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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohns in the workplace...I need help!


11-12-2014, 05:18 PM   #1
Brodie
 
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Crohns in the workplace...I need help!

Four years ago I was in a bad car accident in which I broke my spine and hips. Since then I have been having a constant crohns flare complete with malabsorption, multiple intestinal strictures and blockages, and of course frequent trips to the bathroom. My flare got so bad a year ago that I actually fell and refractured my hip, causing me to be bed ridden for months...and I was unable to tolerate any pain meds the whole time. I have been trying to get back into the work force...I have even gotten jobs a few times, but they were short lived due to me being too sick to fulfill my duties. I am unsure of what to do. I have applied for SSI (in the state of KS and got denied 4 times), I now live in Louisiana so I am thinking of reapplying, but I do not want to be in the middle of that process again. But more than anything I would really like to have a job that made it possible for me to work around my health issues. I know these jobs have to exist, and I know many people with crohns successfully work full time. Where do you work, and what are your challenges dealing with crohns as well as other health issues? Were managers and co workers understanding (in my experiences the managers often times are the least understanding)? It all makes me really apprehensive. Any advice would be much appreciated.
11-12-2014, 06:37 PM   #2
Muppetgirl
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Hi brodie and welcome. Sorry to hear of the tough few years you've had. It is a difficult one, and I think a lot of people go through different phases with it throughout the course of their disease. Is there a specific area / career that you want to pursue? Could you do some volunteer work while your waiting? It shows you are motivated and increases your skills. You may have more luck with bigger organisations who have well developed policies on health and understand the legal side, they are often more able to tolerate (limited) absence as well as there are enough others to hold the fort. Managers are hit and miss, often it comes down to their personal experiences. Most people recommend getting to kmow them a bit before you disclose, and during that time you can show what you are made of. But it has to work for you and your needs to. It sounds like you may have asked a little too much of yourself too soon previously. Could you start off working part time or somewhere with flexible hours? Also if there is anything you can take with you or ask your company to put in place (like a special chair or cushion) that helps you. A lot is trial and error though. Good luck with it all.
11-12-2014, 10:00 PM   #3
Brodie
 
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Hey, thanks for your response. Currently I am not looking for work in any particular field. Before my accident I owned my own reptile business, which included retail and wholesale sales. After my accident and with my crohns related complications since then, I was forced to sell my reptiles to pay for medical bills and what not. I think that in the past I have tried to do too much too fast, so I am trying to take it slow now. I have been feeling extra bummed out about the topic of work lately because I was recently hired at Target, but the company was not willing to give me flexible hours or help me with the accommodations I requested. Volunteering is a good idea. I just moved to a new city so I am seeing what volunteer and job opportunities are available. I hate letting any disabilities stop me, but I know that a crohns flare is also something I need to take care of and not try to hide.
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