What professions do IBDers have??

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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 12/18/2007 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, i'm a senior in hgih school, have crohn's and have not been in school harldy at all this year but anyway i've already been getting accepted into colleges, but i'm totally undecided. I was wondering what other adult IBDers do for a living? Just wondering like which job has good disabillty or flexibillty when you're sick

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   Posted 12/18/2007 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I am a bookkeeper & administrative assistant for several private owned companies. I work a flex schedule in the medical profession. I do not however, qualify for short term disability at my job because my CD was pre-existing to my employment. You are very smart for thinking ahead. While my job allows me freedom to work at home or in my office, after almost 20 years of this profession I am bored stiff and want a change of career! I don't know what to consider either! Since I am middle age with CD I am concerned a career change would make me less marketable. I've considered maybe tutoring on the side to pick up extra cash as well as maybe give me a feel as to what I may like to do. If I had my dream job I would be an art teacher even though there isn't much money there. Keep hunting, you'll find the solution which is right for you even if it takes you in a whole new direction from where you thought you were going. I have always believed in destiny and in my case God looked after me all the years prior to my CD else I wouldn't be in the profession I am in! I'm glad you posted this question as I would be interested in any responses as well.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

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   Posted 12/18/2007 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmm...I would advise against going into medicine (i.e., medical school). I am in my first post-graduate year and am having a hard time - it's hard even without being sick. However, other healthcare jobs do not require as much schooling but can be very fulfilling, and you get the added bonus of understanding what your own body is doing! Well, sometimes anyway...
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

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   Posted 12/18/2007 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to be a Registered Nurse and found it very difficult with shift work especially. Nurses tend to be on their feet all day and usually have a fairly heavy patient load which is difficult when you have to run to the bathroom all the time and are fatigued and nauseated. I finally switched to Public Health Nursing which I found easier but at the same time difficult in a different way. Public Health Nurses do a lot of travelling to and from clients' homes, schools, hospitals etc. Your day is as full of clients and time for "pit-stops" just puts you way behind your schedule...plus when you are expected at a certain school for immunization day and arrive late because you've been stuck in the bathroom unable to leave your office, it does not make for a very good impression.
I finally had to leave nursing and am now on a disability pension. I do paint and sell some paintings which is maybe what I should have pursued in the first place. Don't be discouraged , follow your gut feelings always....they are not usually too off target. Good luck sweetie.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

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   Posted 12/18/2007 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd recommend doing a job that gives you access to a restroom without asking permission or finding coverage. I worked corrections and survived but part of the reason my hubby left police work (he has IBS) was the lack of bathroom access. I am now in law school and going to be a lawyer. Court days do stress me out as someday when I am the head lawyer I will need to call a recess to use the bathroom, but for now I can come and go as I please. It is a big change from corrections when I needed a staff to cover for me everytime I was in the bathroom. But it also depends on your comfort level. If you dont care who knows you are going and how often then get whatever job you like. I refuse to let it hold me back but do try to make accomodations to make my life a little easier.

Edit: I said "not" in law school meant to say NOW in law school.

26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!

Post Edited (FitzyK23) : 12/19/2007 8:31:54 AM (GMT-7)

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   Posted 12/19/2007 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Sales and marketing ...covering the entire USA with some travel outside the US.  I book about 150,000 miles in planes a year and another 30,000 by car.

I am in the food industry....so i have crohns, travel constantly and have to work with food every day.  Job made in heaven

dx IBS 1999   UC 2000   CD 2001
Tested BIOGEN TYSABRI (gave me 2 years of remission)
currently on Low Dose Netroxene (started Jan. 19, 2007)...against Dr's wishes, he was pushing for Remicade.  Stopped the Naltrexone July 28th...started Humira Aug 31st, 2007...current dose two shots every other week.
Crohns is currently active and has been since April of 2005
51 yrs old

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 12/19/2007 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm a Pediatric RN,my one friend is a Float/Critical care RN,and my other friend with IBD is a Pediatrician,gee,do we see a trend?? Just kidding!! yeah

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 12/19/2007 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I am in the IT and Mainframe computer industry dealing with large customers and multi million dollar accounts mostly financial institutions.
I manage my customers with out supervision(my manager lets me do what I need to do with out questions) the company I work for has us listed as Flex workers so I get to work out of the house and only leave to take service calls and do installs, the worse part of being a Customer Service Engineer is the weekly standby and call outs all times of day and night most at 11:00pm-03:00am when financial institutes are running their back ups and updating records of the days transaction.
I don't deal with PC's just the company laptop I work on large high level integrated solutions.
Once in 1988 I worked in the same companys factory in FL and had a manager that dinged me durng my reveiw for making too many trips to the restroom and when I told him about me having crohn's he said that I was leaving the assembly area to often and that caused me to have a poor reveiw I got .07 cents.
Back then I should have filed with HR and American with disability's and truned his butt in...but I was 23 and left not long after that to be in the feild I am in now.

Post Edited (MDdave) : 12/19/2007 6:43:53 AM (GMT-7)

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   Posted 12/19/2007 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I work in the health insurance industry. I am an underwriter, so I spend a lot of time at a desk crunching data. i also have conference and client travel requirements. With my situation, I am very lucky. I can work from home when I need and travel has not been too much. I went to school to be a teacher, but there were no jobs then and I fell into the insurance world.

BUT...any job will have ups and downs. try not to limit yourself too much by your medical needs if possible. I am bored stiff with my job, but stick with it becuase of the flexibility. Now I am getting too old to change jobs easily.

What are your interests? What are your strengths in school? I recommend talking to a career counselor if you can...not just the high school counselor, but a pro. There may be jobs out there that interest you and fit your CD needs, but you just are not aware of them. I am going to a pro in January to see what I can do to switch careers in my 40's
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 12/19/2007 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Im currently a retail supervisor. I do not recommend this at all. At all. Do not do it. I just started back up at school to to become a radiologist and that is becuase of this.
Symptoms Of Crohn's June of '06 (21 years old 285lbs). Colonoscopy in Jan '07 no sign of Crohn's.
Surgery for a Fistula in April '07, diagnosed suggestive Crohn's in May '07. August '07 small bowel follow
through, diagnosed with Crohn's (23 years old 165lbs). On HUMIRA, Prednisone


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Date Joined Jun 2004
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   Posted 12/19/2007 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a mechanical drafter/designer and sit at a desk all day. It's not a problem for me to run to the bathroom and when I'm fatigued it's nice to be able to sit all day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 12/19/2007 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a part time teacher....used to be full time before I had my kids. My youngest will be in school full time next year, but with my crohns, I will not be upping my work load. I teach band at 3 different schools 2 days a week. I have enough time in between my schools to allow for pit stops if needed. And I also teach 1 full day of private lessons at my kids' school, so that is flexible also. I totally love what I do, and I am thankful that I can still do it even with crohns.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/19/2007 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I am an accountant. I sit at a computer all day. The bathroom is right around the corner and I am free to get up and go any time I need to. It seems real good for me. I hadn't thought of all the other professions people are mentioning that might not allow you to go to the bathroom at anytime. I do worry some about my constant bathroom going being mentioned by my boss, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
Dx with Crohns Nov 07'
Taking 12x 400mg Asacol

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 12/19/2007 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a lawyer. I do corporate, transactional work. I was diagnosed with UC in law school.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/19/2007 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I am an assistant to financial advisors. I do have a desk job and am able to get to the BR as needed. I have short term disability thru the state and is also offered thru my company.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 12/19/2007 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
i am an office manager. But there is only one of me and when im sick it is hard not to bring down company if im not here for a week. Get to sit at a desk with a bathroom down the hall. I used to work downtown and had to quit because to much stress with commute and too long of a day. Wish i could clone myself in case i get sick again or have to go into hospital. But been doing it for about 6 years and love it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 12/19/2007 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Trsora - why don't you take someone else in the office and train them on the bare necessities. Then if you have an emergency the company will stay running. When I was a paralegal the OM had me trained on billing and quickbooks etc just so if there was an emergency I could fill in. When our receptionist quit without notice I was able to save the day because I could keep up with the bills. Even if its not in someones job description it wouldnt hurt for them to have the knowledge in case it is someday needed.

26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 12/19/2007 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
My username. Don't do it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 12/19/2007 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I've worked in the IT industry for 25+ years.  I'm currently a data archtect.  I would highly recommend information systems/programmer/analyst, etc., as a career, if you have any interest in computers.   You get to sit at a desk, the pay is good, and your boss usually doesn't care how much you go to the bathroom as long as you get your work done.  I know many IT'ers who work from home entirely.  I'd love to be one of those some day, but I haven't been able to do that yet.   Since technology is constantly changing, it's never really boring - you are always having to learn new products, methods and tools to do the job.   The only downside is that, with the new global market, pay has been declining in the last seven years, and I know many people who have lost their jobs to outsourcing (myself included). 

DX: mild to moderate Crohn's for 34 years
Additional benefits: chronic anemia, B12 deficient, peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, joint pain, underactive thyriod
Current meds: Colozal, Nexium, Entocort, Flagyl, steriod cream, monthly B12 injections, Neurontin, Synthroid, Effexor ER, pain meds as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 12/19/2007 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi kix2989! Everyone has given you some great advice. What I want to say is, don't let your health issues hold you back! Try to find a career that you would love to do and that would be exciting, challenging, inspiring, etc. You don't want to end up in a career that you'll be bored in just because you thought it would be easier. Sure, going through college and grad school and even working when you have Crohn's can be very challenging- but the best rewards in life come from the greatest challenges. I'm currently in grad school, earning a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy. It's the perfect career for me because I get to work in a medical setting without all of the formality and decorum of medicine, I get to do FUN things with patients all day, and it's incredibly rewarding. However, I hadn't even heard of occupational therapy until I was almost done with my bachelor's degree! I would say explore your interests and see if it leads you to something you want to do. Good luck!

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   Posted 12/19/2007 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Zazucat...you need to find something you are interested in, and then see how to make it work for you. I have a masters degree in social work and I am currently a therapist in private practice. I worked in hospitals for many years as a director of behavioral science and trained family practice residents. (Sarita, that's why I'm always worrying about you!) I went into private practice prior to my Crohn's diagnosis. It is a great job in terms of my illness, but I have had to buy my own health insurance and it doesn't cover prescriptions or doctor visits. I have considered going back to working in the hospital, but I'm not certain I can handle the hours and the stress.

You don't have to decide your career yet. Go to college and explore your options...good luck, and most of all enjoy your life!!!!
48 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's Sept-Oct. 2007

Mormor Vicky
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   Posted 12/19/2007 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess I'm a lucky one. I have been working at my company for 30+ years. Yes, I started when I was 8. Just kidding, but I did start right out of high school. I'm a graphic designer for a large directory company. My benefits are terrific and have had to pay very little out in medical expenses. I have a desk job and have access to the restroom whenever needed. The only problem I have found is that when I have clients with me, that sometimes my gut wants to talk with them too. That and awful stinky gas can be quite embarrassing. So far I've been lucky and when I have a bad episode I have been able to pass on my clients to other artists in the office. Everyone knows what is going on with me because I've been here so long that they knew when I have been in the hospital.

I just wish that I could retire but since I started so young I still have too much time left before I can live off my pension and 401k only.
Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
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   Posted 12/19/2007 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I initially picked chemistry as my major with a minor in theater. I changed to undecided for a major amd stuck with theater as my minor. Then I made theater my major. I initially focused in acting but preffered costume design and prop design the best. I enjoyed other backstage things too. When I graduated tho I was not making much money being a costume designer for a childrens theater in my state. I did that mail away thing where you get a diploma and I studied animal care. I then worked for a veterinarian for 2 years...before I was rushed to the hospital to find my ileum perforated. When I was to return to work they let me go saying there was no job for me there anymore fearing I was going to be a liability for them.

I then got a job as a receptionist at a hospital. I was working in their family care practice. The 1st day I started I told the manager about my CD. In November I ended up hospitalized for the 5th time this year and I was in for 1 week they let me go saying I missed to many days since I just started in Sept and I was temp to hire. They said even if I was a hire full time rather than temp to hire the same would have happened....basically I was told you cannot miss 1 day your first year even if a relative passes away. Well needless to say I have now applied for disability since I will be needing a 4th surgery this year and I was denied unemployment from when my other job let me go. I was told I voluntarily quit since I did not ask for a leave of abscence....I was rushed to a hospital on a Sunday dont know how I was supposed to ask to apply for the Flma if I had no idea I was going to be rushed via ambulance and have to have 2 emergency surgeries then a 3rd one....grrrr worked for medical areas and they didnt understand so dont go on that alone.

I love working with the animals but I am so allergic that my docs prefer I no longer be a vet assistant/tech. I never called out of that job once If I had to be out I had a Drs note I worked lots of OT while there and was in a serios flare preceeding the surgeries from August 06 and never missed a day...sometimes you give and give then you get stepped on.

Hopefully you will find something you love...trust me you will be more inclined to show up on your blah days when you love what you do and save those sick days for the bad days and hope you wont have any terrible flares or if heaven forbid you do hopefully wherever you end up I hope they understand. Somedays I just wish for like 2 hours ort so these *Expletive deleted* know how you feel on days when you are flaring and show up to work anyway. I even have wished just for 10 minutes my husband knows what I go through physically...He sees me but when I dont appear sick sometimes he thinks I cam do a bazillion things...last time that happened ummm yeah I was admitted to the hospital the following day with a fever of 102 with the picc line sepsis a few weeks back.
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 181
   Posted 12/19/2007 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I second Clcaj thoughts, "I would highly recommend information systems/programmer/analyst, etc., as a career, if you have any interest in computers. " I too work in IT and have been blessed to have the freedom to take care of myself. I can work from home when ill, my company allows and promotes telecommuting. I don't have to justify using the restroom. In fact my management knows about my illness and is more than supportive. The insurance and benefits are great and I am not paying crazy amounts to be well cared for. Best of luck to you in what ever you chose!
want_2_be_well AKA Mel
32 year old Female
Diagnosed with CD 2006, had been ill off and on for over 10 years.
Also have seasonal allergies, milk allergy, and asthma.
CD Meds: Remicade every 8 weeks, Imuran 50 mg, Pentasa

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/19/2007 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I am a software engineer by education, but I realized my dream job was to be an elementary school teacher, and I work part time in the wholesale gift industry. Everytime I started to fill out the paper work to go back to get my masters in education I would either have a major flare or have to go to the hospital for surgery. Eventually I realized that my CD (I never know when I will need the bathroom) and a classroom full of 6 year olds was not going to be a good fit. But like stated above, God was watching out for me, when my older daughter was just a baby I found a part time job that is low stress, gets me out of the house for a few hours a week, I'm really good at and I enjoy. My boss is really understanding when I need to take time off, and I often work from home if needed.

Now my younger daughter is applying to colleges and she wants to teach elementary school. I've told her she can have me as her fulltime class assistant when she graduates. See you can get what you want!

Find something you love and then it won't ever seem like work. And most important, and the one thing no one told me while I was in college: If you don't like your major, you can change it. I wasted my parents money and four years of my life studying something I hated by the time I was done.

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

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