Does anyone have trouble working??!!

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1250
   Posted 3/15/2009 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I am really struggling lately with a Crohn's flare, and am having trouble working. sad   My mornings are horrible with frequency/urgency, nausea, cramping, etc.....  By the time I need to go to work, I feel like I can't even stand and have to go back to bed.  When I wake up from a nap (2 hours,) I'm still nauseated, weak, flu-like, with the occasional bathroom trips. 
I guess my question is, does anyone have trouble working because of this darned disease??!! rolleyes
Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 3/15/2009 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes. The most I've ever been able to do was a casual job, and I haven't been able to work at all since 2003.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 3/15/2009 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
yes...i've been in the midst of my worst flare in years...i am so tired, unmotivated, and blah (for lack of better word).
I work out in the field so i only have to go to the office once a week, but i'm operating at about 40-50% right now...
and in a commission only world that doesn't cut it.
it's tough.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/15/2009 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
You're definitely not alone. When I'm flaring I have a heck of a time working. But, I did go for almost 3 years without too much trouble, so there's usually a break in the storm somewhere! I hope you're back on your feet soon.
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (loading doses 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Prednisone

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1510
   Posted 3/15/2009 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   
julie, are you still working as a nurse? as i remember, you were in a job that you were somewhat comfortable in, but took another better paying job with better hours. and, as soon as you did, you started having more problems. are you still in that position? being in the healthcare field, i would have thought that understanding and compassion would have been more a part of your work experience. but, then i'd probably be wrong. i remember my doctor confiding in me when when we were discussing my discrimination case, "hey, the bean counters are just as much in charge here at the hospital, as they are in the private sector!" "it's a cold hearted business, just like any other."

julie, i truly hope things get better for you. and i hope you have your GI in your corner, if you ever have to file for disability. work IS a major stressor.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 544
   Posted 3/16/2009 4:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Like most I have to work....and luckily I have a job I enjoy....but yes....working and having CD is a hard combination.
the trick for me has been to always be prepared for the worst....I always have a change of clothes with me....I have my bag of meds in the car (antacids, imodium, gas-x) and I have TP in the glovebox.  I travel a lot for my job, well over 75 flights a year...sometimes well over 100.  I put 35 or 45 thousand miles a year on my car plus thousands more on rentals.....last year was bit tougher than most because I had to miss two weeks for a bowel rescetion.
the biggest help to me is working for a company that has a heart and shows great compassion for my health issues.
I know it is tough and there are great many mornings I don't feel I don't feel I have the strength to get out of bed, but I force myself because if I don't I know I will have a harder time dealing with the Crohns if I don't have a job or insurance.
i wish you good luck and hope you feel better soon.
dx IBS 1999   UC 2000   CD 2001
Tested BIOGEN TYSABRI (gave me 2 years of remission)
tried Naltrexone Jan. 19, 2007 Stopped the Naltrexone July 28th...started Humira Aug 31st, 2007...current dose one shot every week. Also nightly dose of mesalamine.
Surgery Nov 4th, 2008 removed 30 inches of small bowel.
 Crohns is currently active and has been since April of 2005
52 yrs old

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/16/2009 6:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I am in remission right now and I can tell you yes it still is hard working. I was just telling my husband yesterday how tired I am getting. Tired of having to be strong and push thru not feeling well and having to get up and go to work. Everyday I wake up and I don't feel well. I have to take nausea meds first thing when I wake up. It takes me from the time I wake up till I get to work about 1 1/2 hours. Luckily by the time I get to work the meds have started working some and I feel a little better. My problems are related to mechanical problems from my resections.

But even though in remission I still wake up feeling crappy in the mornings. So although I am not flaring, I do still feel your pain.

Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for 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, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 3/16/2009 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Yuppers! I actually just came home 2 and a half hours early from work today.  I went from working 48 hours a week, and Im currently down to 15-20hrs. Im only 22 years old, but I just cant do it anymore...My body and joints hurt so bad just from standing alone, but when you throw the D ontop of it 5-10 times while at just isnt a good combo. My Crohns acts up the most in the morning and throughout the afternoon, and calms down a lot in the evening, when of course my work is closed.  I was actually going to ask my GI tomorrow when I go see him, what he thinks about me going on partial disability.  He had mentioned it before but I was too stubborn to listen, but work is catching up to me now, and the bills dont stop just because I do.

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Imuran 50mg, Vitamin B12 (injection), D, and C tablets. Fish Oil Tablets, Cats Claw, Slippery Elm, and Reishi.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 3/16/2009 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep, my jobs had me tied to a desk and phone. So it was always impossible for me to maintain when I needed to be in the bathroom so much. The stress from working, and having to get up so early took it's toll and I flared up big time. Haven't been working since 2006 now. Don't really plan to go back either.

I'm very lucky to have a husband that can support us with just his one income.

Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 3/16/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm fortunate to work from home 3 days each week and I only put in 30 hrs/week (usually). I've been flaring for 2 1/2 years with no remission... Brief periods of improvement but no remission. Before I came to check the forum I was just amazed that I have even gotten 4 hours of work in today - heating pad in place ;-) . I really hurt pain wise and back to daily temps. I don't know how anyone could hold a full time traditional job.

Being sick every day is exhausting. And, I continuously feel guilty for not being more energetic! I try to hide my lack of energy from the people I work with, but it gets hard. When they get a cold, they all go out of commission for a few days. The problem for us is that it's far worse than a cold and it's every day. I guess it's all relative.

It's so very nice to come and read this forum and hear from others who truly understand. Even though I don't post so much these days, I appreciate that you're all here!
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08 => STOPPED 10/3/08 - now 2 months into it & it was the right decision
--currently taking budesonide suppositories, 3mg at night.  SLIPPING big time.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
--single mom to 11-yr-old girl

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 3/16/2009 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Working is proably the hardest thing, next to relationships with this illness.

I am not working right now, on disability, but I do have hopes of returning some day.
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 15mg every other day
Imuran 100mg day
Celexa 20mg day
Pain Meds
Vitamins + B12 Injections Once Per Week

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 3/16/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   

I am a medical social worker and work two jobs for a total of 38hrs a week...I'm fortunate in that my jobs are very employers know about my health issues and allow me to come and go as I please...I think they allow this b/c I rarely call out sick...I work daily feeling like crap but I've been doing this for years...when I have good days I think I actually become manic b/c it's so rare....same days it's so difficult to just get out of bed...I push myself b/c it's better for my mental health to keep helps that if I have to leave early they allow this and I make up the time another day....I have to say that as I get older, it's getting harder for me to maintain these jobs...this illness is such a stressful disease both physically and emotionally...people who are not chronically ill just don't understand..


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1250
   Posted 3/16/2009 4:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much for the replies. Sometimes I get so frustrated and discouraged with myself. I push myself as hard as I can. Sometimes I forget that the Crohn's is out of my control..... Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg three times a day, 1mg at bedtime (for anxiety attacks)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 3/16/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, Yes Yes!!! It is so hard to get up and get dressed and put o the happy face. Most of my clients know my problem and are patient when I have to run off to the washroom. Energy low is the hardest thing for me. Pain is just so normal and pain killers do wonders.

When I push too hard I have the worst time. Can we love ourselves? Do we? I ask myself that question lots?

I hope you feel better soon and you get the strength you need to keep going on.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 3/16/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
It's hard at times. For the last few weeks I have been vomiting after using the restroom, then going back on the floor to finish my shift.

I am a manger at a Casino and I just get embarrassed because I think the person in the next stall might think I am drunk!!! Well wishes for you!

tambour de l'homme
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/20/2009 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm still working on this myself. Over the past six months I've undergone 5 different crohns related surgeries.This hit me and my employer out of the blue as I had not yet been diagnosed with crohns. They've been very supportive through all this but now that the wounds are finally starting to be bearable they can't wrap their mind around the other aspects of the disease. When I tell them I can't come to work because I'm in the restroom for three to five hours a day you can hear the skepticism in their voice. I'm not sure what will happen next but as we all know we will survive. I feel your frustration and wish you the very best. Hang in!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 3/20/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, tiamarie,is that you watching my chips at the roulette table, while I run to the john?
diagnosed 1981
remission until 2006
Entocort, 6mp,Hydrochlorothiazide
Remission since surgery
and 8-week Remacade.
d since 1981(enjoy the look
on Dr's faces)

Miss J
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 3/20/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I've missed almost a full month's worth of work in the last six weeks thanks to the worst flareup I've ever had.
My job isn't particularly physically demanding, but I have two obstacles: a) my desk is a two-minute walk to the nearest bathroom, and b) it's a high-stress environment.
I keep joking that if only I could get a port-a-potty next to my desk and an unlimited supply of Xanax, I'd be able to handle 60+ hours per week at my job.  :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 3/21/2009 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I typically keep going at it even when I am in a flare but there are days where I just can not make it in. My workplace is very flexible with schedules. Since they expect me to always be available whenever they need me they in turn allow flexibility with schedule and working remotely. The recent issue I am up against is a change in management. For the past 2 years my management was great and accepting if I call out at 8:00 in the morning and say I will be remote for the day...sometimes you just get so sick in the morning and you just can't do it. My new management has been a bit difficult to deal with when this happens...asking questions like "How come I did not know about this in advance" like I can predict that I am going to have a bad morning. Also, he now started giving me trouble about Dr. appts. When I confront him about it he is all like "Oh no there is no problem, I understand that you have an illness"...Do you want to see a Dr.'s note???UGH WORK!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 3/21/2009 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I lost my job because of a bad flare. Been unemployed for well over a year now, and I finally make it into remission... and the economy takes a crap on me. Been looking for a job for a while now.
21, Male, diagnosed over Christmas Break of my Junior year in High School. BEST CHRISTMAS EVAR LOL

(not really)

Becoming undone
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 3/21/2009 3:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Still in mourning over not being able to work. Everyday I keep hoping that I will be able to work. It's now been 2 years...I want to work, but I feel, most mornings, just like Julie.
"The earth laughs in flowers"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 832
   Posted 3/21/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I stopped working when i started getting really bad in October. I have anxiety also so it was good for me to stop working and just focusing on getting my health back..
24 year old female
Diagonsed with Crohns disease in December 2008..
Medication - Asacol, Remicade, Entocort

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 3/21/2009 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   

 Boy have I, On this past friday the 13th I got fired for attendence.......from WALMART. I had been there over 6 years. I had doctor notes for every time I was out......At times I did have to leave in the middle of a shift, you know crap sorry lil joke. On my way to the enemployment office on monday. Walmart sucks.

 I need to work, but I know it will be hard to find anything these days and with crohns it will be twice as hard.



Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 3/22/2009 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm very lucky in that I have a part-time job where I am just a few steps away from the restroom...and my supervisor suffers from IBS, so she totally understands the intestinal issues I deal with on a daily basis. I work as a cataloger in a library, and I am able to basically set my own hours. My schedule is based around how I feel. very flexible. It is ideal for me. (the main problem is when her and I both need the restroom at the same time!)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 3/22/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Luckly I have a job that allows me to plan my schedule with the exception of a timed appointment, which is set by my boss, and with that in mind this last appointment was unavoidable and I had a unavoidable flare up. So I told the customer that I am suffering from a bowel disease. The customer understood my condition and did my best to service that customer. Later that day I told my boss what happend and he was compassionate towards me and recognized my efforts to service the customer with extreme pain.

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