Anyone have trouble working with UC?

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uclife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 10/1/2007 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been a diagnosed UC sufferer for about a year now.  I have missed too much work due to the flare ups, urgency and exhaustion.  My boss has warned me many times but there is not much I can do.  Has anyone else had this work issue and if so any suggestions??  I would love to be able to work from home but that is not an option with my current job.
 
Thanks for your feedback!  I really appreciate it.
 
Amy
Amy


kb5
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 10/1/2007 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been home since jan. I recently started subbing in a middle school. I find that having something to do makes life much easier but I am running to the bathroom between every class and worry alot about having to run out on a class and leave them without supervision. I think it would be easier if it was my class and i knew the kids but it is still working. I have gone to the bathroom 10 times so far today and spent the whole day teaching. I'm pretty impressed with myself. It is stressful but so much better than being stuck at home.

What is it that you do? Have you told your boss about your illness?
Kelly, 29

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, Rowasa every other night, down to 15 mg pred.
75mg Imuran starting 8/23/07---fingers crossed!
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran twice daily for nausea


Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 10/1/2007 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I have this problem to an extent. I've missed so much work this year due to being sick that I'm pretty sure my boss hates me. I first started the job Jan. 29 and started getting UC symptoms in Feb. Then, I had to miss 3 1/2 weeks of work because I was so ill from UC. It was a really terrible time and no one at my work seemed to understand what I was going through....none of them had heard of UC and my boss and co-workers acted like I was just some hypochondriac trying to get time off of work. I find it really hard to talk about my UC with my boss and co-workers...I never know how much detail to get into.

I switched to a new location (same job basically, same boss, but different co-workers) a couple months ago, but have already missed 3 weeks of work from getting a tonsillectomy and having the stomach flu. It's also very hard for me to get to work on time, because my UC acts up the worst in the mornings. I have a 25 min. commute to work and am supposed to be there at 8 a.m. I'm usually late despite my best efforts. I really hate my job and am in the process of looking for a new one. I, too, would love to work from home, but it's not an option with my current job either.
23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 10/1/2007 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I have the luxery of being able to stay at home because my hubby has a decent job. The last job I had was 8 years ago and both my hubby and I said it wasn't worth it because I would flare horribly every time I started a new job. Then I would miss many days and I would just end up quitting before they fired me. I don't have any suggestions for you but I just wanted to say no, I don't work because of my UC.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, Canasa, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
Fibromyalgia - '06 
PLEASE HELP HEALINGWELL CONTINUE TO HELP OTHERS BY CLICKING HERE: DONATE
@--->--Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC--<---@
 
 
 
 

 
 


uclife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 10/1/2007 3:42 PM (GMT -7)   

thanks for your responses.....it seems all of you understand exactly what I am going through!  Sara14 I have the same trouble getting to work on time.  I have to wake up an extra hour early just to give my colon time to do its thing.  I seem much worse in the morning too!  weird!   Kelly, I think that going to work does get my mind off of my problem but sometimes my boss and coworkers can be just jerks!!  They dont understand, one of the girls tells me her mother has colitis and can go to work...oddly enough her mother had colitis caused by antibiotics but not UC.  Funny how ignorant people are at times.  I have come to hate my job and am looking for another but afraid I will miss too much work there too.  THere is no predicting this disease!  I work in the medical field doing medical billing.  High stress and I deal with mental abuse from my boss every day! 

Sherry, you lucky duck!  LOL  I am single, so only my income to survive on at this time! 

Have any of you done any research about filing for disability benefits due to having UC? 

Thanks again for your input, I hope all of you find relief soon. 


Amy


relativelyquantum
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 10/1/2007 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I am atempting to work and dealing with a flare right now. 3 years ago I had just finished school and had UC really bad, then the medications (actually just asacol) worked just fine, but quickly at first and then gradually. In a couple months I started working and somehow managed and even improving very slowly over these years until about 6 or 7 weeks ago when I returned from a missions trip with my UC acting up pretty bad the last day there. I've been off and on and yes the mornings are the hardest and I arrive late everyday. I'm really blessed because my boss understands and he knows I work really hard and haven't taken a sick day (only Dr. appts.) until that point. I give him enough details to let him know the seriousness of it and continuously see if it is okay to take time off here and there. I can bring some of my work home with me (laptop), so that is exactly what I do and I try to make it in the office probably 2/3s of the time. I'm single too, so it makes things pretty rough and I have a great career I don't want to jeopordize.

Having a disability should entitle you to some special treatment, like being very close to the bathroom. Also, I am not sure it is legal for them to fire you because of it, but they'd have to find some other excuse, so it is good to do all you can to keep them informed, as I understand it. Hope something works out for you Amy, abuse is not good to put up with and neither is the stress.
Pancolitis '04
Yet to go into remission, Flare-up since Aug 12th and still atempting to work in the midst of it
On Colazal, probiotics, Oriental Medical Tea & Diet, Greens+, Fish Oil


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 10/1/2007 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I actually got "laid off" (really fired, but they termed it that way) from one job from being sick. I had to quit two others because of it, and took off about four months for another, and then had to quit when i found out i was pregnant. Luckily i was just worked, the last two jobs to have something to do, my husband has a job that allows me to stay home also. I work a little now that i am "Cured" but just to have some adult contact, lol. I did actually look into disabilty for this, and at that time the rules were that to be considered disabled you have to have something that keeps you from holding any job, and apparetnly UC is not considered one of those things. That was 7 years ago and the laws have chaged some, so it might be easier now

roxZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 10/1/2007 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Its tough, but if you need to work you gotta do it, dont let UC stop you, know where the closest bathroom is and be prepared, keep a change of clothes in your car. Hopefully you are in the type of place where your coworkers can understand you situation and cut you some slack. I find my hardest part, is the 35 minute drive to work during a flareup its tough to last that long, especially in the morningtime.
Vikki, 28
dx with ulcerative colitis at age 16
prednisone 20 mg, colazal, entocort ec


BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 10/1/2007 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Called in sick today b/c of UC sx's, it's been a month since my last sick day so not too bad. I know a lot about permanent disability benefits b/c I'm in the health care field. I believe it can be done, but as with any perm/chronic disability the key to application is documentation, past/current history and medical professional support; years of treatment, past hospitalizations (is key) and level of impairment are all vital to the decision. There are things in the application process that people should get help with or third party objective opinions about, such as, the applicant is sent a questionaire about Activities of Daily Living and most brush over or quickly answer with pithy responses--this questionaire is given a lot of weight, responses should be detailed, it's serious, and do not under report to what extent your disability effects your ability to live a normal life, shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, etc. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer (if I know the answer, that is).

UC Dude
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/2/2007 3:47 AM (GMT -7)   
If you are in the states go see HR and sign up for intermittent FMLA asap.
 


NuffinButtTrouble
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 10/2/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
uclife,

I hate to be a pain, but have you tried modifying your diet to eliminate sugars, dairy products, etc? I know I'm always saying this but figured I'd ask anyway. By me doing this, I am no longer on Remicade or any meds and I have increased energy though I'm still tired...just nowhere near as tired as before. I also have normal bm's like 4 or 5 a day, whereas before it was more like 15 to 20 a day; ulcers have also disappeared from my colon as well.

It's tough to keep up with a diet like this, but it's much, much, much better than the alternative...at least in my case.

NBT
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 2007
Meds: Remicade, Primal Defense Ultra, Multi-vitamins (also iron, B12, Magnesium and Zinc), Flaxseed/Home Bounty Fish Oil
Swanson Ultra Caprylic Acid (natural anti-fungal) 600mg x2 daily
Carrot & Garlic supplements (natural anti-fungal) x2 daily
 


uclife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 10/2/2007 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   

wow thanks for all of the input!

Unfortunately I cannot file for FMLA b/c my company is so small.  I do have short term disability benefits but my boss is such a jerk he talked me out of it when I was first diagnosed and now I am not sure they will give them to me.  As for the diet thing.  I am avoiding milk for sure always have for years before diagnosis.  THe sugar thing, no not really.  I have read that more than once, what exactly am i to avoid.  All starches?  I have a hard time with beef so i avoid that.  But honestly what can i eat?  I have lost 18 pounds already.  But I will try anything to curb the problem.  As for going on long term disability....I know its tough to get, my sister in law has MS and has been 2 years and she has an attorney and nothing yet!  Craziness.  I dont really want to do that as of yet.  If i were to lose my job I would lose my healthcare.  That is my main concern, asacol is very expensive.  I would prob qualify for medical assistance.  I just want to be able to work is all!  I dont want to be pent up in my apt.  I am too young!!!  LOL

thanks again for the input! 

amy


Amy
31 yr old
Pancolitis since oct 06
waiting on that remission
asacol 12 daily, protonix, iron supplement, ativan
Trying to stay positive!!
 


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 10/2/2007 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I second the comment on dietary manipulations. It can certainly improve your situation enough to make holding a regular job much easier. There are several good books out there with slightly different approaches: Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Listen to Your Gut and The New Eating Right for a Bad Gut are three I'd recommend. I'd also suggest you look into supplementing your diet with Absorb Plus shakes, an enteral formulation specifically for folks with IBD, to help you get your weight loss under control.

That said, I'm a big proponent of NOT staying in a miserable job situation. It puzzles me why folks will drag on for years, stuck with a boss who's a jerk, hurtful coworkers, killer hours with no allowance for personal life, poor pay, etc. There are other options out there. There are great places to work, supportive bosses, flexible hours and jobs that are more UC-friendly - including working pretty much independently, being close to restrooms, etc.

When I was diagnosed, I worked for a small ad agency for a boss who was the worst kind of manipulative jerk. The work was stressful, the other employees were petty and I was the only one who could do Web design. They were actually calling me while I was in the hospital, asking me stuff about our Web accounts. I quit that job and found another one where the boss was friendly and supportive of my condition. Hours were flexible, so if mornings were rough, it didn't matter if I was a little late; I'd stay later in the evening. It was a much better situation and the support and lack of stress helped me get better. I say start watching the want ads. Get on monster.com and start looking for opportunities or even ideas about a career change. Find something that works for you.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
C-scope confirmed UC diagnosis 9/18/2007
No explanation for right side pain and thickening of bowel wall
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine, back on a pred taper for first flare in years
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.
 
 


uclife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 10/2/2007 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
princesa....
 
Thanks for all of your info, I will look into getting those books.  They might have them at the library or maybe I should just buy them.  I have read so many different stories on diets etc.  My doctor tells me that dietary restrictions are not necessary with UC but I had a sneaking suspiscion there had to be.  It only makes sense.  I currently avoid all dairy, restrict meat intake since it seems to cause bad gas etc, and I eat small amounts throughout the day.  I always seem hungry, geez I wonder why!  Hmm, trips to the bathroom have anything to do with it!  LOL  My family doctor suggested a dietary supp drink that might help me feel full and give me nutrition.  Do people with UC typically have nutrition deficiencies?  I do take an iron pill my GI prescribed, those are no fun either.  Have to be strategic what time of day I take it. 
 
My biggest question is why the heck do my probs get worse at night and in the morning?????  It seems the common thing with UCers but geesh why? 
 
Thanks for your insight about the job thing.  I am looking, just applied today for a job that allows you to work from home and office.  Please keep your fingers crossed that I get an interview or better yet the job!  Lately I have been feeling like nothing is going my way and i cannot live without a paycheck.  I keep praying that something comes up, some big break!!! 
 
well take care and thanks again
 
Amy
Amy
31 yr old
Pancolitis since oct 06
waiting on that remission
asacol 12 daily, protonix, iron supplement, ativan
Trying to stay positive!!
 


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 10/2/2007 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Definitely try your local library first... free is good! If you find one or more helpful, then you may want to buy them so you can mark 'em up and use them as ongoing references. You can find good used copies for sale cheap on amazon.com. You're going to hear different stories because we're all individual and different things work for different people; however, don't let anyone tell you diet doesn't matter. It can play a very important role in getting symptoms under control and allowing you to reduce meds, if not helping you into total remission. An inflamed, compromised digestive tract makes it very difficult to properly absorb the nutrients you need. A predigested supplemental shake can be very helpful, but the stuff on the market - Boost, Ensure - are full of sugars and oils you don't need. The Absorb Plus I mentioned is a healthier version and is formulated specifically for folks with IBD. I'd be cautious with an oral iron supplement. They can cause digestive distress. If you're anemic, iron transfusions by IV are better because they bypass the digestive system.

Good luck on the job application... sounds like it would be great for you!
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
C-scope confirmed UC diagnosis 9/18/2007
No explanation for right side pain and thickening of bowel wall
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine, back on a pred taper for first flare in years
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.
 
 


kav
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 10/2/2007 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Believe it or not I have my own personal bathroom in my office!! I am not flaring now but when I was it was a life saver. Even if I did have an accident away from my office I could go there and clean up in privacy.
 
I am also fortunate enough to work in a hospital as a manager so I know most of the nurses and physicians and they know how bad UC can be. I report directly to the CEO who has been great at understanding. I think it took her a while but I had the backup support of colleagues who said, "this guy is really sick and needs time off."
 
Sadly for us UCers I think we need to get to that point where we lose weight and get really pale and people can actually "see" that you are sick before they understand how bad it can be.
Kevin
 
 
Moderate Pancolitis
Imurane - 125mg
Mulit Vitamin x2


auntmoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 10/2/2007 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, anyone know where you get absorb plus shakes? I can stay at work because I am literally 1 sec from the bathroom. I have a great boss as well who understands my situation. I have not missed a lot of work so far.

NuffinButtTrouble
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 10/2/2007 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
uclife,
 
I have the book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall and it really helped me understand why I should avoid certain sugars. It also helped me understand the difference between single molecule sugars (like honey) and many molecule sugars (like white sugar).
 
I do eat some starches but in smaller quantities than before. I recommend avoiding almost anything that contains sugar, at least for a week or two to see if you feel better.
 
 
I AVOID THINGS LIKE:
 
01. Milk Shakes
02. Soda
03. Fruit Punch
04. Cakes
05. Candy (even those that say "sugar free")
06. Most canned goods (because they contain sugar)
07. Cereal (they are packed with sugar)
08. Yogurt (because most contain sugar)
09. Jam/Jelly
10. Breads
11. Cheese
12. Soy Milk (because some contain evaporated cane juice)
13. Maple Sugar (I use honey instead)
14. Ketchup (it contains sugar; if you must use it...use less)
15. Energy Drinks (most are packed with sugar)
 
 
 
 
HOWEVER, I DO CONSUME THINGS LIKE:
 
01. Scramble Eggs and organic turkey sausages
02. Coconut cookies (I posted the recipe here a while ago)
03. Apple Cider or 100% Apple Juice (Motts, Minute Maid, etc.)
04. Spaghetti or Rice (but in smaller quantities)
05. Fruits (but not too often)
06. Vegetables (but no corn)
07. Tea (I like herbal tea)
08. Honey (I use it in my tea, etc.)
09. Lots of Water.
 
I really hope this helps, if it does you should begin to see results within a week...but you must be diligent.
 
p.s
Anything that contains sugar, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice should be avoided.
 

:-)

NBT


Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 2007
Meds: Remicade, Primal Defense Ultra, Multi-vitamins (also iron, B12, Magnesium and Zinc), Flaxseed/Home Bounty Fish Oil
Swanson Ultra Caprylic Acid (natural anti-fungal) 600mg x2 daily
Carrot & Garlic supplements (natural anti-fungal) x2 daily
 

Post Edited (NuffinButtTrouble) : 10/2/2007 9:06:14 PM (GMT-6)


UCreallySUCKS
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 10/3/2007 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I ended up in the hospital last year due to UC, and it was on the day I was supposed to start a new job (admitted 2 hours before I was supposed to be at work for the first day).  I wasn't able to start the job, and have been basically unemployed since getting out of the hospital.  I did start one job, but had a short-lived severe flare only 7 days after starting that job, so I obviously lost it.  I don't know how easy it is to keep a job when you flare, but it's definately hard to obtain a job when you're dealing with this disease.  I just recently found a job working from home on the phones, that took 1.5 years to find.  Without this job, I don't know what I'd do.  Our whole lives can be turned upside down when you're dealing with UC.
---Nathan---  31 yr old male
Diagnosed May 2006 w/severe UC
Currently in mild flare
2 400mg Asacol 3X day
2.5 mg Prednisone - tapering
1 multivitamin/day
2 grams calcium/day
75mg Imuran/day
100mg Tramadol/day for migraines (as needed)
1 Fioricet ever 4 hrs as needed for severe migraines


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5136
   Posted 10/3/2007 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
UClife-- you say you avoid dairy entirely. It's very important to keep up your calcium & vitamin D intake for the sake of your bones & teeth especially. I do fine on lactose-free dairy products + occasional soy; can you tolerate them? Another consideration: Forvia vitamins-- manufactured especially for IBD patients. Red_34 has commented favorably on them in another thread-- so you could ask her for more advice on that. UCers may have different "triggers", foods which make one person feel terrible, bloated, etc., but which do not bother others at all. It's basically a trial & error process to find out what one absolutely must avoid; the really important thing is to eat as balanced a diet as possible so as to get the vital nutrients daily. Do beware of calcium deficiency, especially if you are small-boned. I disagree very much with anyone advising UC patients in general to avoid all dairy. The main things to avoid are junk foods, overly-salted, heavily spiced, and/or fatty-- plus abrasive items like nuts & seeds when you're flaring. I also avoid carbonated beverages; learned long ago not to miss them! / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently on 6 Colazal daily for July flare in descending colon; should be back in remission again soon)
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