Medical leave - feeling guilty

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
So the last time I went in for an evaluation my boss told me I take too much time off work. But the truth is, I don't. Sure I had an emergency bowel resection 3 years ago that required some time away, but aside from that I drag myself into work everyday, no matter how I'm feeling. I've lived on Ensure for days at a time just to be able to get myself through.

That is, until recently, when I just couldn't do it anymore.

I've been off for a month and feel soooo much better. Today I saw my GI and he suggested I take another month and then ease into going back to work on a part time basis. He says my body is not at 100% yet.

But when I think back to what my boss said, I start to feel guilty and depressed. Sure, I didn't sign up for Crohn's. They didn't sign up for an employee with Crohn's either.

Was thinking I could take 2 more weeks and then go back part time after that. The best of both worlds?

Anybody else been in this situation?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't been in this situation, but I think you shouldn't feel too guilty about this. First, you have rights under the law to a certain amount of medical leave if you need it.

I don't know what kind of work you do, but is it something that you could do from home? If you're feeling guilty, perhaps you could appease some of that guilt by proposing a plan for working from home?

Sounds like you've worked for the same employer for at least 3 years, so this doesn't seem excessive to me in a 3-year period.
UC dx in 1998 (age 18) - proctosigmoiditis - Allergic to Sulfa
1998-2009 Asacol 2/2X daily - very sketchy about taking it...pretty much drug-free for a long time.
Jan 2006 - Crohn's? UC?
Aug 2009 - flare - Mesalamine enemas and 4 Aprisos daily...still a bit sketchy about taking the Apriso once the flare was done
August 2010 - Flaring - Asacol HD and sfRowasa
8/10 - Doc dx me with Crohn's!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 8/31/2010 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean. Personally I would go back earlier despite my own health. (not smart) I would feel better just being there to help. You should do what feels right for you, if your not ready, your not ready. And you have been there a while. I know for me, I was guilted for over one year after my STD leave for 4 weeks. Looking back on it now though, its better to get yourself well before you go back.
Current meds:  Remicade
Tried:  Prednisone, sulfasalzine, lialda, antibiotics, imuran
29 yr old female w/ crohn's colitis and SEVERE leg pain

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 8/31/2010 10:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been through something similar. My work was unwilling to work with me even though the only times I'd call in sick were days I couldn't get out of the bathroom, maybe once or twice every couple months. They forced me to take a 2 week personal leave (no pay) to sort out my health issues (like 2 weeks would really do it) Then I was out on maternity leave a few weeks later when I was put on partial bed rest. my job was so stressful. I finally quit when my hubby had a raise at work. although my health has been a bumpy ride, emotionally i've been so much better since.

You have the right to take a leave, your employer has no say. good luck
Diagnosed with UC in February 2009.
Diagnosed with Crohn's December 2009.
Flaring since October 2008 with occasional spikes in symptoms
Possible Rheumatoid Arthritis

Medication: Imuran 75 mg, multivitamin, Vit B12 1 g, omeprazole. Sulfasalazine, Calcium w/vit D

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 9/1/2010 5:32 AM (GMT -7)   
It is a hard situation to be in with crohns. I seem to be at home more than I am at work recently due to flaring since January but if you feel you can not cope with working and it's going to make you worse, then take the sick leave you need. I think out of 8 months I have had atleast 3 of those off with flaring. I have been off for about 6 weeks atm, and I know I am not ready to go back yet, I cant even do my house work without feeling shattered and then back to square one!
Good luck and hope you feel better soon .
Michelle 40 years old
Diagnosed with CD 2004 (undiagnosed correctly +- 3 years, wrongly diagnosed with IBS)
Bowel resection 2005
medication: pentasa 500mg , Co-codomol 500mg/32mg codeine
loperamide 2mg (prn - take as many as 10-20 a day)
calcium tablets, multivitamin tablets, Omega 3
Ferrous sulphate(anaemia)
levothyroxine (thyroid)
questran light (3 sachets/day), 3 monthly B12 Injections

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 9/1/2010 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been at the same company for 6 years now. I could work from home but the stress level would be about the same as working from the office.

In the end I guess only I can decide what I want to do. A part of me says, "you'll never be 100%, just go back and get it over with". On the other hand I want to do this properly, I want to get better.

Ugh, why is this so hard?

Thanks for your replies.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/1/2010 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been out of work now for over 8 weeks due to my kidney surgery. A surgery that was supposed to be in hospital 2 days, and out of work 3-4 weeks. we all know Crohns doesn't like stress, and we all also know that we just don't heal the same as others. I am supposed to go back to work 2 weeks from tomorrow. I am feeling better, but won't lie I am nervous about going back. I have gotten comfortable being able to lie down when needed, but definetly won't be able to do that at work. I am much like you and work thru stuff that I really shouldn't, but still do. After this surgery it was the first time I have ever thought about permanent disability. But I can't yet, as I have a truck to pay off so need to hang in there for at least 3 more years. So in my case at least, I will have to be strong for a little while longer. Just wanted you to know you are not alone. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & 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"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 9/1/2010 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I think your health should be a main priority. I don't know what your job is, but you could suggest bringing some work home or working via email and phone. If you don't take the time you need for your health now, you might have to take even more time out later.
26 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease March 2008. Battled a C. diff infection from Summer 2009-Spring 2010. Have been dealing with a severe flare for the past several weeks.
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