from University of California, Davis. BA-Anthropology
Dx'd w/ IBS and CD in 2002. Three abscesses that are now fistulas.
On: 6MP, 20mg Prednisone, Zoloft, Cimzia (working so well, I'm on Miralax too!)
Tried: LDN- Did nothing good, Remicade- allergic, Humira- no reaction

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 8/14/2009 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, definitely file for FMLA if your employer has enough employees to qualify for FMLA.  If you have more problems in the mornings, ask your doctor to mention on the paperwork that you have more trouble in the mornings and that you need to have flexible starting times.  If your employer does not have enough emps to qualify for FMLA, see if you can request a reasonable accomodation under the ADA, asking for flexible start times for this reason. 

Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4055
   Posted 8/14/2009 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry you are suffering and feeling unsupported by your boss. Mornings are my worst time. I have to get up 2 hours before I need to go anywhere, because I go back and forth to the bathroom. Will getting up earlier help? I also wonder if you can work out a compromise with your boss that if you are late, you can stay at work later at the end of the day, until this flare is under control. A later start time would probably be ideal, if that can be worked out. I know FMLA is only applicable if the business is large enough, but it would be a great idea if possible. Many years ago, my son was ill, and I was able to take off for his doctor appts and stay home when he was sick, but still kept working otherwise. Good luck with everything
50 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 8/14/2009 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Fortunately I have what they call Intermittent sick leave.  After my first 2-days which I have to use my PTO, I can use the intermittent sick leave when I need to.  I've been really fortunate.  If I have to have surgery, it will switch over to the long term sick leave.  I can't imagine how awful it would be to be stressed over that.  It only makes our symptoms work.  I'm so sorry....... :(

Crohn's Disease. 
Diagnosed 13+ years ago. 
Been in remission for short periods of time but each time I come out of remission my disease seems to have spread.  No longer isolated in my ileum, now from stomach down to rectum. 
Current Medications for the Crohns:  Humera 40mg injections every other week, Imuran 150mg, 3xday, Hyomax, Welchol 625mg, Vancocin HCI 125mg, 4xday for C-Diff, Calcium, Acidophilus & Potassium
Previous Medications I've been on:  Asocal, Pentasa, Cipro, Prednisone, Flagyl & Entocort

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 8/14/2009 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I was let go from a summer job I had a few years ago. It was a warehouse job where I was lifting boxes the entire shift, which is pretty difficult to do when you have abdominal cramps and nausea. After the 2nd time in the hospital in 3 weeks, they called me and told me to not bother coming in to work. Can't really blame them, but it was my 2nd summer working there. I was getting the shaft anyway so it wasn't exactly devastating news to me.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 8/14/2009 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you should print out, and maybe let your boss read the americans with disabilities act.

I would not think it is asking too much, for you to have "extra time" to get to work, aka a reasonable accommodation.

Good Luck

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 8/14/2009 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
health comes first, but if your serious about the job need insurance etc... I suggest you play hardball

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/15/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
When I first got sick, I had to be in to work at 7am. Mornings were the worst for me, and between running back and forth to the bathroom and trying to not throw up, I just couldn't be consistently on time, which was a major issue since I was one of two people who opened the office. Luckily for me, my boss was very understanding and allowed me to change my shift time, pushing it back to 9:00. This still wasn't ideal, and there was certainly some grumbling by people who didn't know exactly what was going on, but it allowed me to continue working. I would certainly ask about switching your shift if that is a possibility. Alternatively, do you work in the type of job where you could work from home on days (or even just mornings) where you felt too sick to make it in on time?
29-year-old PhD student, diagnosed with Crohn's in Feb. '06. During the summer of 2006, I completed the Adacolumn Apheresis clinical trial, which helped me enjoy 2+ years of remission and more than one year med-free. During spring and summer of 2009 the symptoms slowly but surely began to return, and now I'm flaring again. Waiting to see doctor to get back on meds.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1810
   Posted 8/15/2009 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Having this has really cost me a lot of hours at work. I have been lucky so far and I now have a job that has flexible hours for me. Sometimes when I see a job I want to apply for, it makes me sad when I realize I couldn't do it because of the hours. I'd like to even go back to school and change careers, but don't think I can do it with my current health situation. There have been many days that I have considered quitting work or going part time but we can't afford it right now. I feel stuck but I am grateful to have a job with flexible hours.
diagnosed 1/09 with "diverticular colitis" ?? location, sigmoid colon
localized scleroderma & IBS, low thyroid
 50 +  female
 colazal, fish oil, synthroid, zoloft, VSL#3 probiotic.
Blood test positive for Crohn's for whatever that is worth-:)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 8/15/2009 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   

I work in the UK. I am lucky enough to work flexible hours and can actually start work at what time I like. This helps no end when I am having a bad day.

I am also covered by the Disability Discrimination Act which means my employer has to make allowances for me. I get time off for the hospital etc

Diagnosed 2005.  41 year old female living in UK
Current medication  -  infliximab infusions, ranitidine, ferrous sulphate, Vitamin B12 injections.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 8/15/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Doc sorry to hear of your troubles...
I used to have to be at work at 6am so I got up at 3:45.
Did that for 20yrs because being late for work in my instance was unfair to other employees.
I explained it to my G.I. and he said I'm lucky, some are on the toilet over 7hrs a day.
Different job,different start time.Different G.I., equals better quality of life...
B-12injections,Pentasa,Loperamide,Entocort,6mp,Hydrochlorothiazide,8 week
Remission since surgery
and 8-week Remicade.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 8/16/2009 2:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm new at my job and trying to keep the problems under control. I have to get up extra early (if it's a morning shift) to allow time to "go" and get as much out of my system as possible. Then I have to take immodium to keep things quiet so I can get through my shift. So far, it's working. My scope is next week so maybe we can figure out why I keep having D. I never used to have it this way and know I was very lucky. If the immodium stops working I'm in trouble. I'm also taking 40mg pred and it's not stopping the D.

I can't believe your boss is giving you a hard time. Especially after all the time you've been there. I hope things work out ok.

It's in the bag
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 8/24/2009 12:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I work for a fairly large fire department and we have FMLA....I used it for about 2 1/2 months a few years ago when I was diagnosed. I had to spend 15 days in the hospital loaded full of IV meds...I was not allowed food or drink for 12 of those days. Now I haven't worked since May..just this month had surgery to give me a temporary ileostomy to let my colon heal and then in a few months the plan is to put everything back together and get rid of the bag. (which I am incredibly looking forward to) The point is , the others above me are right. If you can get it , FMLA is protects you it keeps you somewhat paid and I hate to think where I would be without it.
Asacol 400mg x 8 dly , 50 mg Mercaptapurine x 1 dly , 40 mg Omeprazole x1 dly , Remicade every 2 months , Multivitamin , Fish Oil ,

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