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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Traveling for work - opinions?


05-02-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
Cat-a-Tonic
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Traveling for work - opinions?

Hi all, there's a job opening at my company and it's something that I'm considering applying for, and if I did apply I'd have a good chance of getting it. It's similar to what I do in my current position (administrative type office stuff) but the pay would be slightly better. But, this position would require me to travel all around the state (for my current position, I'm in the same office every day). Literally 100% of the time I'd be on the road travelling to and working out of different offices in this new position, probably sometimes staying in hotels and eating on the road and stuff like that. And that's the part that scares me, so I wanted to ask the opinion of others. Any IBD'ers out there who travel a lot for work? If so, do you enjoy it & would you recommend it? Any tips for surviving on the road with IBD?

I should note that I'm in remission right now, but things like stress and eating the wrong thing can still upset things. I'm a creature of habit so travelling for a job would definitely put me out of my comfort zone. I'm trying to look at it as a challenge rather than something scary. Either way, though, it'll likely be more stressful than my current job, at least the travelling aspect will. And that is what I'm worrying about. Anyone have any input about this?
05-02-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
JDTM
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So, I'm guessing that living off of cheese curds is out of the question? ;)

In all seriousness, I'm just responding because I'm also curious about the responses you may get. I wonder about whether travel for work is in the cards for me. I figure it's certainly been done before, but I'm not sure how people with IBD maintain, or how it can vary from person-to-person.

(I do miss cheese curds.)
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05-02-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
Cat-a-Tonic
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JDTM, I am lactose intolerant (and yes, I live in the dairy state) so cheese curds are definitely out sadly. I miss them too.

While I'm posting, I should add that I'd really like to hear from others who may have started working on the road while in remission but then flared up? How did you handle that and were you able to continue traveling for work? I'm in remission now, but I know a flare could happen at any time so that's another concern about traveling for work.
05-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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I can't speak from experience, but I would assume that emergency fallbacks such as Immodium might work as long as you aren't taking it constantly. I always have some with me, but I've only actually taken it once in the 2+ months since my diagnosis. I would also assume that nutrition drinks might be at least somewhat easy to come by -- I don't know what your typical Kwik Trip or PDQ has on the shelves, but if they have Boost or Ensure, that could work in a pinch if you start to flare. Otherwise, hotels can probably point you to the closest drugstore relatively easily.

Eating out might be tricky, but if you look into hotels that perhaps have a mini-fridge you could use, that might be helpful. You could keep some safe foods on hand that way if you're not sure about restaurant fare.

Anyways, I'm just brainstorming here, but it might help you a little bit. Compared to Madison, I know that large areas of central Wisconsin don't exactly have a Whole Foods on every corner, but you might be able to make do depending on your dietary restrictions. Looking forward to what others have to add here.
05-02-2012, 12:12 PM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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Thanks JDTM. I found out more about the position from my HR rep, and I don't think I'm going to apply for it. They said they wouldn't provide a company car (my car is over 10 years old and would probably die pretty quickly from being driven all over the state) nor a laptop (I wouldn't have a "home base" to work out of and no computer to use?? No way jose). If they had provided a car and a computer then it would have been tempting, but without those things there's just not enough incentive for me to leave my current position.

Still, for future reference, or if they change things and do let me get a company vehicle & so on, I would still be interested in hearing others' input on what it's like to travel for work and deal with IBD at the same time. Anybody?
05-03-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
LindaS
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I used to travel twice a year for my job (so not all the time). However, before the last scheduled trip, which was to California, I was in remission when I booked my flight. I was admitted to the hospital the morning before I was supposed to leave town. I was very glad to be home for that. However, you won't be flying, so that isn't a concern. Would you be the person driving? I have driven though a lot of Wisconsin as my husband is from there and most of my in laws still live in Northern Wisconsin. There are areas without rest stops or places to go to the bathroom.
Some things to consider are:

If you do get sick, would you be able to do your business via video conference or web meetings?

Are you confident in your current medications?

Do you have a good relationship with your GI, so that if you are away from home, can your GI help you out?

Will you be on a per diem or expense account? (I ask this because sometimes the food that will agree with you will be more expensive than the fried stuff, and if you have to pay out of pocket for it, it will negate some of the pay bump)

Good luck on your decision.
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05-04-2012, 02:52 AM   #7
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I don't travel for work, but was wondering if I might leave a suggestion. True, when you aren't flaring you may not think of these things although those of us with this challenge always have the possibility of a flare. What about leaving some of these things in your car or suitcase if you travel regularily?

- A kit of some things you usually use when you flare
- A list of rest areas or fast food places along the way where you're traveling
- Any other things that might make you feel comfortable while you're away.

Good luck
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05-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
Cat-a-Tonic
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Hi Linda and Cross-stitch, thanks for the advice. I did some thinking and I don't think it'd be a good idea for me to apply for the traveling job. My current job is low-stress and I'm in the same place every day, and it's only 10 miles from my home. The traveling job would pay better, but I would have to use my own car (which is 11 years old) and the wear & tear and/or cost of a new car would eat up the bump in pay pretty quickly. I talked it over with my hubby this morning and he agrees that with my health and my car and everything, I should stay in the job I'm at now.

Linda, Northern WI is beautiful! I am from cental WI and currently live in southern WI but I am planning a weekend trip up north soon. I want to go up to see the Little Bohemia Lodge where John Dillinger's gang had a shoot-out with the FBI in the 1930s (it's still there and apparently there are still bullet holes in the lodge and the trees! How cool is that!).

Cross-stitch, I do carry a little kit like that in my car anyway (you never know when you might need it!). It has wet wipes, TP, a change of clothes, a towel, plastic bags, etc. I haven't had to use it yet (knock on wood) but I am glad to have it. My car is really small so I've devoted a fair amount of trunk space to my "just in case" kit but that's okay with me.
05-04-2012, 04:11 PM   #9
Cross-stitch gal
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Glad to hear that it helped Sounds like you made the best decision for you! I have a small bag in my locker at work that has a change of clothes and plastic bags for just in case as well. I've been thankful not to have had to use it either so far. Take care.
05-04-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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Thanks JDTM. I found out more about the position from my HR rep, and I don't think I'm going to apply for it. They said they wouldn't provide a company car (my car is over 10 years old and would probably die pretty quickly from being driven all over the state) nor a laptop (I wouldn't have a "home base" to work out of and no computer to use?? No way jose). If they had provided a car and a computer then it would have been tempting, but without those things there's just not enough incentive for me to leave my current position.

Still, for future reference, or if they change things and do let me get a company vehicle & so on, I would still be interested in hearing others' input on what it's like to travel for work and deal with IBD at the same time. Anybody?
If the pay isn't significantly better, it probably isn't worth the bother. You would probably have to get different insurance coverage since you are using the car for work, and the extra mileage on the car will add up to way more maintenance costs on the car, especially an older one.

Your mileage may vary.
05-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
LindaS
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Linda, Northern WI is beautiful! I am from cental WI and currently live in southern WI but I am planning a weekend trip up north soon. I want to go up to see the Little Bohemia Lodge where John Dillinger's gang had a shoot-out with the FBI in the 1930s (it's still there and apparently there are still bullet holes in the lodge and the trees! How cool is that!).
Cat, I've been there. It is so cool! We spend every Christmas up near Rhinelander at the cabin, and have vacationed many times in Minoqua and Door County. I love it up there.
05-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #12
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Linda, my family used to vacation every year in Door County, it's gorgeous up there! I haven't been in years but I have a lot of fond memories. We would always ride bikes in Peninsula State Park and get ice cream at Wilson's and pizza at Digger's. Oh, and there was a restaurant called the Cookery I think? We could never remember the name and ended up calling it the Eatery or something like that! Ha ha! Ah, memories.

Gculk, I didn't even think about insurance on the car, but you're right. My work would have paid me a flat rate per mile and when I did the math in my head it didn't come out in my favor, and that was before you mentioned the insurance thing. So yeah, all in all it wouldn't be a good thing for me to switch jobs.
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