Stress, work, and UC.

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julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 11/6/2007 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

I've recently found this board and I'm so glad that I did. I always sensed that it would be helpful to share experiences with other people with UC but I never stopped to think that I could find people online.

ANYway... I've been nearly flare-free since March of this year, which is practically a record for me. In the last 10 years, I can usually only go about 3 months at most without symptoms. As my recent posts probably conveyed, I've been feeling great and rather invincible.

And now... well, I'm looking for a job (I've not worked in a while) and now that I'm thinking about having to get to work in the AM, I'm completely stressed out. My last job was great. I could show up late and no one minded. They knew I would work late when I felt better and make up the time. But all the places I've interviewed are saying things like, "we start work at 8" and "we work long days". These are really good paying jobs and I could use decent health insurance! BUT... these last couple of days I've actually started to flare again.

I feel completely transparent. At the slightest bit of mental stress, I run to the bathroom. Life will always have some stress. I can't continue to live without it as if I'm always on vacation. Plus, I need a job for a variety of reasons... like money and having something to do, for starters.

What do you think? I'm decent at meditation and relaxation techniques but you can never rid your life of stress. And I can't keep running to the bathroom every time something stresses me out.
Even, sometimes, when it's something GOOD that's just exciting, I'll start to have flare symptoms. Geez. I feel like my body is a mood ring that needs to be recalibrated. It's far too sensitive.

Plus -- and this feels insane, maybe in some way I want to be sick again because it's familiar and part of me. I don't know.

Ideas? Maybe I just want empathy from those who "get it". Thanks, guys. I kinda feel like a loser.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it.


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 11/6/2007 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean about being sick is familiar. I just recently hit a really good remission after years and years of flaring. I don't quite know how to handle the "new" me. I too used to run to the bathroom at the first hint of emotional stress but over the years, I have adopted a new carefree persona. I have learned to let things roll off me and to not dwell on things. It wasn't easy and I honestly don't know how I did it. But now when I'm excited about something then it can send me to the bathroom and I like to get excited about something but I'm finding that I'm emotionally deadening myself to everything - that's not what I want. So it's rough to find that happy medium.

Empathy? Most definately - who else can offer you true empathy then us?? And never ever ever feel like a loser!
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, Canasa, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia, Pro-Bio 
Allergies - Singulair, Astelin(got the script - just haven't tried it yet!)
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
Fibromyalgia - '06 
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julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 11/6/2007 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Red!

I should have also added that my stress about working is not just about getting there in early AM (which we all know REALLY can suck) but also that I have a limited amount of energy and if I spend tons of hours at work... then I'll have no energy left for anything else.

I was heartened to read here (last week, I think) that so many other people with UC sleep as much as I do. 9-10 hours is about my usual. I like to think that all that sleep is part of my defense against a flare. I worry that I couldn't keep myself healthy if I have to wake up at 6:30 to get to a job. Maybe others have mastered this juggling act?
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it.


WhiteSox1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 11/6/2007 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
julee70 said...
Thanks, Red!

I should have also added that my stress about working is not just about getting there in early AM (which we all know REALLY can suck) but also that I have a limited amount of energy and if I spend tons of hours at work... then I'll have no energy left for anything else.

I was heartened to read here (last week, I think) that so many other people with UC sleep as much as I do. 9-10 hours is about my usual. I like to think that all that sleep is part of my defense against a flare. I worry that I couldn't keep myself healthy if I have to wake up at 6:30 to get to a job. Maybe others have mastered this juggling act?

 
I get up at 4:30 am every morning and get home at 6 pm every night and so far so good.  Even when   I was at my worse I did this (which was probably stupid of me).  The key is take it nice and easy.  Don't let the little things get to you and you'll be alright.  You shouldn't let UC keep you from doing the things you would like to do.
 

Deleuze
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 11/6/2007 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Stress has definitely been one of the key components of my flaring and has been something I have yet to find a good solution too. I am a graduate student and at the end of every quarter things get incredibly stressful and there is just no way to conquer it. I can tell the progress I had made up until now (which is nearing the end of the quarter) is regressing into more severe flaring.

Any solutions for stress people have could be helpful. I was actually thinking about looking into meditation.

UC Fighter
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 11/6/2007 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that stress can be a factor. The three times I've flared have revolved around a stressful situation (and drinking lots of caffiene). For me those are intregal components.


Current Prescriptions:
 
40 mg Prednisone per day, 1 x per day
1000 mg Sulfasalazine, 4x per day
1 Mesalamine Enema per day

Post Edited (UC Fighter) : 11/6/2007 12:42:56 PM (GMT-7)


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 11/6/2007 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Why not get a part-time job and ease yourself back into the daily workforce?
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
C-scope confirmed UC diagnosis 9/18/2007
 
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine, back on a pred taper for first flare in years. Down to 10 mg and feeling much better.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.
 
 


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 11/6/2007 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
My profession is a very stressful one, by its nature. I am a lawyer with a very large law firm on the corporate side doing mergers and acquisitions. There are long hours, difficult clients, difficult lawyers (both on my side and on the opposing side!), and difficult work that requires a lot of focus. When a deal is closing, it is on the fast track and it is closing. Period. It doesn't matter if my stomach hurts, or I am on Prednisone because I am flaring and have brain fog and the sweats, or I have a personal situation to deal with, etc. I get up at 5:30 am every single day, and I rarely get home before 7:00 pm.

Stress is a major factor for me and my UC. Two of my three flares have been after significant events in my life - the unexpected passing of my father and the extended illness and passing of my grandmother who I loved more than anyone in this world. So, I know that I have to keep a reign on my stress, or I will be sick. BUT, I can't leave work as I need the income and the insurance... and I truly love what I do. Well, and I refuse to let this disease beat me.

Anyway... over the years, I have developed some techniques that help me to deal with the stress. You can take them or leave them... they are just what work for me, and I truly believe that everyone is different.

(1) When I leave work, I leave work. I don't take work home. The minute I pull out of the parking garage, I am finished. I don't look at my Blackberry at home... unless we are closing a deal or there is a major issue, which is not often.

(2) When I take vacation, I truly take vacation and completely disengage. I have others that I work with that can handle the load in my absence. You will never find me working on vacation... and that is the same whether I travel on vacation or just stay home.

(3) I don't work weekends. In my profession, most people work 6-7 days a week. I work longer hours during Monday through Friday so I can take Saturday and Sunday off. Again, I avoid my Blackberry over the weekend.

(4) Because I get up early and need my sleep, I go to bed early. I don't have a nightlife. Most nights, I am in bed and sound asleep by 9:00 pm. Some might call that boring, but I just call that my life. :-) I really try and keep to a routine.

(5) I do something nice for myself every couple of weeks or so. I get either a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage. I go shopping for a new handbag, shoes or outfit. Stuff like that. I make sure I take time out.

(6) I take lunch to myself every day that I don't have a meeting or other appointment. I always leave my office for lunch (even if it is just to go outside and sit on a bench for 20 minutes). That gives me a break. I don't take the Blackberry with me to lunch... that defeats the purpose.

(7) Finally, I stay as organized as possible. I've done a lot of reading on organizational techniques (I know... I'm anal... but you would want me to be if I were your lawyer!), and I find that the more organized I am, the less stressed I am. That helps to keep a lot of daily stress at bay.

I hope these tips can help you! I have really had to learn to control my stress in order to control my UC, and all of the above work for me. Good luck with your job search!
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 2x 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)


marty1976
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2045
   Posted 11/6/2007 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
If there is anything you can do to reduce your stress you should do it, Stress is the biggest single trigger of UC i believe.
                                     keep the faith 

         asacol/proctifoam/Zoton (lansoprazole)/propranalol



        http://www.myspace.com/martybuzz1<FONT]


sdaless
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1396
   Posted 11/6/2007 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Boy I know what you mean about stress.  It can wreck havoc on UCer's.  Starting a new job can be very stressful for anyone.  It usually takes @ 6 weeks to 3 months to really feel comfortable.  Maybe you should consider working part time to start out.  Maybe a night job or later shift?  I get myself up early enough to do what I have to do in the am and usually get to work @ an hour before starting time to settle in before the day starts.  I must say I also am in bed @ 9:00 am and am up at 5:30.  It does suck but something we have to do and listen to our bodies.  Good luck.

Stacy


Current meds are:
 
Asacol 6 pills a day
Lexapro 20 mg once a day
Ativan .5 mg when needed
 
 
 


LondonRed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 11/7/2007 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Without a shadow of a doubt of many of us were not stressed about "having an illness" then we would probably have 80% less flares.

This desease is so much related to stress it's unreal... if you speak anxiety counsellors, or IBS doctors etc they all say stress causes bowel activity...

It has GOT to be related.

Medical Issue: Rectal Bleeding

Current Diagnosis: Colitis and 2x 1st Degree Internal Hemmeroids

Medication Prescribed: 800mg Mesalazine (Asacol) x 3 per day

 


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 11/7/2007 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone, for these great replies. It really helps.

Expecting226-- Thanks for all those tips. I realized while reading your schedule that I was both exhausted and envious. I think that putting in all those hours is far better when you have a career that you really like... rather than just a job.

LondonRed: I agree that stress causes bowel activity BUT I think that it' often just regular life stress that can cause a flare... not always the "stress about having an illness". Of course, sometimes it really is stress about UC, but sometimes life just throws us intense things to deal with and our bodies react with a flare. I think my case right now is a bit of both....

I'm lucky that my GI is always really careful to say that any kind of stress makes any illness worse. She never wants to make it sound like she thinks her patients are responsible for feeling bad. I really like that approach from a doctor. Although I think that LondonRed is right and we could likely stop flares more often with a whole lot of relaxation.

Sorry, I'm going in circles with my points. I guess my point is that so far today I feel ok. That's good! I started my "try to stop a flare" med routine and I think it's working... so far this morning. :)
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it.


tabitha m
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 11/8/2007 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
LondonRed said...
Without a shadow of a doubt of many of us were not stressed about "having an illness" then we would probably have 80% less flares.

This desease is so much related to stress it's unreal... if you speak anxiety counsellors, or IBS doctors etc they all say stress causes bowel activity...

It has GOT to be related.

  I am the most unstressed , laid back , relaxed person i know , and i have flares , and long horrible ones at that . Id love to know WHY it all kicks off after a long remission time.
 
Tab
Diagnosed Proctitis 2003
leaped to Pancolitis May 2007
bye bye Pred (fingerscrossed )!
2000mg pentasa a day
omega 3
Allergic to Sulphalizine
In remission since june
Multivitamin and calcium supplement
 
 


LondonRed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 11/8/2007 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
julee70 said...
Thanks, everyone, for these great replies. It really helps.

Expecting226-- Thanks for all those tips. I realized while reading your schedule that I was both exhausted and envious. I think that putting in all those hours is far better when you have a career that you really like... rather than just a job.

LondonRed: I agree that stress causes bowel activity BUT I think that it' often just regular life stress that can cause a flare... not always the "stress about having an illness". Of course, sometimes it really is stress about UC, but sometimes life just throws us intense things to deal with and our bodies react with a flare. I think my case right now is a bit of both....

I'm lucky that my GI is always really careful to say that any kind of stress makes any illness worse. She never wants to make it sound like she thinks her patients are responsible for feeling bad. I really like that approach from a doctor. Although I think that LondonRed is right and we could likely stop flares more often with a whole lot of relaxation.

Sorry, I'm going in circles with my points. I guess my point is that so far today I feel ok. That's good! I started my "try to stop a flare" med routine and I think it's working... so far this morning. :)

Yes, true. I think though its stress itself that causes the Colon to flare due to the brain/gut communication, ie IBD is a severre form of IBS.

Medical Issue: Rectal Bleeding

Current Diagnosis: Colitis and 2x 1st Degree Internal Hemmeroids

Medication Prescribed: 800mg Mesalazine (Asacol) x 3 per day

 


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 11/8/2007 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I have no option but to work, the job I am at I am underpaid and it it is a long commute, but I like it and I am comfortable (not neccesarily good reasons - I don't know what I want to be when I grow up yet = ) and they are very understanding about personal time off (though I have rarely had to take unexpected sick time in nearly 8 years, they are very good about it and say to do what you need to do and get healthy). Plus my job stress is not too much, though at times it can get stressful and I am learning how to deal with it. Sounds like your previous place was a good place to be.

Maybe if mornings are a problem, try going to bed earlier and changing your body clock by getting up a few hours earlier and you'll be ready to go and all done the 'morning routine'. That is what I would try to do if I needed extra time every day to be able to get out of the house, it is not ideal to have to make those changes, but if I had to do that I would.

Best of luck!
Beth, 32
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 150mg 1xday nightly;Remicade tests pending;Hydrocortisone enemas 1xday;Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Potassium 600mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60mg 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 80mg 1xday. Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 11/8/2007 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Excellent post, expecting226!

I was diagnosed with UC when I was working at an ad agency for a boss who was a total jerk. Everyone who worked there hated him and the place in general. When I was in the hospital, sick as a dog, they were calling me asking questions about jobs - I was the only Web designer on staff. After I got out of the hospital, I had to take a month off from work to recover. Luckily, I was married to an IT guy at the time who made good money and was able to quit my job. What a relief. Now, I work a low-stress job that's five minutes from my condo. I have (for the most part) great coworkers and they're understanding about my occasional flares. Cutting stress and getting out of unhappy situations makes a huge difference.

P.S. Divorced the unsupportive spouse, too. He was at the racetrack the day I had to be rushed to the ER by my brother and sister-in-law.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
 
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine, back on a pred taper for first flare in years. Down to 10 mg and feeling much better.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.
 
 


wildfire07
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 11/9/2007 5:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree that stress is a huge factor in flareups, my worst enemy, in fact. I haven't worked in a couple years due to other med issues as well as this current flare. However, I keep looking forward to the day I can go back. I also was thinking that to take a nonstressful position somewhere close to home, part time, no management ( i like food service/retail work), management positions are very stressful...would be good for me. I am blessd with a hubby with a good job right now. He doesn't really understand this illness, but he loves me & tries as best he can. I am blessed aren't I? We sometimes forget about the blessings we do have in our lives...especially when challenged with a disease like this one..Good Luck!
             
 
Diagnosed with UC Aug. 2007
 
2 asacol 3x daily  for UC.  Canasa suppositories, also 3x daily, as needed.
1 depacote 3x daily for bipolar disorder

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