After this big flare I was given direction to stay off work 4-6 months... yikes! I panicked and felt useless and went through all the things that us crohnies feel when we flare up unexpectedly and life gets put on hold... I was determined to get better sooner than that and to get back to work before sick leave ran out. It ran out today but luckily my boss has advanced me 3 weeks of sick leave so technically I am good until Nov 12 if needed. Then there is also a LTD plan if needed.
I have been improving at home and it has been 5 weeks since I left work unexpectedly and had to be treated on an emergency basis. I started my Humira 5 days ago and my next loading dose of 2 shots is Nov 1. I thought it was time to discuss return to work planning with a dr so I booked an appt for today....
I just got clearance to return to work on a graduated plan- the dr wants me to start at 2hrs/day and then increase my hours as I can tolerate it and to return to clinic if I need a new note to either stop work again or go back to regular duties early etc. My job is office-type work. I am a social worker and work with high stress files and carry a caseload. My employer is being very understanding and I think my duties in the first week or so will not consist of carrying the caseload but instead it will be filing, data entry etc to ease me back in...
My question today is about dealing with the ongoing crohn's symptoms while at work as I really have not had to deal with it in the past AND I don't want to be holding in gas or BMs which in turn will just make me sicker and I will end up home again and miserable. My symptoms right now are :
Fatigue to the point of passing out asleep without warning
shakes and moodiness (Pred is the likely culpret here)
tingling hands and feet
joint aches and pains
So does anyone have tips about what to do when you are in an office meeting and you need to let some gas go- or you need the bathroom, or you are feeling tired and sweaty.... how do you deal with it? Should I gather my team together for a chat before I start back into work? Should I just excuse myself? I am nervous about these first few days.... also I don't want to push myself too much.... what signs and symptoms should I look for in my body that show I am doing too much?
The only other time in my life that I was so sick I was a university student and I took a year off and moved back in with my mom during recovery so I didn't have to deal with work, having a child, or worrying about losing income. This is a whole new issue for me and any feedback or tips would be appreciated.
Thanks for listening!!
DX with Crohns in 1998 at age 20
Experienced severe weight loss, anemia, stroke, clotting, seizures, internal bleeding, fissures & an abcess requiring surgery in 1998
Started 75mg Imuran shortly after DX (+ vits) & still on it today(now 150mg), then I was in remission for almost 12 years!
NOW: ....in a flare-up, tapering pred. (at 35mg now) and began Humira October 18/10